Homeoffice in a camper – Portugal

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Svenja spent the last year in Lisbon for her masters studies. In the summer she started an internship at FreewayCamper, for which she partly worked out of her own van. Prior to her internship, she frequently spent several days in her van working, studying, and occasionally surfing.

Vanoffice - tell me, how did it come about and how is it going?

During my studies, I had multiple online lectures - as a result of the Corona pandemic. Since Portugal is a beautiful country,I hoped in my van and drove to the beach for my online lea tires. Let’s be honest, after a while in a tiny Lisbon apartment you start to feel cooped up and claustrophobic. My camper has a fold-out table inside, so I could work unimpeded from anywhere regardless of the forecast. All you need is a good place to stand, a sim card with unlimited data and enough battery.

What do you think is the perfect camper for home office and why?

The perfect camper for the home office is one that has the ability to charge the laptop. So either one with a secondary battery and solar, or the ability to plug into shore power. If happen to be on a campsite, you can get ready for meetings normally in the morning if you don't have a bathroom on board, which can come in handy. It also depends a bit on your preferences, whether you like to travel alone or with someone; want to be very flexible or rather have more options in the camper; whether you want to take a smaller camper or a bigger one. I was always on the road in a small van, alone that is perfectly suitable and extremely practical, specifically because you can also avoid many height restrictions and narrow streets aren’t a dealbreaker. The only drawback to my small camper is space, traveling with two people can quickly lead to a cramped space. Sometimes you just need your space too, which can be problematic if the weather isn’t in your favor.

What does a typical workday in the camper look like for you?

After getting up and brushing my teeth, I have coffee and breakfast. Depending on where I am, I then take a quick dip in the ocean, lake, or shower to wake up. Then I rearrange everything so that I have a relaxed workplace (indoors or outdoors) and begin working on my laptop. During my lunch break, I find something to eat at a nearby cafe or make myself something quick in the camper while enjoying the outdoors if possible. A quick walk is usually even easier from the home office in the camper because you're out in nature anyway! After work I take advantage of what the location has to offer. I also like to go surfing or swimming, however laundry or filling up my water tanks also requires time and effort. A lot of everyday things take more time in the camper because you usually have to drive somewhere to do them. Especially when working out of the van, you have to plan well, but you quickly get the hang of it.

Homeoffice im Camper
What are the advantages of working in a camper?

You usually have the best view! So often I make my colleagues jealous when I'm right by the sea. Also, I can concentrate much better in the camper than at home, because the place around you is constantly changing. So you stay fresh in your mind and can work creatively and concentrated. Most of the time, you're out in the fresh air a lot and you automatically move more, which is something you sometimes miss in your everyday office life. Last but not least, the views! Why drive hours to see a beautiful destination when you can already be there after work? As a result, everyday life becomes a big bit nicer and you don't wait too longingly for the next vacation, instead you really enjoy working in a nice place. Of course, you have to be the type to do it, so I tried it out a few days at a time. Only when I was sure that I can be at least as productive in the camper and work without problems, did I consider a camper as a longer term solution to a traditional home office. Renting a camper for a few days and just trying it out nearby is something I can highly recommend!

What tips can you give camping beginners who would like to work from a camper?

It's really best to try it out for a few short days first to see if you're really made for working out of the camper. I can work much better in the camper, but that's really a matter of type! So I would rent a camper for a weekend and add on a day or two for home office from the camper, for example. Fully charge the laptop before the trip and organize an internet connection that is guaranteed to work. Having a packing list in advance helps so you don't forget anything important at home. Definitely allow more time in the morning, and pack enough snacks and water. And then you must not forget the normal camping equipment, such as sunscreen and bug spray.

Homeoffice im Camper
What's your must-have for a workday in the camper?

In any case, enough Internet. I use a normal sim card with unlimited data, and connect my laptop to the cell phone. But there are also portable WLAN routers for on the road, this blog article has an insightful review on portable WLAN routers. Headphones are also important, especially if you are not alone on the road, and because the battery of the laptop lasts much longer than with the use of the speakers. A sunshade is advisable, so that you can also work outside if the camper has no awning. And the possibility to charge the laptop, whether via shore power, the camper, or in a nearby café. Last, but not least, a lot of flexibility and open mindedness to adapt to new places 😊

Aside from being able to work in the camper, what was your favorite camping moment?

There are so many. I don't think it was a single moment. A few weeks ago, I traveled through Portugal in my camper with my best friend. Living with nature settles in very quickly. You get tired when it gets dark, you get up when the sun is there and you are outside so much more. The most beautiful thing is always camping somewhere where you can see the Milky Way, add a glass of wine accompanied by a candle light dinner. Heaven! That's my favorite moment every time. Morning yoga and meeting new people are on the top of my list too. One of my favorite moments was definitely when I met a group of people on the beach who invited me to their bonfire. Food was shared, music was played, lots of talking and laughing; all the while my cozy camper awaited my return, should I want to retreat. Moments like these leave me eagerly awaiting my next van adventure.

Homeoffice im Camper

Do you also want to live your dream and work from all over the world? Then book your camper and start your vanlife home office adventure.

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Your FreewayCamper Team

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