I’ve pitched tents, stayed in hostels, slept at sea, checked in to 5-star resorts, but never in my life have I slept in a mobile van. Cabana Vans is a new way to travel, where you bring your hotel on the go. The company launched in Los Angeles today and is now available for bookings! It’s probably one of the coolest, most unique travel experiences I’ve ever done and I highly recommend everyone to try this once in their life. With COVID19, travel has looked much different than years before and for those seeking adventure in a safe way, you have to try camper vans! Also from now till February 1, you can get a 25% off for booking with code “MEEKA25”.
Cabana Vans isn’t just your average sprinter van, this car comes fully equipped as a mobile hotel with a wide range of amenities to make road tripping more comfortable, reliable, and convenient. Below is a list of all the amenities we loved and used.
- Shower with hot water AND great shampoo and conditioner from Beekman 1802.
- Bathroom – You save so much time on the road when you don’t have to pull over and pee every couple of hours.
- Heater – For someone who’s always cold, having a warm heater on all night took camping to a whole new level of comfort
- Queen size bed – We brought our own bed sheets and pillow to really make it feel like home.
- Netflix and wifi (although wifi doesn’t work very well)
- Sink and vanity drawer – Where you can brush your teeth in the morning or clean your dishes after meals.
- Small fridge- So nice being able to cook real meals by refrigerating produce
- Pull out stove with pots and pans – This was my favorite feature of the van. I loved being able to pull over anywhere and cook a meal. We were able to stop at some epic view points while enjoying home cooked meals.
- Mini Closet and luggage storage – We were able to hang all our jackets and store away two carry on suitcases.
- Gear garage- Stash away all your camping and outdoor equipment in the backside of the van so it doesn’t get the inside dirty where you sleep.
- Outdoor tent and camping chairs – In case you want to pull over anywhere and enjoy the outdoors, they provide you with an outdoor setup to do so.
- Pull out table inside the van- A compact dining table if you will, to enjoy meals or work on your laptop inside
- Outdoor shower hookup – We didn’t use this amenity, but it sounds useful after a day of outdoor excursions.
One of my favorite parts about traveling in a camper van is that it leaves room for spontaneity. The ability to make and change plans on the fly without cancelling reservations allows you to go off the beaten path and have unplanned adventures. Don’t get me wrong, I love having an itinerary, but some of the best adventures are the ones unintentional. We booked the van for a total of 4 days and 3 nights and below is what we did and where we wandered to.
Where to Stay
BLM’s – I know what you’re thinking, Black Lives Matter? In camper jargon, BLM’s stand for Bureau of Land Management, meaning public land reserved for camping. You can basically pull up in the middle of nowhere far from people and civilization and set up camp. Many of these facilities come with amenities such as fire pits, public restrooms and RV hookups. These campgrounds are a hidden gem and something not really talked about in the app “Allstays” but much better than RV parks because they’re more secluded and right under the stars. Finding your perfect spot can be a little challenging so be sure to give yourself enough time to find your parking spot and get there before dark as spots get taken before night! It took us over an hour to find our spot the first night and it was only minutes before the sun went down, we felt so lucky!
Zion National Park (Utah)
With the park spanning over 229 square miles, there is a lot you can see. To get to Zion, you need to take a shuttle and shuttle passes go on sale every morning at 10 am here . We hopped online minutes before 10am and were able to snag same day passes. Zion offers tons of different hiking trails and different levels for hikers. I really wanted to do the strenuous hike of the Narrows and unfortunately we didn’t come prepared and weren’t able to do it. No one had told us that you need water resistant clothing, shoes and a stick to do this hike. Since we went in November the water was FREEZING, I bought regular hiking shoes and still wasn’t able to have good grip going through the river. I also couldn’t feel my feet after 30 seconds the water was so cold. Depending on the time of year you go, you should definitely be prepared with what you need to bring for this hike. Since we couldn’t fully commit to the narrows we did the Emerald Pools trail hike which was about 5 miles and still so beautiful. The best part about Zion is there is no wrong path, there are lots of different terrains and rock formations to see on whatever hike you choose to go with.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes (Utah)
A happy surprise. While passing through Utah on our way to Lake Powell I stumbled upon a sign that said “Pink Sand Dunes” and went about 20 miles off path to discover the most beautiful sand dunes. Definitely worth checking out.
Lake Powell (Arizona)
Favorite day of the trip hands down. We rented a boat from Waheap Marina Boat Rentals for the day and we were the only ones on the entire lake! Lake Powell is really special and I’ve never seen anything like it, its a MUST SEE. Something the rental company doesn’t tell you is that on top of the boat fee you also need to fuel up yourself which costs over $100.
Horseshoe Bend (Arizona)
Located about 5 miles from Lake Powell, Horseshoe bend is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. It’s crazy to think how these rock formations have been here for over 6 million years, definitely worth checking out. To get there, you just pull up into a parking lot and hike about 2 miles round trip. The hike is easy and I did it in my vans sneakers.
What to Pack
When on the road, comfort comes top of mind. Be sure to pack cozy staples, warm layers and fun swimsuits.
Shop My Looks
What we ate
Driving through state lines and passing through a lot of rural areas, most times you’ll just see a gas station or fast food joint for hours before you come across something decent. To avoid food we weren’t sure about about and being skeptical to dine out during Covid, we prepared the majority of our meals in our van and I loved it this way. We made everything from egg sandwiches, to fresh guacamole, to tuna melts and chickpea pasta. The one time we did eat out was after Zion in the town of Springdale and the food was really good. With Zion being a world tourist attraction bringing millions of people to the national park, the town of Springdale has a decent variety of restaurants to choose from.
If you enjoyed reading this blog post and are intersted in booking a Cabana Van for your next adventure and have additional questions, please leave me a comment below!