BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
Transforming buses into homes was a huge trend in 2016 that probably won’t slow down at all this year. The mobility, cost and environmental impact are just a few of the reasons more and more people are opting to ditch an apartment and instead move into a converted bus. World-travellers Valerie Cook and Tim Boffe joined the fad and have transformed an old American school bus into an eco-friendly mobile home, but there’s has a twist: it doubles as a mobile hostel for fellow travellers.
The couple, and their young daughter and dog, currently have their 39-foot-long bus, The Nomad Bus, on a three-year European road trip. According to Inhabitat, the family estimates that the total conversion of the bus cost just under $32,000. This included solar-powering the bus, insulating it with chemical-free Doschawol wool, which keeps the bus warm and also regulates moisture that builds up, adding an onboard shower, compost toilet, and a wood stove. Their goal is to be 100 per cent carbon-neutral during their travels.
Along with their own bedroom, the couple installed six bunkbeds and extra lockers and storage. Their goal is to pick up fellow adventurers en route who can treat the bus like a mobile hostel. Travellers can stay in the bus for $61 USD per night and are welcome to stay for one night, or for weeks at a time. The cost includes a bed, fresh sheets and towels, as well as home-cooked organic breakfasts and dinners. Additionally, the couple has space underneath the bus for bigger items like skis or snowboards, and if travellers don’t have their own, the couple is offering up the use of their mountain bikes, snowboards, skis and snowboards.
“The luxury of a hostel. The freedom of a campervan. The hospitality of a welcoming family.” is the motto the Nomad Bus and the family lives by. The bus has the atmosphere of any hostel on land. After the daily adventure, whether it’s skiing or snowboarding or hiking, Valerie and Tim set up an “après-ski event,” which includes benches, camping chairs, a BBQ, Christmas lights, music, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
However, the couple do pride themselves on offering more than the usual hostel, mostly because once you’re on board, you’re a part of the family. They want travellers to experience a taste of their lifestyle, by travelling together to beautiful places, and inspiring travellers to live a healthy and environmentally cautious life.
“For us, this project is all about out love for the open road and the adventures it brings, sharing our way of life and connecting with people,” they said on their site.
Check online for bus availabilities and where the family is travelling to next.