Shanti Hodges is the founder and regular contributor to Hike it Baby – a top site for families looking to take parenting on the trail. When it comes to experiencing the outdoors with kids, Shanti is the expert. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that she wanted to experience campervanning with her 5-year-old son.
Of course, the first place many people turn to when they’re looking to rent an RV is Outdoorsy, and Shanti was no exception. “I knew about Outdoorsy from being an Airbnb and Hipcamp person,” Shanti tells us. “I’m always looking for fun ways to travel, and it was nice to have a van that was comfy and easy to pick up from our location. There are so many options nationwide.”
The mother-and-son duo adored the rig they picked out, and Shanti had nothing but good things to say about it. “It was cheap, so that was a plus,” she says. “Also, it was sort of vintage and had a lot of personal touches (wood handle doors, wood paneling). It was definitely funky, but that was a choice we made versus getting a fancy Sprinter-type van. We were going for more of an experience in the van.”
“We went to The Van Life App gathering in New Cuyama, CA,” Ms. Hodges recounts. “This was a gathering of about 200 vanlifers. This was their launch party for the new app they created to help connect vanlifers with resources and each other. I couldn’t believe how fun it was to be a vanlifer for a weekend with a 5-year-old. I didn’t think I would fit in, but it was great.”
The two travelers had an absolute blast connecting with others and found joy in the simple things. In fact, Shanti’s best memory of the trip couldn’t be any simpler. “I’ll always remember my son and I sitting on the roof of the van eating breakfast (Cheerios) and watching the sunrise with the supermoon covering the mountains in front of us,” she shares.
“I would totally recommend Outdoorsy! Great resource, great community, great vibe. It has the same type of quality person-to-person connection Airbnb offers, but on wheels,” Shanti says. “It’s a cool way to travel when you don’t want to hotel it.”
You can follow all of Hodge’s adventures at Hiking My Way or on Instagram (@hikingmyway).
All about Shanti Hodges
Favorite morning beverage:
“Hands down coffee.”
Favorite campsite meal:
“Mountain House Breakfast Skillet if going easy. Pancakes if I’m really cooking.”
Music you like to play on the radio:
Best game to play on the road or at your campsite:
“Tag—easy, it requires no gear. Also we travel with LEGOs and lots of drawing things.”
“Spring and fall”
Last photo you took:
“Last night in a camp spot in the Dixie National Forest near Leeds, UT.”
What’s your Outdoorsy spirit animal:
If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go?
“New Zealand. But in the U.S., I would love to see New Mexico more.”