Survey: Americans ready to try nomadic van life due to pandemic

We’ve already seen stories about how the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying financial insecurity of furloughs and layoffs have sent big-city dwellers fleeing to less-crowded areas with a lower cost of living.

Now, according to a new survey from Move.org, all that turmoil also has more Americans considering getting rid of their homes altogether in favor of van life and a cheaper, more nomadic experience.

The moving company review site asked hundreds of respondents about how they felt about van life and found that 52% of Americans are now more open to van life, in which practitioners live full or part time in modified vehicles with basic amenities like beds, storage, toilets, cookstoves and Wi-Fi, allowing occupants to work anywhere. 

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Seventy-two percent said they’d try the van life thing if it meant they could pay off all their debt, and 74% said they’d try it if it meant they could retire comfortably. Another 23% said their primary motivation would be not having to pay rent or a mortgage.

A quarter of respondents said they’d be willing to live on the road for six months to a year, and 24% said they’d do it for up to two years. Seven percent weren’t willing to do it under any circumstances.

Finances weren’t the only draw for some respondents: The poll found that 35% liked the idea of living by the beach or spending more time outdoors. Another 33% said their prime motivation would be the opportunity to travel. 

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