Recently Whitney and Kato travelled around New Zealand's North Island in a campervan. Life on the road can sometimes throw the girls a few challenges so Whitney sent us in some of her top tips on how to combat first-world problems and still stay glamorous while out on the road.
We all strive to be the best Van Wife we can, and it's no surprise that at times we can feel a little unappreciated. People think being a Van Wife is some sort of luxury. Well I can tell you, although the hot water system, surround sound, and ample storage space for wine provides somewhat of an opulent lifestyle, the hardships that come with maintaining such standards are far from luxurious. So, in order to distract yourself from the horrors of first world problems, take some advice from a fellow Van Wife. It's sure to make a difference.
- Stay hydrated.
It's really important that you keep a large container of water in one of the storage ares in the van. Aside from the safety aspect of traveling without water, it's also a huge advantage having access to clean, filtered water while traveling on the road. A lot of the time you'll be driving with the windows up and either air-con or heat blaring (for example, when approaching Rotorua), which can really affect your skin. It's a known fact that you should aim to drink around 2L of water a day, and being on holiday is no exception. Kato and I made sure we stayed hydrated everyday to avoid things like headaches, dry skin, and straight out thirst.
- Don't forget to moisturise.
One thing I noticed about NZ is that the elements are a lot more intense than here in Oz. The wind is stronger, the sun is brighter, and the climate is a lot cooler. These three differences are pretty much the recipe for dry skin so my advice to you is to lather up morning and night with a Ph balanced moisturiser like Cetaphil. Stock up before you leave the city as a lot of the best camping spots in NZ are pretty remote, meaning the range available to you of moisturisers or any skincare for that matter is pretty small.
While you're on the road, it's important to remember to get your blood flowing. You'll start to notice the effects of sitting in the driver/passenger seat after a few days. The chairs themselves are super comfortable, but sitting in any position long enough can result in some stiffness. Remember to stretch. A good option for the girls is to download a yoga class to your laptop. It will give you everything you need to get your body moving, only this time you'll be doing it in the open with some of the most stunning backdrops you've ever seen, instead of in a studio.
I will admit, driving from town to town can present some challenges if you have special dietary requirements. My advice here is stock up on foods that nourish your specific needs, but still have a long shelf life. New Zealand is a pretty extraordinary place in that its fresh produce is plentiful. However, if you're lactose intolerant, or just prefer to avoid dairy (like myself) stock up on some long life Soy milk from the supermarket before you leave the city. That goes for any gluten intolerances, allergies and/or supplements. It's better to be prepared and makes everyone a happy camper!
I think it's safe to say I over packed for my Britz trip. So that you can avoid this, let me tell you what you'll need:
- Thongs/Flip Flops/Jandals
- Wind Protector Jacket
- Tracksuit SET (this was absolutely my most worn outfit on the trip)
- ONE pair of jeans
I took so many different options with me - I don't know why, I'm usually a really smart packer - and I wore only things on that list. Of course, make room for a couple of fancy things, you never know who you'll meet and if they'll invite you to their 'millionaires yacht club party', but be practical. At least make sure the heels and LBD can be used in other ways ; )
By Whitney Kaye
Keep in touch with Whitney Kaye on her Instagram account @WhitneyKaye_