You’ve probably heard that the nomadic lifestyle is cheaper than living traditionally in a “sticks and bricks” residence. Is this true – or is it just hype?

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Nomad News

Last Year to Obtain REAL ID for Air Travel and Federal Facilities

  • It is now down to the last year for Americans to obtain a REAL ID in order to access airports and federal government facilities
  • The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission
  • The REAL ID Act sets minimum standards for state-issued IDs, including driver’s licenses
  • Federal agencies are prohibited from accepting IDs that are not REAL ID compliant as of October 1, 2020
  • As of October 1, 2020 you will need a REAL ID-compliant ID card or passport to access airports, federal facilities, or nuclear power plants
  • Quick Check – Star on upper portion of ID card
  • Enhanced driver’s licenses issued by several states will be accepted even though they may not have a star
  • All US states and territories are now considered to be fully compliant
  • If you have an older ID that does not have the REAL ID star you will need to upgrade to a REAL ID compliant document prior to October 1, 2020 to access airports or federal facilities – or have a passport
  • Minimum Federal Requirements for Documentation (States may impose additional restrictions)
    • Full Legal Name
    • Date of Birth
    • SS Number
    • Two Proofs of Address of Principal Residence
    • Lawful Status
  • Those without the required documentation will be eligible only for IDs marked as being not acceptable for REAL ID purposes – and will not be able to access airports or federal facilities without a passport or other accepted ID
  • This may create some challenges for many people who lack the appropriate documentation – birth certificates, address verification, etc.

To learn more about the REAL ID Act and its implications on IDs like driver’s licenses visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.

Nomad Lifestyle 101

This past weekend I launched my first online course, Nomad Lifestyle 101. This course is designed to help new or aspiring nomads develop a solid foundation for their life on the road.

Visit my Courses page to learn more about how Nomad Lifestyle 101 may be a valuable resource for you on your own nomadic adventure.

How Much Does it Cost to Live in a Van?

This is a question that I am asked a lot – and for good reason. This issue is particularly important for anyone who wants to be a nomad but is living on a tight budget.mIn fact, I think this question is so important that I included an entire video about it in Nomad Lifestyle 101.

In this podcast I provide a basic overview of the topic, but will be releasing an updated video in a few months with examples from my own spending.

So how much does it cost to live in a van or RV? Is it really cheaper? The short answer is that it depends.

Van life (or RV life) can cost as much as you want it to cost – or relative little if you are frugal. Some of the big variables include debt, fuel, maintenance, food, campsites, and style of vehicle.

I know many nomads who are very tight budgets of $800 – $1,000/month – so it is possible to live very frugally as a nomad. This is, however, a very tight budget – and you still need to save money each month for unplanned expenses.

My opinion is that $1,500 – $2,000/month is a good budget if you are living frugally as this provides margin for occasional extras and savings for unplanned expenses.

Listener Questions

It’s me K In SD

Thank you Robert!  I enjoy your  detailed explanations of things.   I also appreciate hearing about the reality of extreme weather and keeping one step ahead of the unexpected.  I recently bought a box of extreme boat survival food on Amazon.  It is packaged very tiny ..and tastes good also.  

About podcasts…could they take less data than YT in case someone has a minimal phone plan…or is thinking of downsizing a plan???

Listen to or watch this episode for my full discussion about how much it costs to live in a van, the REAL ID Act, and my response to the comment from It’s me K in SD.