Starting your BusLife is such an exciting time. Changing your entire life to travel the world and live on your own schedule is a dream come true. Along with the excitement can also come some worry and questions. It’s important to learn all you can about your bus and how to live your best life in it. Not only do you need to know the ins and outs of your bus, like how to switch out a tire or charge the battery, but you also need to know the laws of the road. These laws include overnight parking wherever you’re traveling. One of the biggest stresses that come along with the BusLife is where to park your bus when you’re not out on the open road. Where will you sleep, and will you be safe? Here are a few tips to ease your mind a little. Once you adjust to your BusLife it’ll get a lot easier and you’ll be a pro at picking the right spots.
Ideally nature is the best route to stick to when it comes to overnight parking. Make sure you’re sticking to public land so you don’t get the dreaded knock at your door in the middle of the night. The Bureau of Land Management and Forest Services offer a bunch of free camping options. The pictures you see of people waking up in the great outdoors with no neighbors are probably staying in a free camping option. You can usually stay for awhile, so don’t worry about only being able to park in your spot for one night.
Look out for signs as you’re driving through, usually if camping isn’t allowed somewhere there will be a sign. If there is a Ranger Station around stop in and ask where the best place to go is, they usually know the most beautiful spots to settle in. Most of the time there isn’t any bathrooms, so be prepared to make your own. If you don’t mind forking out a little cash for the amenities there are also tons of campsites to park your bus.
Helpful App and Website
There are a few different apps and websites that are perfect for tracking down the best bang for your buck. It’s great to get a little break now and then when you don’t always have access to amenities. Find one you like and get in a hot shower, good meal and some WIFI. A favorite website to be used is freecampsites.net. It’s an awesome site that shows you where the best where there is free camping wherever you are. If you discover a free campsite that’s not on their map you can also add it yourself. It’s a community app to help people focus more on traveling stress free than wondering where you’re going to sleep that night. And of course BusLifers.com to connect with your fellow BusLifers on the regular. A favorite app to use to AllStays Camp and Rv app. This app has all types of camping, whether it’s free, paid or overnight parking. It does cost a little to purchase the premium version of the app, but it’s totally worth it.
Overnight City Parking
Another option when you’re in the midst of traveling to your next destination is to find a 24 hour business that won’t mind you parking there overnight. Some might not even notice. It depends on what town you’re in, but it always helps to call ahead to the store and ask if it’s ok to be parked overnight. Most businesses won’t mind at all. If you’re in the U.S. Walmarts Cabela’s are popular options here as there are so many and most Walmarts are 24 hours.
When you call to ask if they mind overnight parkers you should also ask where they would prefer you park. Most of the time it’s better to stick to the back of the lot. A pro to a 24 hour business is the bathroom availability, take advantage of it while you can. Some places like Cabela’s even have a dedicated space to overnight parkers for buses and RVs, make sure to check out what is there.
Whatever you decide for your nightly sleeps just be smart about it. Plan out your day and make sure you’re not searching for somewhere to park overnight when it’s pitch black outside. If you’re in a city research the 24 hour stores and call ahead. Stock up while you’re there and take advantage of the amenities. If you’re surrounded by nature make sure you pick a spot before dark to settle in. Utilize the app and website we mentioned to plan out your next few days. Just being prepared makes the traveling BusLife so much more enjoyable.