Hello Van Clanners, and welcome to another article in our Van Life Global series. Now if you’re planning your next road trip to Europe you’ve probably got Van Life Italy, France, Spain and Germany on your list, right? Well, about half an hour from Germany is a place that you might not have considered visiting but needs to be on your travel list. We’re talking about a movement with a large community of vandwellers and some of the most stunning scenery that you have ever seen. We’re talking about Van Life Czech Republic.
Known for its grand castles and a vast array of beers (now we have your attention), the Czech Republic is full of Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance buildings everywhere you look. The capital, Prague, is a famous holiday destination, and a short hike up any hill in this amazing country will greet you with a sea of terracotta rooftops and stunning sunset views.
Today we’re going to find out more about Van Life Czech Republic from two native Van Lifers, Kerri & Steve @eatplayvan. They’re travelling around the world in their Fiat Ducato camper and are excited to share their adventures around The Czech Republic with the Van Clan community. Take it away guys!
Van Life Czech Republic – A Travellers Guide To Living The Van Life
Hello Van Clan! @eatplayvan consists of Keri, Steve and, Karmen. We met while working at a ski resort in southern Vermont. Kerri was a skier and Steve was a snowboarder – they do say that opposites attract! We fell for each other from the get-go and after one year of long-distance dating we packed up our lives and moved to the Czech Republic. We have been living and working at an international boarding school for the past four years. We got Karmen, our van, in Czech three years ago and love her like a child.
Our van is a Fiat Ducato L2H2 from 2009 with 85,000 km in fire red! We wanted to be able to stand up inside and be able to park in a normal parking space. To do this and maximize internal living space we decided that we needed a transverse bed and the only chassis that we found that could comfortably do that for someone 6 feet tall was the Ducato or similar Peugeot and Citroen models. She has a two burner dometic stove, sink, 30-liter Waeco drawer fridge, auxiliary diesel heater, solar power and much more!
What made you decide that Living In A Van was for you, and how are you finding it so far.
Keri was the genius and driving force of our Van Life Czech Republic adventure. We have been saving and planning for the past two years, and now it is a reality. It started when we took a vacation to Japan a couple of years ago. As passionate skiers and snowboarders we had wanted to go to Japan forever, but struggled to afford everything! Keri found a company in Toyko that rents the best camper vans. Like everything else in Japan, we could only afford the basic with nothing fancy. It was a Toyota something and was not really a camper van; it was more like your everyday minivan that had fold down seats. We tossed a mattress over the seats, put curtains on the windows and called it a day! We could not stand, cook, or basically do anything inside for three weeks, but we loved every second of it and dreamed of building our own. In Japan, van life is magical. So many people convert their van and hit the mountains during the winter time. They receive more snow then you can imagine and have super cold temperatures of -20C! As I said, we were hooked and started shopping the web once we returned to Czech.
“Beer is cheaper than water in the Czech Republic!”
Van life Czech Republic could not be going any better. There is definitely a large van life community as we are only 30 minutes away from Germany. Most of the vans we see in Karlovy Vary are German. We are happy that we kept our van very discreet so that not many people know we are sleeping inside until we open the sliding door! We have been using Park4night and always sleeping at spots that we have seen while biking and hiking. We have stayed in the city centre, the mountains, forest and even down by the river! No one has said anything to us about where we park, most people only ask about our dog!
Fuel is pretty comparable to most of Europe, but food and drinks are very reasonable. You can get beers for 1 euro; and then a soup, main and drink for lunch for under 10 euros, even when sitting down at a restaurant. Get this though – if you want to drink water and not beer then you will definitely pay more!! Beer is cheaper than water in CZ! We never bought water for our van, most gas stations would let us fill up our canisters in their bathroom, or we would go to public parks or friends.
How have your lives changed now that you are living off the grid?
“After walking down a maze of stairways, we came to a small counter. There you pay only 400CZK(20$) for all the wine you can drink for one and a half hours. They even give you a bowl of bread and cheese so you can survive the session.”
Tell us about a couple of your favourite places that you’ve been to while on your travels through Van Life Czech Republic and why they are special to you.
“It can, of course, be frustrating trying to find a parking spot, or getting the occasional ticket, but when you get to spend the majority of your time outside doing the things that you love it is all worth it!”
What advice would you like to pass on to the Van Clan community?
Don’t be embarrassed. Growing up I was extremely thin-skinned and would get embarrassed all the time and still do from the simplest of instances. On the road, you don’t have the luxury of being embarrassed. I find myself constantly telling myself it doesn’t matter, they don’t know you, and you will never see them again when I see someone peering in our windows watching me use a wet wipe to clean my armpits!
Looking for the best van life gear around? Check out our product reviews here:
- iKamper EatOut – The only piece of kit for the off grid chef.
- Parrot Anafi – A affordable 4K drone for travel bloggers.
- Scrubba Washbag – Keep your clothes clean on the go.
Written by Seb @vincentvanlife
Photo copyright @eatplayvan