The Girl’s Survival Guide to Van Life

If you need the insider tips to manage all things girl related while travelling in a van – I am here for you! Let me help you embrace the lifestyle of travel to your advantage and true beauty!

If you are a girl, you possibly have a few more apprehensions towards life in a van or on the road! Feeling your best can be challenging when travelling, so I am here to help soothe your fears and get on with enjoying the journey!

Chances are if you are looking to try out life in a van you either:

  • Don’t care about beauty all that much.
  • Have been hoodwinked by Instagram that you can look like a princess and live in a van too.
Van life can be a squeeze when balancing kitchen, living, wardrobe and bathroom all in a small space!

Now before you begin assuming anything, it is possible to clean up and look fabulous whilst living in a van! The reality is, that will not be a constant! From the beginning, if you move into a van you will have to downsize on material possessions! Living in a van implicates being minimalistic. Unless you plan on eating out for every meal – some of that interior space needs to be dedicated to a kitchen! With that in mind, let’s move on to what to pack!


The wardrobe for a girl has so many more options than men! While this is fantastic in the world of fashion, it creates decision chaos when packing for a trip! If you are travelling to mostly cities, it will be appropriate to have more dresses and accessories. Many van travellers, however, are drawn to the outdoor escapes of beaches, mountains and forests. Where no pavement exists, more practical clothing is needed! A lot of people will have a mix of destinations so it’s great to have 1 or 2 clothing options for out in town. Also consider the weather you will encounter, if your trip is covering all seasons ensure you have lots of layers in your options. More clothing that matches together gives you more combinations and variety with a smaller wardrobe.

Ikea hanging wardrobe inserts are great for fitting everything in and keeping organised for a capsule wardrobe! Roll your clothes to fit as much in possible!

So how do you do it? It’s ideal to have enough clothing to last a bit over a week plus some spare underwear (because underwear is small and you will thank yourself when you do need it!) This is a great start for a very little van, where you have to travel extra light! Always have at least 1 super warm coat or pullover so that you don’t have to hide in bed if the weather turns (this can happen just going up in altitude). Tops and bottoms mean you can mix and match but onesies or dresses are great no-think options that you only need put up your hair and a pair of shoes. Plus a dress is easy to throw on after a swim at the beach!

Once you’ve got some outfits, some accessories will help add some extra colours and are usually pretty small (scarves or earrings). With jewellery, try keep it simple as dangly earrings don’t fare too well in an over grown rainforest hike! Useful accessories like clips will keep your hair out of your face at a windy beach and keep you feeling a bit femme at the same time. Functionality is not just for how you set up a van but when you dress too!

Soaps like these are safer to use in the outdoors. I usually wash my hair away from a river still, using a bucket or bowl.


When we are considering your hair – there are hairdressers in most towns! Look up reviews and ask locals (whose hair you like) and this will lead you to safe options. Gyms, pools, recreation facilities and caravan parks can all offer shower facilities to keep your hair shiny – usually for a small price even if you aren’t staying at a caravan park. Just ask first always! Keep in mind you may have to occasionally skip a shower, which is fine (just keep baby wipes and deodorant on hand)! If you don’t mind cleaning up with a river or lake – there are some good biodegradable shampoo options worth checking out.

Minimal make up will have you worrying less about exposing your face to the elements of the outdoors.


If you wear makeup at all, it’s fine to have some on the road – just not practical to have a lot. Keep it to a small bag or box of the basics. If you are waterfall or beach hopping all day – you want to enjoy it. You don’t want to be constantly holding back from a swim because your mascara might run! Waterproof options are the go-to if you can’t manage without them! Living in a van is about flaunting and enjoying your natural beauty! By hiking, swimming, and soaking up the sunshine – this will look after your health and shine out through your skin! That plus eating food as fresh as you can! Picking up some roadside pumpkins for 2 bucks or even day fresh strawberries will support your inner and outer beauty! It’s ok to embrace your natural features and when you do – you won’t feel the need for makeup or cover up!

‘Where is Public Toilet’ Australia, is a phone application that shows you all the options of nearby toilets when you need one close!

Monthly Melodramas

Now for down below! Managing your period! Firstly – always be prepared! Make sure you have pain relief, products, and toilet paper with you because if you are far away from town when a crisis hits – you can cope! If you have a traveling companion, make sure they understand enough to ease up on the hikes if you have a couple of days you just need to take slow! In Australia, as part of public hygiene – toilets are available at no cost all over the country. There is even an app that will show you where the closest toilet is (Where is public toilet)! Free camps do not always have an available toilet so indulge in a caravan park stay if you need. There are many highway rest stops that do have toilets, so while not the most picturesque stay it does make it manageable! The other hot tip is, make sure you sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door if you don’t have a toilet in your van. Less disturbance for your companion and fewer worries for you!

Embrace the road and having fun is the true secret to getting comfy in your skin!

At the end of the day, if you are enjoying yourself, having fun and smiling – this is the ultimate femme secret for feeling beautiful inside and out. Embrace the people you meet on the road, be kind because it is free and learn all you can while you are Queen on the road!

Published by Kiri Borgas

Curiosity has guided me, travel has grown my dreams and the natural world has inspired and excited me. This is how I've become a tiny home lover and van dweller - learning all I can with my fiancé to share a passion for the world around us.

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