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Escape the rat race: Where is van life most popular?

Staying in a campervan is reasonably cost-effective way in this country.

MINI Cooper as a camper. Photo: BMW Group
MINI Cooper as a camper. Photo: BMW Group

With 16.5 million tags on Instagram, the #vanlife movement is booming. High rent and mortgage payments, surging bills and increased remote working opportunities are helping people switch to nomadic van living, whether temporarily for travelling or a permanent option.

Globally, annual searches for “vanlife” have increased by a huge 22 percent, averaging 90,500 every single month.

Yet patterns between nations differ considerably in relation to this latest fad. So, which countries are seeing more transient residents?

Researchers working at Zego, an insurance provider, have told Digital Journal about the variances.

It appears that Finland takes the crown as the country most likely to adopt ‘vanlife’ According to the data, Finland’s residents are most likely to embrace the nomadic lifestyle, with 65 searches per 100,000 people every month for ‘vanlife’. There is an average of 3,600 searches each month for the term, suggesting residents are the most likely to move into a van and escape the high cost of living or even take on a temporary adventure. 

Staying in a campervan is reasonably cost-effective way in this country. According to HomeToGo, the average Helsinki Airbnb will set a person back $150 per night whereas wild camping and most car parks in Helsinki are free of charge.

San Marino and Liechtenstein follow. Despite both locations only having a few ‘vanlife’ searches per month, their low populations of under 40,000 help the trend boom. Per 100,00 people, San Marino, the world’s fifth-smallest country, has 29.7 monthly ‘vanlife’ searches. The roaming trend is seemingly popular in the beautiful mountainous landscape.

The small, western principality of Liechtenstein is just behind with 25.4 searches per 100,000 people.

Another mountainous nation, found between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein is home to the Rhätikon Mountains and the central Alps, which boast some stunning sites to park up.

With the Atlantic counties ,the U.S. has over 27,000 ‘vanlife’ searches a month and when this is converted to per 100,000 people, the U.S. ties with the U.K. However, nearer to home Germany leads the U.K.

The U.K. trend is rising, nonetheless. Year-to-date, U.K. van registrations, based on SMMT data, reveal that vans under 3.5 tonnes are up by 8.6 percent and 3.5 to 6 tonnes are up by a 59.8 percent. The trend is also seen in throughout the European Union by a 14.6 percent upsurge according to the ACEA.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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