It is no secret that life on the road can be less than glamorous. I have lost count of the grim and grimy showers I have endured in the quest for instagram perfect hair and more importantly of course just basic hygiene. Which isn’t all awful by no means we’ve had some amazing experiences like when we camped by Europes largest lake in Estrela. Nothing more than a bucket required. It was a very liberating experience. Anyway getting to the point I basically want to explain how I cope in some of the not so pleasant places. If I could give anyone who wants to do this one piece of advice it would be to take luxury toiletries. The expensive kind that you get for Christmas and hoard away, too special to use before work, you know the ones. Because what I am trying to say is these little things that take up little room in the van are what transport you to another place even when you are surrounded by mould and a few curly whirlies which are definitely not yours.
For me, I couldn’t be without my rituals set I received for Christmas. It is the xx set and not only do I use the reeds in the van to keep a continued scent which makes us feel like we’ve stepped into a spa but I indulge in the green tea to detox of an evening and most importantly the body products! My sun kissed (burnt) skin needs a little help so slathering on the sugar scrub buffs me to within an inch of my life and slathering on the foaming gel afterwards is like being cocooned in a cloud. I am immediately transported to another place and it doesn’t matter where you are. The body creme again helps my weary skin from the hours of sun and finishes off the whole experience perfectly.
Let’s not forget about hair, being a girl – not that boys can’t join in on this too – I couldn’t cope without dry shampoo but face it you can only go so far with that tin before there is no saving you from the grease monster. Choosing the right hair products to take away isn’t like at home, you know how hard or soft the water is and how your hair will behave when washed. The system professional range is my go to. Carefully paired products that give the best results and actually deliver, mean they are genuinely my saviour when I am showering on the road. The rebalancing shampoo smells not only devine but helps give my hair moisture after sun bleached days on the beach. The conditioning mask is probably my favourite item of all my toiletries, there is something indulgent about a hair mask or any kind of mask for that matter isn’t there? My hair is so soft and detangled in 5 minutes, I couldn’t think of anything worse than ragging a tangle teaser through my locks after a hot shower in an even hotter country – sounds like sweat city! Finally for a boost I use this hydrating mist, perfect post shower but equally as amazing prior to a beach day.
My final item isn’t so much a toiletry item but is essential in making my home on wheels just that, more of a home. My deep sleep pillow spray is a god send in a bottle. No matter where we park up, a campsite, a beautiful beach or a bit of a rubbish roadside this helps take away from the place and drift into relaxation and inevitably a good night sleep which is essential for life on the road. Another pro tip for vanlife I must admit is ear plugs and an eye mask. I couldn’t cope without mine!
So that is it my first little slice of advice which I hope helps in some way. I mean I am not saying you have to have these things or luxury items but for me these tiny touches are what make me feel better and more like me again.