Big Little Guides

How to not murder your partner (when living on the road)

10 tips to help you make great memories with your fellow vanlifer, and still love them at the end of it.

May 6, 2024

Living in a campervan with another person requires organisation, communication, and hell of a lot of compromise to create a harmonious living environment. (Yes, it’s possible! And we’re about to share how.)

Firstly, five things we can’t be without when sharing a van (these will save your sanity):

  1. Headphones
  2. Eye mask
  3. Packing cubes
  4. Deodorant
  5. Your own pillow (no sharing, guys)

The Big Little Campers team has come up with 10 tried and tested tips to help you make unforgettable memories with your vanlife partner and still love them at the end of it. Because no one wants to end up in jail.

  1. Maximise space: Utilise vertical space with shelves and packing cubes to store belongings. Foldable furniture is non-negotiable.
  2. Establish boundaries: Agree and clearly define personal zones within the van, and respect each other's space.
  3. Communicate: Discuss schedules, responsibilities, and expectations openly and honestly at the start, to avoid flying off the handle when you’ve washed the dishes for the hundredth time.
  4. Be organised: Keep the living area tidy and clutter-free, and develop a system for chores to ensure you’re contributing equally.
  5. Creature comforts: Keep eye masks and headphones at the ready. This helps you feel like you’ve got your own space. There’s nothing worse than wanting to sleep, with your van buddy still reading till the early hours.
  6. Mutual respect: Accommodate each other's habits, preferences, and lifestyle choices. From time to time there might just have to be fish bait in the freezer.
  7. Outdoor time: Spend time outdoors to avoid feeling confined. Use the outdoor table and chairs to extend the feeling and function of space.
  8. Conflict resolution: Address conflicts calmly and constructively and as they happen, so you don’t have a big blow up.
  9. Personal time: Schedule alone time when needed. Respecting each other's need for solitude is crucial. Taking yourself off on a walk occasionally gives you and your vanlife buddy some space.
  10. Enjoy the journey: Embrace the adventure and the unique experiences that come with living in a small space with someone you care about. It's an opportunity to strengthen your bond and create lasting memories.

Check out our other how to guides for suggestions to keep you both sane (and safe) on your campervan adventures.

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