Vanlife: Travelling the world with your own vehicle


Vanlife: Tips and tricks for travelling the world with your own vehicle. Whether communication, navigation, places to stay, visas or other vanlife topics. Our experiences and recommendations are summarized here.


Just put the phone away and stay offline. Certainly the goal of many travelers. Still; if you want to share your trip with friends and families at home, it needs internet resp. Data volume. Especially if you want to maintain a blog or vlog, an efficient and cost-effective solution is crucial. To avoid going to the Internet café, the following options came into question for us.


Foreign SIM/prepaid card:

This way you get phone credit and data packages for surfing. It is best to buy them directly at the airport, the selection of suppliers is the largest there. The costs vary depending on the country. While you can get the packages relatively inexpensively in Asia and Southern Europe, rates are going up in the US/CAN. The easiest way is to plug the card into aNetgear-Adapter.This way you always have your portable WiFi with you. A very practical and cost-effective way to be mobile at all times.

Telecom provider from home

Shortly before we left, we came across an excellent offer from Wingo. Swisscom launched the brand a few years ago. With “Wingo International” you are ideally equipped for your trip. The subscription offers unlimited calling in Switzerland and in over 40 countries worldwide – including Europe, the USA and Canada. You also get unlimited data volume in over 40 countries. Once you’ve used 40GB of data per month, you’ll continue surfing at a reduced speed of 200kbit/s.

Thanks to a special offer – which has been placed several times so far – we pay CHF 49.00 per month. We regularly exceed the 40 GB, so far we do not feel any limitations in terms of reduced speed. The porting worked flawlessly and the service leaves nothing to be desired. The best thing about the subscription is that Wingo guarantees a lifelong contract; so there is no cancellation on your part. If you often travel abroad, don’t think too long about switching to Wingo: Sign up for a Wingo subscription

Overnight places

How do we find our free standing spaces? The easiest way, of course, is through tips from other travelers. So you can benefit from experiences such as: Where can you fill up water? Where are disposal options? But unfortunately, this is not always possible.

Apps Park4Night & iOverlander

Apps like “Park4Night” or “iOverlander” are excellent choices. We use Park4Night in particular, as the selection is much larger. The timeliness is also surprising. Current comments can be found practically at every place. This is very helpful in terms of police controls or theft risk. Definitely recommended is the membership as a premium customer (22€/year). Thus, there are significantly more filters available: Water supply, wifi access, laundry service, regional activities and much more. Another helpful feature is that the pitches can be displayed on a planned route. Just send the GPX data to Google Maps and off you go.

Google Maps

Using the satellite images from Google Maps, we often look for our places. Simply enter the region, analyze the area using the satellite images and drive off on the off chance. But beware, this can also end up on a private property, which are often not clearly visible. In addition, it is also worthwhile to simply take a side road. Most often, a bulge can be found. The less romantic variants are parking lots of shopping centers, industrial areas or even highway rest areas. With the above-mentioned variants, we never had to switch to such places.



Who does not wish to set up camp in the most beautiful places in total solitude? Be it on the coast, in the mountains, on a lake or river. Yet, the issue with freestanding is not an easy one. Different laws apply in each country. Often it also changes from region to region. We would like to share our experiences with you on a country-specific basis. This article is not a reflection of the law, but a report of our experience.

Principle of free standing

The principle is the same regardless of the country: where there is no camping ban sign, “parking” is allowed. Camping and parking are two different issues. Parking means that as long as the vehicle is within the designated limits (time, lines, etc.), it should not be a problem. However, it must not have any appearance of camping, which means; no awning, no chairs or extended stairs. The interior is privacy, so cooking and sleeping is also allowed.


In Spain, free standing is not officially allowed, but is tolerated in many areas. Especially in the low season it is tolerated. After about three months in Spain, we can say that we can free-stand almost everywhere. On campsites we are only sporadically. If, then in each case with the background of having a proper “home base”, which is more difficult with freestanding. We rarely have problems in the mountains and in the hinterland. On beaches it is often more difficult, here we are often greeted by a “camping ban”. However, in the off-season, the police do not take this so strictly either. On some such beaches they do not interrupt. Often we can “officially” stay at beaches. Police patrols, but says nothing against the campers. Definitely a no-go is right on the beach, they don’t like to see that. It is also not allowed in natural parks and national parks. All in all, we have very good experiences with free standing in Spain. If, we are just sent away. We never received a fine and we did not hear so from other travelers.

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