Published On: Wed, Oct 4th, 2023

Man saves £1,000 a month travelling Europe in a van to avoid UK cost of living crisis | Personal Finance | Finance

One man is sharing how he successfully saved £1,000 a month by travelling Europe in a converted van.

Willem Main, 28, from Warwickshire, opted to abandon his nine-to-five job for this peculiar way of living.

Inspired by his hiking trips to Greece, the young man used his £14,000 in savings to purchase a van for his travels – and to avoid his home country’s ongoing cost of living crisis.

After doing this, Mr Main converted the inside of the vehicle to make it an ideal place to live for six months.

Over the course of his travels, the Rugby native visited 22 countries and upon his return to the UK decided to make his new life permanent.

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He sold his old converted van for a new one and chose to quit his job in car manufacturing in May 2023.

Some 77 days and £16,000 later, Mr Main had converted his new vehicle into a luxurious home which he continues to live.

According to the traveller, he has been able to save a lot of money after making this life-changing decision.

Speaking to, he explained: “On the road, I think I’m about £800 to £1,000 a month better off.

“Back in the UK, I was paying more than £1,300 in bills alone with my mortgage, council tax, gas and electric, [plus] if you take into account everything else you use at home.

“I rent out my home but the mortgage and rent cancel each other out. The van has a full off-grid set-up; I don’t use campsites and have unlimited electricity through the way I’ve structured the system.

“I do think it [van life] helps with the cost of living – your bills are more varied because food and fuel are massive variants, but overall yes [it helps].”

In order to live a comfortable life, Mr Main believes he needs £1,200 a month but earns enough money through his content creation ventures.

So far, he has visited Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Romania, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Albania, Slovenia, and the Netherlands.

Mr Main added: “I’m planning on staying in the van for at least two summers and one winter in Europe. I really want to get the van over to Georgia and Azerbaijan to see the mountains and live a remote off-grid life for maybe a month.

“There are also ideas of getting it to Morocco, just to say I’ve taken it to Africa, and even maybe over to Iran. My next goal is to go to South America, all being well after this trip.

“If I ever move back into a house, I am going to downsize to a two-bedroom and just Airbnb the place out whilst I’m on adventures.”

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