Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
The open road. A hand-drawn map to someplace awesome. A co-pilot with a killer playlist and bottomless snacks. Welcome to van life. Camping and road tripping via campervan is seeing a resurgence in popularity, as more people skip clunky, gas-guzzling RVs but still want to sleep somewhere more comfortable than a tent. The best part? You don’t have to buy one for a taste of the lifestyle, thanks to a proliferation of quality campervan outfitters across the country.
Vintage Surfari Wagons, Costa Mesa, California
Rent a restored vintage Volkswagen camper van from Vintage Surfari Wagons and you’ll be road tripping in style. Pick up your van at their Orange County headquarters and take a tour of the Pacific coast. The vans, with names like Van Morrison and Mad Maxx, are available from $129 a day and come loaded with a coffee press and cooking supplies.
Roadtrek Rental, Western U.S.
Perhaps you’re looking for a more upscale van experience. Check out Roadtrek Rentals, which rents Mercedes Roadtrek Sprinter Vans for $3,450 per week with pickup spots in over a dozen locations, from San Francisco to Salt Lake City to Portland, Oregon. Vans come with solar panels to power appliances without being plugged in, plus a hot shower, king bed, flat-screen TV, and optional concierge service to plan your road-trip itinerary and make you feel like you’re in a nice hotel—wherever you want that hotel to be.
Lost Campers, California and Utah
Considerably less expensive than other campervan rentals, Lost Campers prides itself on affordable, discrete (read: no loud paint jobs on the car’s exterior) camper vans with pick-up locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Salt Lake City. Their stock of customized Dodge Grand Caravan, Ford E350, or Chrysler Town & Country vans, starting at around $50 a day, come stocked with a full-size bed, camp table and chairs, outdoor kitchen setup (including propane stove, ice chest, and cooking supplies), and 24-hour roadside assistance.
Westfalia Rentals, Canada and Washington
Westfalia Rentals has over 35 vans in their rental fleet, including Eurovans, 1980s-era Vanagons, and even VWs with Subaru engines for more power uphill. You can pick up your van starting as low as $109 a day in Victoria or Vancouver, BC, Calgary, Alberta, or Seattle, Washington, and head to points unknown.
Adventure Travel Sports Rentals, Golden, Colorado
Want a beefier rig for more off-road travel? Rent a Sportsmobile ($350 a day), a Tiger Bengal ($350 a day), or a 4Runner Trail Edition ($200 a day) from Adventure Travel Sports Rentals, a Colorado-based off-road van rental company. The vans come with pop-top beds, full kitchens, and plenty of clearance for rugged mountain or desert roads.
Dragonfly Vans, Missoula, Montana
Dragonfly Vans has 10 refurbished Westfalia camper vans available from $215 a day for road trips starting in Missoula, Montana. Owned by a professional VW mechanic, Dragonfly’s vans come equipped with all the camping and sleeping gear you’ll need. Opt for an upgrade for a standalone grill, a propane campfire in a can, or a bike rack.