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Pet first aid: Pet care on the road

Pet First Aid: Pet Care on the Road

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

For all you animal lovers out there, we think you’ll agree that there is nothing quite like traveling the globe in a VW Bus with your furry friend on board.

It’s heart-warming to see all the lovely photos you share as part of the Buslifers community with your pets, exploring, adventuring, and, most importantly, having fun!

Traveling on the road with your pet is a wonderful experience but as all responsible pet owners know, caring for an animal is not always plain sailing. When you least expect it, your pet could become sick or injured, and it’s best to be prepared.

We have compiled the ultimate guide to pet care on the road for anyone out there thinking about hopping in their VW Bus with their pet. Have a read and, you’ll be riding off into the sunset in no time, for an adventure like no other while caring for your pet on the road.

Before you leave: Vet care abroad and pet insurance 

Don’t leave your pet care on the road to chance. Ensuring you have pet insurance in place and a plan for locating a veterinary surgery is vital before you, and your pet set off on your Buslifer adventure.  

Get started by checking out your current pet insurance plan to see if your pet is covered when traveling abroad. You might be able to include this as part of your policy. Or, if you need to purchase some additional insurance for your pet, it’s always worth shopping around for the best deal. For the worldwide leader in pet insurance, visit Petplan.

We would also highly recommend using a price comparison site and here are just a few sites to get you started.

UK pet insurance price comparison

Australian pet insurance price comparison

Columbian pet insurance price comparison

US pet insurance price comparison

If you’ve spent some time mapping out your road trip, it’s worth researching in advance recommended veterinary surgeries in the areas you are visiting.

For extra peace of mind, to ensure your pet’s health and happiness throughout your Buslife adventure, you may also want to consider signing up for an online vet advice service. There’s a wide range of affordable options, including sites such as PetCoachPawSquad, and JustAnswer.

 Onboard your VW Bus: Essential pet first aid kit

Just as you would for yourself, carrying a first aid kit designed for animals is the best way to ensure you are ready for any eventually while traveling with your pet.

The Blue Cross recommend including the following essentials in your pet first aid kit:

Other items that may come in useful include:

Pet first aid kits are readily available online, and you’ll find a wide range of affordable options, from all-in-one kits to compact travel packs. Some of our favorites including this Wild Barkers Cat and Dog First Aid Kit and this mini travel version.

On the road: Checking your pet for symptoms of an illness or injury

Pet owners know when something’s not quite right with their fluffy friend. But it’s not always so simple to work out what’s causing their discomfort.

Spotting symptoms of illness or injury early in your pet could prevent their condition from worsening and save you a lot of worries. Getting your pet to a vet sooner, if needed, could also save you some serious cash when it comes to costly vet bills!

Here are some typical symptoms to keep an eye out for and help you with pet care on the road.

  • Sickness & Diarrhoea
  • Refusing to eat
  • Increased tiredness
  • Swollen gums
  • Excessive scratching & flaking skin
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • Excessive drinking
  • Frequent or difficulty urinating

If you notice your pet experiencing any of these symptoms, they should be monitored. If they persist for longer than 24 hours, contact a vet

When your pet has been injured, they may also display one or more of these symptoms:

  • Howling or growling
  • Signs of aggression
  • Excessive licking
  • Lack of mobility
  • Restlessness and changes in their usual eating and sleeping patterns
  • Sudden trembling
  • Increased panting

On the road: Treating your pet for an injury 

Hopefully, nothing bad will ever happen to your much-loved furry friend. However, if your pet is injured while you’re on the road, here are a few easy-to-follow handling tips.

  1. Don’t assume your pet will never try to bite or scratch you. If your pet has been injured, they could lash out due to pain or fear.
  2. Calmly examine your pet to establish whether their injury is something you can treat yourself or if you need to take them to a vet.
  3. If you need to transport your pet, you may want to wrap them in a towel and ensure they are kept in a confined space to avoid the risk of further injury.

If your pet’s injury is minor, how you treat them will depend on their injury. We would recommend familiarising yourself with an essential pet first aid guide and keeping a copy onboard your VW Bus in case of an emergency. This free booklet can also be downloaded via the RSPCA.  

What to do: Lost and stray pets

Finding a lost pet or a stray can be a distressing experience, particularly if you are on the road in an unfamiliar country. One thing to bear in mind is that there are countries worldwide where stray dogs and cats are prevalent. However, these simple tips could help you reunite a lost pet with its owner or help a stray in need.

Lost pets

  • Is the animal wearing a collar? If yes, they are likely to be someone’s pet, and if there is an identity tag, great! You should have a phone number to ring. If not, check the vicinity to see if anyone can ask who may know the pet’s owner. Failing this, locate the nearest vets or animal warden.
  • Many countries have sites dedicated to helping reunite owners with their lost pets. For example, LostFoundPets is the US national lost and found pet database, while PetsReunited helps owners in the UK. When trying to find the best site for the country you are visiting, search keywords, including ‘lost pet database,’ ‘missing pet,’ and include the relevant country name.

Strays

  • If you encounter a stray dog or cat in a different country, although it is tempting to pet and feed them, this isn’t advised. Primarily because most will not have been vaccinated and may carry diseases, you will also encourage the animal to beg for scraps.  
  • There are animal charities around the world that support stray cats and dogs. If you find an animal that you believe to be suffering, you could look to contact them. For example, Animal Lefkada rescues animals in need on the Greek Island of Lefkada.
  • You can help support stray animals in the country you are traveling to by donating or volunteering with a recognized animal charity.

Top buys: Keep your pet happy and healthy on the road 

We Buslifers know how vital handy, portable gadgets are for life on the road. That’s why we’ve compiled a small selection of additional first aid essentials to help you with pet care on the road.

Wound care – An antimicrobial spray that will help to keep wounds clean and heal quickly.

Ear cleaner – An easy-to-use cleaning solution that helps reduce ear wax build-up and reduce the risk of infection.  

Waterproof dog boots – Help protect your pet’s paws and allow wounds to heal quickly without infection.

Teeth cleaner – Easy to apply dental gel helps break down plaque, ensuring your pet’s oral hygiene on your travels. 

Cooling pet vest – Keep your pet cool and avoid heatstroke with this washable jacket.

Flea and worming treatment – Stock up on flea and worming treatment to keep your pet covered throughout your trip.  

We hope our guide to pet care on the road has been helpful. If you want even more tips on traveling with your pet, you will want to read our article, Bringing Your Dog on the road.

If you’re looking for plenty more content about life on the road, why not have a browse of our other stories? We have written about helpful topics, including ‘How to Stay Hygienic on the Road’ and the ‘Top 12 Travel Essentials’.

A Christmas gift list for BusLifers

A Christmas Gift List for Buslifers

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

If your loved one is a Buslifer, we bet you’ll have heard all about the importance of lightweight gadgets and endless space-saving tips. This is precisely why choosing the perfect Christmas gift for a Buslifer can sometimes be a little tricky…

The good news is your present hunt is finally over! We’ve put in the hours compiling a Christmas gift list for Buslifers for some of the very best gift ideas for your loved one.

Read on to discover some pretty snazzy gift recommendations and some hot tips for delivering to Buslifers while they’re on the road.

Are you a Buslifer? Welcome to the club! You will also want to read this very festive Christmas article we wrote about Christmas On The Road: What You Can And Can’t Do.

Our top ultimate Christmas gift list for Buslifers

For tech masters

Power bankThis is probably one of the most useful gadgets any Buslifer can have on the road. This reasonably priced power bank from Poweradd has great reviews and can charge most devices from phones to tablets.

Mini projectorWho says you can’t enjoy a movie on the big screen while traveling? This portable projector from Artlii connects to your phone and can be charged by a power bank.

Drone cameraThis is one of the best drones out there and a valuable asset for anyone who wants to post on social media or become a youtuber. What’s even better is that it’s foldable for Buslifers who are short on space.  

 

For the sustainably conscious

Natural soap barsThe sustainable brand Ethique Soap has created this great selection of ideal travel bars for the sustainably conscious Buslifer.

Gift a treeHelp to plant more trees when you gift one with Treedom! The ideal green Christmas gift, choose from different species and countries too.

Zero waste gift boxThe ideal starter kit for Buslifers looking to live a sustainable life. Featuring beeswax food wraps, a mesh shopping bag, and much more.

Foldable solar panelEfficiency and portability combined. This folding solar panel features USB charging technology and is compatible with solar generators.

 

For budding chefs                

Hand blenderAn absolute must-have compact kitchen gadget for all Buslifers. The Braun MultiQuick is a handy blender, mixer, and whisk, making it the ideal companion for cooking fabulous recipes on board a VW Bus.

Recipe cardsOne of the best bits about traveling is sampling plenty of tasty treats. Which is why these recipe cards and storage box are ideal for those Buslifers who love experimenting with local ingredients in their VW Bus kitchen.

Spiralizer –  With a selection of different blades, foodies can create culinary delights from veggie curly fries and chips in no time. This is great for perking up a salad or making raw vegan spaghetti! 

 

For bookworms

Drives of a LifetimeThe 2nd edition of the National Geographic Drives of a Lifetime is newly released, featuring 500 of the world’s most breathtaking drives. The perfect book for those who are on the hunt for some travel inspiration this Christmas.

Spiritual PlacesWritten by travel journalist Sarah Baxter, this is a beautiful book of some of the world’s most spiritual destinations. A soothing collection that we would all love to experience.

Vanlife DiariesThis beautiful book packed with breathtaking photography is the perfect feel-good read that celebrates the Vanlife and Buslife community.

The VW Bus History of a PassionA concise history for all the hardcore Buslifers out there who live and breathe their VW Bus.

 

Stocking fillers

Travel mapIdeal for Buslifers with the travel bug. A travel map, they can scratch off the destinations they visit as they go.

VW Bus SocksNo Christmas stocking is complete without socks, and with these VW Bus socks, you can’t go wrong.

Driving glassesThese polarized sunglasses are the must-have VW Bus driving companion for all Buslifers. Helping to reduce sun glare and making driving at night safer.   

 

The creative’s guide to homemade Buslifer Christmas gifts

We all know how wonderful it is to receive a personal, homemade gift. So, if you’re a dab hand when it comes to crafts, why not consider making a little something to surprise your Buslifer.

The ideas are endless but here is just a small selection of some homemade gifts with how-to guides to help you create them in no time.

 

Knitted hand warmersThese are a must for the cold winter months. Download the

free pattern via the link and order your yarn in a range of colors too.

DreamcatcherA beautiful addition to any VW Bus, and who knew they were so easy to make!?

Patchwork quiltA truly personal gift, and with this easy-to-follow tutorial, even beginners to quilting will master this craft.

Christmas cards – Send your Buslifer a festive greetings card they will want to keep forever.

Scented candle These scented candles will help your loved one feel at home. Even if they are halfway around the world.

Macrame keychainNo Buslifer should be without one of these to adorn their precious VW Bus keys.

Photo magnetsA cute and inexpensive personalized gift to surround your Buslifer with their loved ones this Christmas.

VW PotholderWhat VW Bus owner doesn’t want their very own knitted version?

BuntingDesign and create your own bunting that will brighten up any VW Bus.

Travel journal  – This tutorial to make a tea-stained journal is great fun. You will also be creating the most unique travel journal out there. 

How and when to deliver gifts to Buslifers on the road

When it comes to getting your Christmas gift to a Buslifer in time for the big day, we say, send it early!

You will need to check specific ‘last Christmas posting dates’ for the country you live in. But to give you an idea, if you are posting from the UK, Royal Mail states that standard international packages need to be sent as early as the 4th of December.  If you are posting from the US, The United States Postal Service lists the 7th December for their priority mail express international service for some countries.*

*These dates are relevant for the year 2020.

Having a parcel delivered to someone living life on the road is easier than you think! One of the easiest and most secure ways to get your Christmas gift to your No.1 Buslifer is to use the service poste restante (general delivery). How it works is that you send your parcel to a post office in a particular location, and they hold it until the recipient can collect it.

To make things even easier, Wikipedia has a helpful entry that lists details of the poste restante services in countries worldwide. Check it out here. 

We do hope that this Christmas gift list for Buslifers has put you in a festive mood! If you’re looking for even more tips to bring some cheer into your VW Bus this Christmas, take a look at our story How To Decorate Your VW Bus For The Christmas Holidays.

Reduce your waste on the road

How To Reduce Your Waste On The Road

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

For those of us who love adventure, living on the road in a VW Bus is an opportunity. It’s a chance to escape the humdrum of everyday life. However, this doesn’t make us exempt from living a more sustainable lifestyle. A big part of the Buslifers dream is feeling closer to nature. However, with that, there is a responsibility when it comes to how to reduce your waste on the road. Today 99% of everything we purchase is disposed of within six months, and over two billion tons of waste is produced worldwide every year.

With this shocking statistic in mind, it emphasizes that individually, we are tiny cogs in the wheel. However, imagine the significant difference Buslifers could make if we all strive towards living a low-waste life on the road.

Here are our four simple steps for how to reduce your waste on the road.

No To Single-Use

Avoiding single-use items is a pretty self-explanatory waste reduction tip. However, when we start to incorporate reusable products in our lives, it doesn’t take long to discover how much of what we use is disposable.

Carrier bags are an obvious example. Most of us are guilty of having reached for one whilst picking up essentials at the store. However, did you know that the inventor of the plastic carrier bag never intended for them to be single-use? It’s sad to think of plastic bags clogging up our planet, especially when it’s so simple to stop their invasion. A foldable shopping bag is ideal for keeping onboard your VW Bus, as are mesh produce bags for trips to a local market.

Other single-use culprits that you will be familiar with include, plastic dinnerware and straws. As well as cotton buds, face masks, takeaway coffee cups and sanitary products. The good news is that there are plenty of reusable alternatives available on the market, including these VW Bus enamel mugs that we love!

If you’re looking at ways to incorporate reusable products into your everyday Buslife, you will also want to check out our article on how to stay hygienic on the road.

Recycle & Repurpose

When you become a Buslifer, one thing you quickly discover is how to make do and mend.

Recycling your waste is your quickest and easiest place to get started and you could even consider composting your food waste with this compact folding food waste bin. Disposing of your recycling may require some prior planning, but most campsites do offer disposal facilities.

Repurposing is another excellent way to ensure everything you purchase enjoys a second life. Storage is always a talking point for Buslifers, so why not try turning an old shampoo bottle into a phone charger holder. You can also repurpose old clothes that would otherwise end up in the bin when you turn them into cleaning rags.

Avoid Packaging

If you’re striving to enjoy a low-waste life on the road, then like us, unnecessary packaging is going to make your blood boil.

Buying produce without packaging won’t always be possible, depending on where you travel to. However, choosing products that aren’t wrapped in plastic and switching to those that are zero-impact, such as Dr. Bronners can help us make a big difference in the long run.

Whilst on the road, look out for local farmers markets. Eco stores that offer unpackaged food and larger stores that stock fresh loose produce are great too. Don’t forget to take the reusable shopping bags we mentioned earlier!

Make & Grow

We know space is tight as a Buslifer. But, there are some easy ways to cut down on your waste by making and growing produce onboard your VW Bus.

Health and beauty products are an ideal place to start with many of the ingredients being store cupboard staples and easily attainable. If you’re also an avid forager, why not try some of the simple recipes in this bestseller, The Hedgerow Apothecary, that will help you blend your own plant-based natural remedies wherever you’re staying.

A vegetable garden is out of the question as a Buslifer, but fresh produce with zero food miles is possible! Keep it small by growing your own selection of herbs and micro veg on the road. You can also put supermarket food cartons through their paces when you reuse them as growing containers.

Are you feeling fired up for a fight against the enormous environmental impact waste has? The first step as a Buslifer is to commit to reduce your waste on the road. There is no doubt that it takes time to implement a sustainable routine, but by instilling habits that are kinder to the planet, the more positive our impact.

Looking for more top Buslifer tips? Check out our article featuring the Top 12 Travel Essentials.

Live a sustainable VW life

Live a Sustainable VW Buslife

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

With more of us striving towards an environmentally friendly lifestyle, a question for many Buslifers is… How sustainable is my VW Bus? Now, driving across the globe is going to hurt our planet. However, in comparison to living a luxurious lifestyle in an average home, your chance of achieving a smaller carbon footprint is easily within reach. It’s time to live a sustainable VW Buslife!

Here are just a few ways you can work towards enjoying the Buslifer dream, while living sustainably, on the road.

Choose Sustainable Materials

If you’re taking the plunge and doing some DIY to your VW Bus, be sure to consider the materials you use. If it’s wood you’re after, visit a salvage yard and for soft furnishings, see what you can pick up second hand. By repurposing where possible, you’re helping to keep items out of landfill. It’s also a thrifty way to give your VW Bus a quirky look. For more renovation tips and tricks, click here.

VW bus interior

Go Solar

Looking to go off-grid in your VW Bus? You’re going to want to get some solar panels fitted. There are plenty of options out there to suit your requirements. Choose from installing panels on the roof to portable, fold-out panels. Solar panels will allow you to power personal electronics. But for power-hungry appliances such as fridges, it’s worth connecting to a power bank that will act as a generator or adding a leisure battery, which will store the energy from the solar panels. In addition to the leisure battery, you will need an inverter to plug in the fridge. There is an initial investment to consider when switching to solar power. However, it’s cost-effective in the long run with the added benefit of avoiding non-renewable energy.

Save Water

Without the luxury of running water, being cautious about over-consumption is something that’s on the mind of all VW Bus owners. However, saving water is easier said than done, and it’s worth taking some time to devise a water-saving system. It could be as simple as having a bottle to save any remaining water when you do the dishes. Or go one step further and install a manual water pump.

Being mindful about water consumption is incredibly important when you’re on the road, but so is staying clean and healthy. If you’re new to the Buslife, read our advice for staying hygienic while on the road.

Live The Slow Life

As we mentioned, the most significant element that is going to let a VW Bus owner down when it comes to sustainability is fuel consumption. Get used to living life in the slow lane to save fuel and plan your route to avoid any long detours. Also, rather than travelling far and wide, sit back and enjoy the view for just that bit longer. For a happy and positive wellbeing, it’s all about slow living.

If you find yourself staying an extra night somewhere, check out our article on how to find an overnight parking spot.

VW bus drivers seat

Be A Conscious Consumer

Although it’s great to try and buy less, there are times when we need to get our wallets out. Price is an essential element when making any purchase. However, instead of prioritising the best deals, be a conscious consumer and consider the longevity of a product, the materials used and a brands ethics. For a little extra help when it comes to shopping ethically, check out the rankings of some of the world’s leading brands via The Good Shopping Guide.

Leave No Trace 

Leaving no trace is a crucial Buslife motto. Remember to dispose of waste correctly and leave areas free of rubbish. Respect wildlife and leave any artefacts that you find for others to enjoy too. Visit the Center for Outdoor Ethics for more information on protecting our natural environments.

By following these simple rules, you and your beloved VW Bus are well on your way to becoming eco-warriors.

If you’d like to do even more to help our planet in your quest to live a sustainable VW Buslife, you could also consider offsetting your carbon footprint for every tonne of CO2 you emit while driving. Other lifestyle changes include shopping locally (which most of us do anyway while living on the road) and reducing the number of animal products you consume by making the switch to a vegetarian/vegan diet.

 

Are You Ready For A Sustainable Buslife?

Yes you are! We all are and being sustainable isn’t about being perfect, but taking the steps we can with the tools we have. Do you have any other sustainability tips for Buslife you would include here? Let us know in the comments.

Buslife Adventures: Top Places To Visit In South America

This story was kindly contributed by our Buslifers Ambassadors, @vidasrodantes. Read more about them on their ambassador profile. Below the English version, there is also a Spanish version. Scroll down and enjoy! 

Hi! We are Carolina and César, from Argentina. At the beginning of 2017, we decided to make a change in our lives – to get out of the comfort zone. We bought our VW Bus, converted it and in October of that same year we hit the road of America with the idea of ​​reaching Alaska. Since then, we have been living a nomadic life for more than two and a half years and we have already traveled much of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico. Touring Central America had to wait, because while in Ecuador we found out that we were going to have a baby! We decided to cross directly from Colombia to Mexico, which was where our daughter Lupe was born.

Today due to the global situation, we are back in Argentina, together with the family and enjoying being parents. This time helps us to think, plan, evaluate options of how, and in what way our journey will continue. We are definitely going to continue, although now with one more member.

Below you will find our top places we have visited in the past two and half years of travel. We have selected the following places taking into account how they impacted us, what feelings they generated in us, the experiences we lived, and the memories that we have. The places are listed in the order of how we experienced them on our journey.

1. Perito Moreno Glacier – Santa Cruz – Argentina

Located within a National Park 80km from the city of El Calafate, it is one of the few glaciers that is still growing. The park has very well located walkways that allow you to appreciate the glacier, which ranges between 40 and 70 meters high. Approximately every 4 years a unique phenomenon occurs, the glacier advances until it hits the ground and in this way separates the two arms of Lake Argentino. Such is the pressure exerted by the water that it ends up forming the famous “ice bridge”, which culminates in its spectacular breaking. Anyway, there are ice wall breaks throughout the year. The Park opens from 8am to 8pm, it is not possible to spend the night inside.

 

Perito Moreno Glacier – Image By: @vidasrodantes

2. El Chaltén – Santa Cruz – Argentina

This small and picturesque town, surrounded by forests, lakes and small glaciers, is the national capital of trekking. It has all the options you can imagine related to the mountain and its main attraction is Mount Fitz Roy, which can be reached by walking to its base. All accesses to the trails are free

TIP: At the base of the hill there is a free campsite, we recommend going up early to see the sunrise since the first rays of the sun illuminate Mount Fitz Roy.

 

3. Austral Highway – Chile

Located in the South of Chile, this route is approximately 1200km, running from the city of Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins. Most of the route is asphalt but there are also dirt roads. On the road you can find a variety of rivers, waterfalls, lakes, glaciers and wild animals. Some of the highlights are: General Carrera Lake, confluence of the Baker and Neff rivers, Puerto Tranquilo (marble caverns), Villa Cerro Castillo, and Hanging Ventisquero (glacier). You can park practically anywhere, for free, and you will find yourself surrounded by pure nature.

TIP: the best time to visit it is between December and April.

 

Austral Highway, Chile – Image By: @vidasrodantes

4. Serranía del Hornocal – Jujuy – Argentina

This great mountain range is located 25km from the city of Humahuaca at an altitude of 4700m above sea level. It has the peculiarity of having “layers” of different shades, which gave it the name “Hill of 14 colors”. You can get to the viewpoint by vehicle, by dirt road and with some sectors of precipice.

TIP: arrive around sunset when the sun illuminates the whole mountain range and you can appreciate the colors well.

 

Serranía del Hornocal, Argentina – Image By: @vidasrodantes

5. Salar de Uyuni – Bolivia

It is the largest salt desert in the world located about 20kms from the city of Uyuni. It is free to access and you can sleep anywhere within the salt flat itself. Caution is recommended, as there are no established roads and it is very easy to get disoriented. Between January and February, it is the rainy season so the salt flat becomes a unique mirror where notion of the horizon is lost. The negative aspect is that you cannot see the floor, which leads to tripping over wells and the salty water damages the body of the vehicle (in any case, in the city of Uyuni they offer you a washing and disinfection service).

TIP: do you like night photography? We recommend going on days where there is no moon and you will find the best sky and milky way to photograph.

 

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – Image By: @vidasrodantes

6. Laguna Parón – Peru

This is one of the most beautiful lagoons, turquoise in color and surrounded by snow-capped peaks in the Peruvian Andes. It’s about two hours along a rather rugged dirt road from the quiet town of Caraz. You have to pay an entrance fee of $5 and you almost get to the edge of the road with the vehicle. It is possible to sleep for free in the vehicle or tent, otherwise there is the option of staying in a humble mountain refuge for approximately $3. The lagoon is 4200m above sea level. There is a viewpoint you can climb to and a path that surrounds the entire lagoon. Also, the locals can take you by boat around the lagoon for $20.

TIP: Spend a night there to get up at sunrise and contemplate the snow-capped peaks illuminated by the sun. Excursions are not abundant in this paradise so most of the time you can take advantage of the place in solitude.

 

Laguna Parón, Peru – Image By: @vidasrodantes

7. Duck Canyon – Peru

It is one of the routes that you can take to return from the Andes area to the Peruvian coast, or vice versa. It is one of the most beautiful scenic roads in Peru but also the most dangerous, since it runs along the canyon that reaches, at times, up to 60m deep. On the way, the route passes through more than 35 mountain tunnels, in which you must honk the horn before crossing since the route is very narrow and 2 vehicles cannot circulate at the same time. Beautiful landscapes and adrenaline at the same time, to enjoy and make funny videos (always with caution).

8. Ecuadorian East – Ecuador

We really loved, the route of the East or Ecuadorian jungle. You really get to experience the rainforest combined with traditions of native peoples. Like all of Ecuador, with routes in excellent condition, we did the road that runs from Cuenca, passing through Macas, Puyo and Tena to the viewpoint of the Reventador volcano, which is currently active. On the way you come across a dense and humid jungle full of vegetation, rivers, waterfalls, some wild animals and locals with very good vibes.

TIP: Within the Cayambe-Coca National Park you can park and spend the night, from there there is a path to the San Rafael waterfall, the largest in Ecuador. In addition, from this same point you can see the Reventador volcano.

 

In the Ecuadorian Jungle – Image By: @vidasrodantes

9. Cocora Valley- Salento – Colombia

Beautiful nature and jungle environment located in the Colombian coffee axis. This valley is know for its special palm trees, which can reach up to 60 meters in height. Unique in the world and in danger of extinction, since the animals that are in the valley feed on the seeds of the trees. Access is free, although you can find some walks inside the farms where they charge entrance as they are private. There are few areas on the street where you can park and stay overnight for free. Anyway there are inns and lodgings to stay. It is a very popular attraction so at certain times of the year you can meet many tourists. It is located very close to the town of Salento, very picturesque for its beautiful and colorful facades.

 

Cocora Valley, Colombia – Image By: @vidasrodantes

Bonus Spot: San Cristobal de las Casas – Mexico

This is one of the many “magical towns” that exist throughout Mexico. It has remarkable colonial style, narrow streets and picturesque little houses. With a cool, pleasant climate and where respect and practice of the traditional and the ancestral is still breathed. But also, for us it has something even more special, our daughter Lupe was born here, she came to enlighten us and fill us with energy and a lot of love. In this city we shared our first months of her life, together getting to know each other and learning to be a mother, father and daughter.

 

Carolina, César and Lupe – Image By: @vidasrodantes

Spanish version/ versión en español

Hola! Somos Carolina y César, de Argentina. A principios del año 2017 decidimos hacer un cambio en nuestras vidas, salir de la zona de confort. Es así como compramos nuestra kombi VW, la equipamos en Octubre de ese mismo año salimos a las rutas de América con la idea de llegar hasta Alaska. Llevamos más de 2 años y medio con esta vida nómade y ya hemos recorrido gran parte de Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Perú, Ecuador, Colombia y México. Nos quedó pendiente recorrer Centroamérica, y por qué? Porque en Ecuador nos enteramos que estábamos embarazados y decidimos cruzar desde Colombia hacia México directamente, que fue el lugar en donde nació nuestra hija Lupe. 

Hoy debido a la situación mundialmente conocida, estamos de regreso en Argentina, junto con la familia y disfrutando de la bebé. Este tiempo nos sirve para pensar, planificar, evaluar opciones de cómo y de qué manera nuestro viaje va a continuar, porque sí vamos a continuar, aunque ahora con una integrante más.  

Hemos seleccionado los siguientes lugares teniendo en cuenta cómo impactaron en nosotros, qué sentimientos nos generaronlas experiencias que vivimos, los recuerdos que nos quedaron y en el orden en cómo fue nuestro recorrido con la kombi. 

 

1. Glaciar Perito Moreno – Santa Cruz – Argentina 

Ubicado dentro de un Parque Nacional a 80km de la ciudad de El Calafate, es uno de los pocos glaciares que aún sigue creciendo. El parque cuenta con pasarelas muy bien ubicadas que permite apreciar el glaciar, el cual oscila entre 40 y 70 mts de altura. Aproximadamente cada 4 años se produce un fenómeno único, el glaciar avanza hasta llegar a chocar con la tierra y de esta manera separa los dos brazos del Lago Argentino. Es tal la presión que ejerce el agua que se termina formando el famoso “puente de hielo”, el cual culmina con su espectacular rompimiento. De todas maneras hay rompimientos de paredes de hielo durante todo el año. El Parque abre de 8am hasta 8pm, no está permitido pernoctar dentro del mismo. 

 

Glaciar Perito Moreno, Argentina – Imagen De: @vidasrodantes

 

2. El Chaltén – Santa Cruz – Argentina 

Es un pequeño y pintoresco pueblo, rodeado de bosques, lagos, pequeños glaciares y a su vez, es la capital nacional del trekking. Cuenta con todas las opciones que puedan imaginar relacionadas con la montaña y su principal atracción es el cerro Fitz Roy, al cual se puede llegar caminando hasta su base. Todos los accesos a los senderos son gratuitos. 

TIP: en la base del cerro hay un camping gratis, recomendamos subir temprano para ver el amanecer ya que los primeros rayos del sol iluminan el Fitz Roy. 

 

3. Carretera Austral – Chile 

Ubicada en el sur de Chile, tiene un total de aproximadamente 1200kms desde la ciudad de Puerto Montt hasta Villa O’HigginsLa mayor parte del recorrido es de asfalto pero también se transitan caminos de tierra. En la carretera se pueden encontrar variedad ríos, cascadas, lagos, glaciares y animales silvestres. Algunos de los puntos destacados son: lago General Carrera, confluencia de los ríos Baker y Neff, Puerto Tranquilo (cavernas de mármol), Villa Cerro Castillo, Ventisquero colgante (glaciar). Se puede parquear prácticamente en cualquier lado, gratis, y te vas a encontrar rodeado de naturaleza pura.

TIP: la mejor época para recorrerla es entre Diciembre y Abril 

 

Carretera Austral, Chile – Imagen De: @vidasrodantes

4. Serranía del Hornocal – Jujuy – Argentina 

Esta gran sierra está ubicada a 25km de la ciudad de Humahuaca a una altura de 4700msnm, cuenta con la particularidad de poseer “capas” de distintas tonalidades, lo que le dio el nombre de “Cerro de los 14 colores”. Se puede llegar hasta el mirador en vehículo, por camino de tierra y con algunos sectores de precipicio.

TIP: llegar para el atardecer cuando el sol ilumina toda la sierra y se pueden apreciar bien los colores. 

 

5. Salar de Uyuni – Bolivia 

Es el desierto de sal más grande del mundo ubicado a unos 20kms de la ciudad de Uyuni. Es de acceso gratuito y se puede dormir en cualquier lado dentro del mismo salar. Se recomienda andar con precaución ya que no hay carreteras establecidas y es muy fácil desorientarse. Entre enero y febrero es temporada de lluvias por lo que el salar se convierte en un espejo único en donde se pierde noción del horizonte; el aspecto negativo es que no se divisa el piso, lo que lleva a tropezar con pozos y el agua salada perjudica la carrocería del vehículo (de todas maneras, en la ciudad de Uyuni te ofrecen servicio de lavado y desinfección).

TIP: te gusta la fotografía nocturna? Recomendamos ir en los días donde no hay luna y se encontrarán con el mejor cielo y vía láctea para fotografiar. 

 

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia – Imagen De: @vidasrodantes

6. Laguna Parón – Perú  

Es una de las lagunas más bellas, de color turquesa y rodeado de picos nevados que hay en la zona de los Andes peruanos. Está aproximadamente a dos horas a lo largo de un camino de tierra bastante escabroso desde la tranquila ciudad de Caraz. Hay que pagar una entrada de 5 dólares y se llega con el vehículo hasta casi la orilla de la laguna. Se puede dormir gratis en el vehículo o carpa, caso contrario está la opción de hospedarse en un humilde refugio de montaña por aproximadamente 3 dólares. La laguna se encuentra a 4200msnm. Tiene un mirador al cual se puede subir por un camino que rodea toda la laguna. También están los lugareños que te lleva en bote recorriendo la laguna por 20 dólares.

TIP: Pasar una noche ahí para levantarte al amanecer y contemplar los picos nevados iluminados por el sol.  Las excursiones no abundan en este paraíso por lo que la mayoría de las veces puedes aprovechar el lugar en soledad.  

 

7. Cañón del Pato – Perú 

Es unos de larutas que puedes tomar para regresar desde la zona de los Andes hacia la costa peruana, o viceversa. Es uno de los caminos escénicos más bellos de Perú pero también más peligrosos, ya que se recorre bordeando el cañón que llega por momentos hasta 60m de profundidad. En el camino atraviesas más de 35 túneles de montaña, en los cuales debes tocar la bocina antes de cruzar ya que la ruta es muy estrecha y no alcanzan a circular 2 vehículos al mismo tiempo. Paisajes bellos y adrenalina al mismo tiempo, para disfrutar y hacer videos divertidos (siempre con precaución). 

 

8. Oriente Ecuatoriano – Ecuador 

La ruta del Oriente o selva ecuatoriana nos encantó. Realmente  se respira la selva tropical combinado con tradiciones de pueblos originarios. Como todo Ecuador, con rutas en excelentes condiciones,  hicimos el camino que recorre desde Cuenca, pasando por Macas, Puyo y Tena hasta el mirador del volcán Reventador, actualmente en actividad. En el camino te encuentras con una densa y húmeda selva repleta de vegetación, ríos, cascadas, algunos animales silvestres y lugareños con muy buena onda. 

TIP: Dentro del Parque Nacional Cayambe-Coca se puede estacionar y pasar la noche, desde allí hay un sendero hacia la cascada San Rafael, la más grande de Ecuador. Además, desde este mismo punto se observa el volcán Reventador.  

 

Volcán Reventador, Ecuador – Imagen De: @vidasrodantes

 

9. Valle de Cocora- Salento – Colombia

Hermosa extensión natural y selvática ubicada en el eje cafetero colombiano, con la particularidad que está repleta de árboles de Palma, las cuales pueden llegar hasta los 60mts de alturaÚnicas en el mundo y en peligro de extinción ya que los animales que se encuentran en las bases se alimentan de las semillas de las mismasEl acceso es gratis, aunque se pueden encontrar algunas caminatas dentro de las fincas en donde cobran entrada ya que son privadas. Hay pocas zonas en la calle donde se puede estacionar y pasar la noche gratis. De todas maneras hay posadas y hospedajes donde alojarse. 

Es una atracción muy popular por lo que en ciertas épocas del año te puedes encontrar con muchos turistas. Está ubicada muy cerca del pueblo de Salento, muy pintoresco por sus bellas y coloridas fachadas.  

Bonus Track: San Cristobal de las Casas – México  

Es uno de los tantos “pueblos mágicos” que existen en todo México. Con estilo colonial, calles estrechas y casitas pintorescas. De clima fresco, agradable y donde aún se respira el respeto y la práctica de lo tradicional y lo ancestral. Pero además, para nosotros tiene algo más especial aún, aquí nació nuestra hija Lupe, llegó para iluminarnos y llenarnos de energía y mucho amor. En esta ciudad compartimos sus primeros meses de vida, juntos conociéndonos y aprendiendo a ser madre, padre e hija. 

 

header image of VW Bus parked up during quarantine.

Buslife Off The Road – How Our Buslife Ambassadors Are Spending Quarantine

2020 has made some huge and unexpected changes to life and especially for Buslife. From canceled travel plans to setting up long-term stays in unexpected places, the global pandemic has had a huge impact on those of us yearning to get out into the world and explore.

Used to the free-spiritedness of being able to pick up and move from one day to the next, quarantine has taught all of us about stillness and the value of bringing life down to a slower pace. Our days are now filled with daydreams of future routes, renovations to improve our VW Buses, and building community as we connect with fellow Buslifers.

Recently, we caught up with our Buslifers Ambassadors to find out how they’re spending the quarantine. We chatted about plans post-pandemic and gathered advice for those wanting to live their own VW Buslife.

Read on to find out what they had to say…

@vanlife_volver_a_lo_simple_ have taken to opportunity to strip their VW Bus out and renovate it. Photo by: @vanlife_volver_a_lo_simple_

@odiseaporamerica

How has your Buslife changed during the pandemic?

At first it was difficult since we couldn’t find a safe place to park our little house on wheels. We were kicked out of parking spots by police on several occasions. They didn’t understand that the Kombi is our home. 

Luckily, we got to the right place eventually and a neighbor allowed us to stay on a piece of their property in Costa Rica. The spot has access to various facilities and above all, has given us a calm and safe space to pass the quarantine…and it was by the sea! 

How are you bringing Buslife into your lockdown life?

In our case, we’ve been able to continue to carry on with our life on the bus normally, only without moving! It makes us very anxious to not be on the road, but we know that worldwide it’s a serious matter and we must remain safe in one place for the time being. 

Where are you now and how has it been living the Buslife during these times?

We’re currently in Costa Rica and our idea is to continue traveling when it’s possible. Leaving our trip was never an option, so we’re grateful to have some peace of mind knowing that the pandemic found us in a good place where everything is quite controlled.

Do you have any plans for after the pandemic?

We want to go back to Panama for a few months and get to know Bocas del Toro and then resume our journey North to Alaska. 

Do you have any advice for other Buslifers out there?

Our advice for those who continue to wait for the ideal moment is: dare to travel. We hope this pandemic has been a wake-up call for people to realize that the ideal time is NOW. The future is unpredictable and there’s nothing worse than regretting something for having not done it. 

@van.wanderers

How has your Buslife changed during the pandemic?

We were lucky enough to be able to spend these past few months in our native town with our families. However, while the initial months were fairly easy to pass in lockdown (after all we’re already used to spending a lot of time together in a tight space), as summer arrived, it’s become more difficult to deal with the many travel restrictions. 

Where are you now and how has it been living the Buslife during these times?

We started traveling a little on and off as the lockdown lifted, usually choosing more remote locations where there weren’t many people. In the context of COVID-19, living and traveling with a van has some big advantages as you don’t need to use accommodation and can find secluded places to stay where social distancing isn’t a problem. 

Do you have any plans for after the pandemic?

We have so many plans! However, it’s difficult to believe that there will ever be such a clear cut time as “after the pandemic.” The situation will clearly continue for the remainder of this year (and who knows, maybe next year too) so it’s important to adapt and learn to take care of ourselves and others. What we hope to be able to do soon, is travel more and be able to cross the borders. 

Do you have any advice for other Buslifers out there?

Stay safe is the most important advice we could give! Make sure to take all the necessary precautions, stay low if you have to and use this time to work on your van and your plans. Just make the best of it!

@oxenteevamosdekombi

How has your Buslife changed during the pandemic?

In Argentina travel is totally stopped due to the strict quarantine. Right now there’s no possibility of being on the road and only authorized people like health, safety and first-aid professionals are allowed to be driving. For now, we’re seeing the world from our window and making a thousand plans for future trips. 

How are you bringing Buslife into your lockdown life?

We continue to interact a lot with the Buslife lifestyle on social networks and through documentaries on the internet. It’s a way of life that really interests us and we feel that Buslife is in our blood. 

Do you have any plans for after the pandemic?

As we mentioned before, we’ve stopped due to the quarantine, but have many plans and routes drawn for when it’s safe to travel again. Its been hard living 24-hours away from home, as we’re concerned for our family and friends, but we’re rooting for the world to make a quick recovery with a definitive vaccine. We have hope to get back to Buslife soon!

@latinakombi

How has your Buslife changed during the pandemic?

We were hoping to travel again with our new family member, but when the pandemic started, we decided to remodel the interior of the Kombi instead. Currently we’re not able to resume traveling just yet and have cancelled our plans as COVID-19 continues to evolve in Latin America.

This little girl was supposed to be going on a Buslife adventure, but will have to wait until the pandemic is over. Photo by: @latinakombi

How are you bringing Buslife into your lockdown life?

We’re living in an apartment, so there’s very little Buslife right now. However, we see a lot of photos and videos online and plan to see what we can do when all of this is over.

Do you have any plans for after the pandemic?

We want to travel again! We don’t know where yet, but we would really like to visit Eastern Europe and the United States. Before the pandemic, we didn’t have the chance to travel Utah, Arizona and other states with awesome national parks.

Do you have any advice for other Buslifers out there?

We’re going to have that freedom again that we enjoy so much. That feeling of being on the road and not knowing what can happen, who you will know, what place you will visit next, and where you will sleep. We’re all in the same place right now but everything will be solved soon! 

5 Fun Ways To Live The BusLife During Lockdown

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Quarantine. The unexpected, but rapidly implemented regulation that has radically shifted our pace of life. It is a necessary step, to make sure our medical institutions are not overwhelmed with sick patients from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it has also stripped us of our freedom of movement, something BusLifers thrive on.

We cannot change this right now, but we can change what we make of our situation. Other traits of a BusLifer are their resilience to change, creativity and their powerful ability to have fun! The BusLifers team have been thinking up their own creative ways to keep entertained during quarantine and keep the essence of BusLife as well. Here are our top five ways to live the BusLife during lockdown!

Puzzle-Powered Presence

The feeling of presence is something that everyone seeks. That’s part of living the BusLife. It helps slow down the pace of life and open up opportunities to be in the moment.

Do you know what else can power that feeling of presence? PUZZLES! In a meditative state you can be drawn into the cryptic collage of puzzle pieces, taking your time to savour each satisfying click of the piece into place.

Our favorite ones are of course VW Bus themed. For those with plenty of patience this 3000 piece puzzle or this 2000 piece puzzle will keep you entertained and present for several hours. For the kids, try this 162 piece 3D puzzle instead.

If you still desire the feeling of presence, but want a bit more creative freedom, why not try this VW Bus themed coloring book!

Top Tip: Puzzles make great wall art when they are finished, why not frame it and hang it up!

Build The Bus

Okay, Okay, this might sound like a big undertaking, but how about on a miniature scale? Ever wanted to build you own VW Bus from scratch? It’s the dream!

We really love this LEGO VW Bus build, but who doesn’t live LEGO right?

If you want to build a more realistic VW Bus model, there is this beautiful version from Revell which requires building, gluing and painting. If that sounds like too much work, this quick build version from Airfix is a good option.

Not everyone has the knack or patience for building and much prefer the thrills of a good race. That’s why we love this radio controlled VW Bus from Maisto. Get two and go head-to-head in a VW Bus race!

Top Tip: Use furniture and everyday items to build yourself the ultimate race course!

The Ultimate Lockdown Adventure

Who needs to travel far away to some exotic place, when there is plenty of adventure to be had in the garden? Get the old tent out of a garage, pitch it wherever you can and let your imagination run free. Make a full day of it and explore your garden like you’ve never done before by zooming in on the smallest details. The bug safari is an all time favorite!

This really is a great way to keep the kids entertained and you will love it too! If you have a child who really feels most at home in the VW Bus, try this themed tent to keep them happy!

Top Tip: While a garden is nice, it’s an unnecessary luxury. Even the living room can make a great campsite and there are still plenty of bugs to be found in the barren wastelands under the sofa! 

The BusLifers Library Selection

Paper has a certain absorptive quality, especially in the form of a book. In this case, it absorbs your attention in exchange for knowledge, entertainment and inspiration. Best of all, there are so many VW Bus books out there!

If you are into the history of the VW Bus we recommend you read this book, or this book. For the most wild and outrageous VW Bus ideas we recommend this book instead.

When it comes to culture this book by Foster Huntington and this book by Kathleen Morton are not to be missed.

Top Tip: By purchasing the last two books, you are also supporting other BusLifers to carry on their adventures. 

Inspiration For The First Post-Quarantine Trip

No Quarantine entertainment list would be complete without a couple of awesome movies. Of course, we’ve selected three movies where out favorite character is the lead role. Yes, the VW Bus!

In this movie, follow four famous bands on a 3000 mile tour across America in 5 classic VW Buses. Expect some great additions to your next road trip playlist here.

Little Miss Sunshine, is a cozy classic about a families cross-country road trip in a bright yellow VW Bus. With multiple Oscar awards, you know this is not to be missed.

Last but not least, Damon Ristau encompasses the entire history of the VW Bus in this quirky and thoroughly enjoyable documentary!

Top Tip: If you need more movies after this one, we will shortly be creating a more extensive list of our top VW Bus related movies. Stay Tuned!

By: Nathen Fitchen
July 09, 2020

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