Anybody who spends time in a van or caravan will know, there are always times when it’s raining, you’re not looking out at beautiful views, you’re simply just tired or it’s so darn cold you wouldn’t even consider sitting outside!
In these instances we all need some form of entertainment. So here are a few things we keep with us in the van for those cold and rainy days.
We always have music playing in the van, whether were just driving along listening to the radio or were sat in the back relaxing before bed. Music is the staple requirement for any road trip, car journey and general life for us! I mean what could be better than having an intense karaoke battle on a long journey? And for the record, I beat Tom every single time..
This is not a game for the oldies, no matter how much it’s been stereotyped! Playing cards has been proven to be good for enhancing concentration, improving problem solving skills and generally keeping the mind active. We quite often sit in the van ad play a game of hearts or rummy. There are absolutely thousands of games you can teach yourself to play so just because you don’t like one game, please don’t think there isn’t one out there that you’ll enjoy. The internet is a wonderful tool which can teach you lots of things, so next time you’re having a quiet night, why not learn a new card game? Also, why not add some healthy competition in there and play for a stake, whether its 20ps or beers – whatever suits you its sure to liven the game up a bit!
We have a collection of mini travel games that we keep in the van, for example; pub quiz cards, connect 4, trivial pursuit, odd one out, checkers. You can find these quite easily in most toy shops, but also on Amazon. They don’t take up any room at all are and quite cheap to buy making them the perfect gift for vanlifers.
We played ‘Pub Quiz’ over Christmas, myself and Tom were pretty much neck and neck with the scores when he asked me… ‘What is the largest man made construction in the world?’
I instantly panicked and spat out the San Francisco Bridge. Now, I have never seen this bridge but I know America is big, so this bridge must be big right?
Nope! I couldn’t be more wrong and worst of all? About 10 seconds after, whilst listening to Tom hysterically laughing at my stupidity, I instantly realised it was The Great Wall of China!! Durhhhh!
So these games aren’t just fun, they’re also educational! Well, so long as you can remember the answers!
I’m not a huge reader anymore, which is a shame and I would love to be able to do more of it but I just struggle to find the time in a world of working full time, conforming to the social norm and trying to spend as much time away as possible! Rainy days in the van do make the perfect time to catch up with reading, nothing to serious and something usually related to vanlife and other people experiences.
We love sitting around our fire pit on an evening, watching the world go by. You don’t need to be anywhere with spectacular views, just somewhere you won’t cause any disturbance. The fire keeps you warm and it’s quite therapeutic to watch. When I was looking for Christmas presents, I found some colour changing fire powder. We haven’t used it yet but I’m excited too! It’s supposed to change the flames to blues, greens, pinks and reds!
Laptop (Inverter needed)
We have just recently invested in an Inverter for the van. Admittedly, it works best when the engine is running, so this is when we charge laptops and use any heated items as it doesn’t drain the battery. Sometimes, we will spend an evening catching up with blogging, looking through photos or watching a DVD. However much we love being outdoors and away from computer screens it is nice to just stop and take a breather.
I made a scrap book for Tom for his birthday back in October, documenting all of the cool paces we have been, weekend by weekend! Admittedly, it needs updating but there’s no reason why we can’t do this in the van so long as we have out pictures and other collected memorabilia with us. It only requires some cutting, sticking and colouring in. This is a great idea for anyone who is even slightly creative – I give it a good go but I don’t think I’m the most artistic woman, I have lots of learn!
This is something The Yellow One has. Tom fitted it last year. Basically, the front two seats swivel round to face the back. It really seems to open up the space in the back, but it’s also good if you want to fit a couple more people in the van or for playing games which require a table and opponents to be sitting opposite each other.
Finally – the main one! Have a conversation! Sit and put the world to rights, discuss absolutely anything that comes to your mind. We quite often find we end up engaging in conversations we wouldn’t normally have throughout the week because were too busy or our minds haven’t quite switched off from work. This is the time where most of our great ideas are formed. Places we want to go, things we want to see, how we plan on making these things happen for us, timescales, money. We spend so much time writing emails, reading blogs, sending whats apps that it’s easy to forget how to have a genuine conversation.