Monday, January 26, 2015

Review - Vanabode Travel and Live Forever on $20 a Day Book

I recently got the opportunity to read and share my thoughts on Vanabode Travel and Live Forever on $20 a Day by Jason Odom. We don't do a lot of book reviews, here, unless it is something that my family or I find fascinating. In this case, my husband and I have recently purchased an RV, love to travel, and always romanticize about the idea of just hitting the road for extended periods of time. The idea that the author not only does this, but lives in a van on $20/day and spends his life traveling with his wife definitely peaked my interest.

A LONG time ago...

Almost twenty years ago two friends and I left cold New Jersey weather and bee-lined it down to Florida in a conversion van. We were very young, had very little cash and a lot of wanderlust. One of the most memorable parts of this trip was trying to find a cheap place to camp in the Florida Keys and being so unsuccessful that we asked a local police officer who pointed us in the direction of a neighborhood where people sleep in their cars. (They are/were very laid back down there... lol).

Yup, you heard me right. We were able to stay and enjoy this beautiful place for FREE while exploring Key West during the daytime and taking advantage of all it had to offer on a very strict budget. We camped and did this across the country, and I eventually settled permanently in Southern California.

My husband also moved from the East Coast around the same time I did and spent a period of time living in his Volkswagon Vanagon near the beach, showering at work, and saving a great deal of cash.

Those days were magical, simple, eye-opening, both peaceful and exciting, always full of adventure, but as adults, you start to feel like it would be impossible to pull off anything like that again. This is why I had to read Vanabode Travel and Live Forever on $20 a Day book.

Is it possible to do this wonderful and inexpensive traveling in an enjoyable way on that kind of budget as an adult and how?!

Vanabode is a book that breaks it all down for you. Odom and his wife have traveled over 700,000 miles in 15 years and shares his secrets for how they make it work on an average of $20 each per day. They have visited campgrounds all over the US, as well as major cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas, all while sleeping comfortably in a van and without sacrificing a clean bed, hot showers, good food, or safety.

Now sleeping in a van is not for everyone. This book is part lifestyle book for those that are inclined to simplify their lives, live with only the minimal and essential possessions, and give up luxury items and "stuff" in general.

"How do you go to the bathroom?!"

I can hear my mother asking in her thick New Jersey accent while wrinkling her nose and expressing extreme disdain, "how do you go to the bathroom?!" They use a small camping port-a-potty, mom. They mostly poop in public restrooms, though, if possible. Once you get that issue out of the way, the ease and frugality of this type of travel is extremely doable for anyone who wants it.

HOW is this done?

Vanabode explains how to set up your van, places to go, how to navigate different locations from wilderness to cities, where to sleep safely, how to do meals, cook, lists everything you need, discourage many things you don't need, and even explains how to make money while on the road. One of the main messages of the book is the overall simplification of your life, especially if a life of travel is something you want to do long term.

Beyond all the information packed into this book, which the author boils down to a very simple formula from years of experience and trial and error, there are tons of online resources he offers to assist anyone that would like to make "Vanoboding" their lifestyle choice. He will even pay readers to share their trip itineraries on his website and your book purchase gains readers exclusive access to his forums where others share experiences that enhance a Vanabode life.

Will we be Vanaboding soon?

After reading this book, I feel like there are a lot of tips I will use in our RV and in our travels. With one little kid, and a baby on the way, we are planning some RV trips this summer and the simplification aspects and a lot of the thorough explanations on how to make things work really speak to me.  However, for now, I'm very thankful to have the RV luxuries of running water, a bathtub, an actual restroom, seating, and other items that you will not have in a van. However, just as Odom warns, the RV trips can be almost as costly as staying in a hotel! Maybe when the kids go to college, if hubby and I are not so attached to our "stuff," tied to jobs, and in good enough shape to get out there, we will give this Vanabode thing a shot. He's already agreed, so check back with me in another twenty years!

You can purchase Vanabode Travel and Live Forever on $20 a Day by Jason Odom

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


  1. I love this! I would love to simplify my life and do that! May have to read the book. Have fun on those trips!

  2. This sounds like fun. You could almost make a game out of seeing how little money you could spend. This sounds like a good book to read

  3. great review i really need a vacation tired of this cold wheater


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