In backyards, garages and workshops, young people are using their holiday savings to do up second hand vans so they can get out and travel.
- Young people with plans for overseas travel are turning to van life as an alternative during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Intrastate travel is being described as a welcome break from being stuck at home
- A Newcastle van conversion business has been inundated with work orders
Lake Macquarie electrician and cabinet maker Cam Johnson, who operates a small business converting vans, said he had been inundated with work over the past few weeks.
“I think everyone had the same idea,” Mr Johnson said.
“They had money saved up to go overseas and since that’s no longer an option, they’re putting that money into doing up a van instead.
“It’s been pretty hectic — the number of people who drop in has just doubled and I’m actually booked out until February next year.”
Mr Johnson said he often saw young couples in their 20s walking through the door of his business, but many retirees were also interested.
“Travelling in a van is a lot more raw,” Mr Johnson said.
Honeymooners on the road
Lambton resident Josh Simpson, 29, has spent countless hours fitting out his van.
“There’s been a lot of time staring at four walls, like everyone else,” Mr Simpson said.
He said travelling the state had been a welcome break from being stuck at home.
“My fiancee and I were supposed to get married last weekend, and were supposed to be in Fiji as of a couple of days from now,” Mr Simpson said.
“So that’s been a bit of a doozy.”
‘We wanted to give it a go’
Newcastle local Kiahni Abell, 23, also had her travel plans cancelled this year.
Ms Abell was set to travel to Thailand with her partner but the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to that.
Instead the pair were focussing on hitting the road once their van was complete.
“A few people we knew had a van so we wanted to give it a go,” Ms Abell said.
“We’ve even had a few friends ask if they could borrow our van.