Photographer:Adam Mowery
Camera:Nikon D700
Film:Kingston 16GB CF Card

Vanlife Hack: Renting the Life For One Week

Exploring Utah's iconic Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks via minivan rental

Hashtag Vanlife is appealing to a lot of us adventure seeking outdoor lovers. But for most of us, it’s not a reality or really even a possibility. We have families, jobs, and probably don’t even own a van. Instagram is flooded with these seemingly amazing people living the simple life, always being in the perfect place at the right time. Seems nice, right? But what if it could be us. Maybe not for life, a year, or even a month, but what about a week or even just a weekend? Enter minivan rental territory, and that daydream can come true. We recently did it on a trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, Utah, and loved every minute of it.

On average you can rent a minivan anywhere in the country for around $350 to $450 for one week. Lay down all the backseats, put your sleeping pad on the floor, throw in your camping gear, and let the adventure happen. Add in a mid week backpacking trip, and a few day hikes and climbs to get out and stretch your legs and explore. You don’t always have to be stuck driving back to the hotel at night and then getting up to drive back to the incredible view at sunrise. Sure you won’t have all the comforts that hotels offer, but this is supposed to be an adventure, remember? Experiences like these give you memories for a lifetime. 

Minivans aren’t just for soccer moms anymore

Hashtag Vanlifeforaweek works solo, and with a friend too. Just not two friends. Try and cram any more than two in a minivan and you’ll be very cramped and borderline miserable. Two people, plus gear, fit comfortably in the van as long as the front seats become your storage closet when you’re in the back. After those long days of waking up in time to catch the sunrise and hiking for miles will make you and your companion a little stinky, so we recommend finding the closest RV park and asking to trade a few bucks for a shower. Most are willing to oblige.

So next time you feel the itch to live the #vanlife, just remember minivans aren’t just for soccer moms anymore.

Adam Mowery is a freelance photographer and outdoor enthusiast. See more of his work here, and on Instagram.

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