We’ve been living out our #VanLife fantasy for the past 12 months, and we’ve spent far less than we would if we owned a home

Our total average cost per month: $2,350 (USD $1,750)

The couple has spent the past 12 months on the road.

Courtesy Jarryd Salem and Alesha Bradford

All costs are averages and listed in AUD.

Back in 2008, when Alesha and I first met as broke backpackers, we bought an old Chevy van and spent three years traveling around Canada; it was an experience we always looked back on fondly.

We have dabbled in van life since then in Western Australia, Ireland, Chile, and New Zealand, so once lockdowns lifted in Australia, we decided to pursue our old dreams once more, documenting our experiences along the way.

We paid $48,000 (USD $35,000) for the van, already fully converted, and we’ve been living and traveling full-time in Marlee for the past 12 months. We have averaged about $2,350 (USD $1,750) per month for all of our expenses.

Considering the average monthly mortgage payment in Australia now sits around $2,400, and that’s not including bills, food, car loans, transport to and from work, etc, we are actually saving money by living this lifestyle. 

While it is entirely possible to travel in a van for a lot cheaper than this, we are living very comfortably on this budget, and having the time of our lives while we do it.

Here is a breakdown of each expense we have while living full-time on the road.

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