With the cost of UK staycation accommodation rising in line with a surge in demand, many Britons have begun to eye new ways of saving money while exploring the country. Such was the case for one London couple who made the decision to ditch urban life after completely transforming their Mercedes Vario 614D van.
Charlie and Josh, who met on Bumble, have taken the “van life” trend to the extreme.
Not only do the pair use their van for holidays, but they also now live and work from the Mercedes as they embark on “the ultimate UK road trip”.
“I remember on our first date talking about wanting to get a camper van and doing it up – not necessarily living in it – but we spoke about that kind of lifestyle,” said Charlie, an ex-menswear designer and now graphic designer.
After 2020 spun the world into chaos, Charlie and Josh decided there was no better time to combine their savings and plough it into buying and renovating a van.
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During the process, the duo recorded their journey via their blog, Wandering Home, as well as on YouTube and Instagram.
In one video titled “100 days of Vanbuild”, Charlie and Josh showed how they transformed the 16 seater minibus.
It began with ripping out the seating, removing the wheelchair lift and the back and adding in new flooring.
The couple then completely gutted the interior in order to create extra space.
The van was then kitted out with its own kitchen, including oven and fridge facilities, plus a lounge area and composting toilet.
There are also plenty of secret storage facilities dotted throughout the ban – including a pull-out table at the rear of the van to allow for alfresco dining on sunny days.
Charlie and Josh even took on the task of plumbing the van with a water tank tucked away underneath the bed and adding electric wiring and solar panels themselves.
This means the couple are able to benefit from electric lighting on the move and even a stand-up shower.
Now, the couple is embarking on the ultimate UK road trip – exploring all 15 of the UK’s national parks – from Dartmoor to the Cairngorms.
They are set to immerse themselves fully in “van life” until September.
“It was a big change, but as we moved into the van all our colleagues started working remotely,” said Josh.
According to Josh, his favourite moments are at dusk, cracking open a beer when the sun’s low in the sky, while Charlie relishes the stillness of the early morning as she gets out of bed and pops the coffee on.
“I feel more connected to the seasons and the weather,” she said.
Author: Aimee Robinson
This post originally appeared on Daily Express