What do you call people who go on road trips?

With all the different styles of road trips, what do we call these travelers?

It’s hard to keep track! If you’ve already researched for your next road trip, you’ve probably noticed that different terms describe travelers searching the road for new adventures. You’ve probably heard the names: Roadtrippers, van lifers, overlanders… But what do they mean?

Three people around a fire in front of their van

So let’s explore the different names given to these road trip enthusiasts, their meanings, and particularities.

But what’s a road trip?

A road through the forest

Let’s start with the basics. As the name suggests, a road trip is a journey on the road. During a road trip, you cover varying distances, stopping at different places.

A road trip can be enjoyed alone, as a couple, with family or friends - there are no rules! The choice of vehicle depends on the destination and duration of each road trip. Some will use their car or rent one, while others prefer to hit the road in a camper van, a van, or a motorcycle.

The term road trip became very popular in the 1960s when many young Americans hit the road for adventure. At the time, road-tripping was synonymous with freedom: it enabled people to discover new destinations flexibly and independently while living unique experiences and creating unforgettable memories. Road trips will also allow you to travel longer, saving on accommodation.

👉 Think a road trip will blow your budget? Our article How to road trip on a budget will prove you wrong. Our community’s tips and advice will give you the keys to a successful road trip without breaking the bank!

1. Who are Roadtrippers?

Two people in front of their car

Road-tripping is a form of travel that attracts more and more enthusiasts yearly. Roadtrippers are travelers who aim to explore the world and enjoy unique experiences on mythical roads in their vehicles.

For them, the road trip represents an adventure, a discovery of oneself and others. The mindset of a road tripper is often characterized by freedom, spontaneity, and improvisation.

For them, the road trip represents an adventure, a discovery of oneself and others. The mindset of a road tripper is often characterized by freedom, spontaneity, and improvisation. Roadtrippers like to let themselves be carried along by their desires, choosing their itinerary as they meet and discover new things.

Above all, Roadtrippers seek to get off the beaten track, get out of their comfort zone, and discover spectacular, untouched landscapes. For many, the journey is an end in itself, as every kilometer covered represents a new experience and a story to be told.

👉 Our community of expert road trip travelers has compiled a list of 9 destinations tested and approved for an European road trip. This is your chance to get inspired and benefit from their insider tips to prepare for your next road trip!

2. Who are the Vanlifers?

A woman reading on her bed in her van

Vanlifers have chosen to live in a van or motorhome full-time. They may travel occasionally but aim to live independently and discover new places while constantly moving. Vanlifers are often digital nomads or artists looking to escape the routine of everyday life. Vanlifers value their freedom of movement and independence. They usually have a minimalist vision, preferring to live with less so they can travel more.

For many, van life is, first and foremost, a state of mind, a way of seeing life differently and appreciating it for what it’s worth.

It’s often associated with the search for freedom, the need for adventure, and living simply. Vanlife enthusiasts seek to free themselves from modern society’s daily grind and constraints by living in a small space and moving around as they, please. For them, van life represents an alternative to the traditional way of life and a way of refocusing on the essentials. By choosing van life, they seek to regain autonomy and reconnect with nature by moving away from big cities and urban areas.

👉 The Vanlife mindset is often linked to a digital nomad lifestyle. Our community has prepared a lite of 6 tips for successful road trip telecommuting!

3. Who are the Overlanders?

A car crossing a small river

Overlanders are enthusiasts of off-road travel. They often aim to travel to remote, hard-to-reach places like deserts, mountains, or forests. Overlanders are usually equipped with vehicles specially designed for off-road conditions, and they focus on the off-road driving experience and on discovering new and remote places. Overlanders are often intrepid adventurers looking to push their limits and discover exceptional landscapes.

The term is very recent and far from official! It’s mainly used on social networks to describe this extreme traveler. It’s a great way to spread the word about this type of travel. It makes it much easier to follow their adventures online by navigating between hashtags, including #Overlander, which has nearly 100,000 uses on Instagram.

You should be able to see a bit more clearly! We can say that “Roadtrippers” are travelers who explore the world in their vehicles, focusing on the discovery of new landscapes and new experiences. Van lifers, on the other hand, seek, above all, autonomy by living in a van or motorhome full-time. They have a minimalist vision and prefer to live with less so they can travel more. Finally, “overlanders” are off-road enthusiasts looking to travel to remote, hard-to-reach places.

In the end, whether you’re a road tripper, a van lifer, or an overlander, the key is to focus on the experience of your journey. Above all, it’s a way of seeing the world, your lifestyle, and your state of mind rather than a label.

A road trip promises to discover new places you might have missed. It’s also a way of traveling and meeting people who will transform a simple trip into an adventure and unforgettable memories.

A woman raising her arms on top of a cliff

The different names for road trip travelers allow you to connect with a community that shares your values and vision. Roadtrippers share a love of the road and a love of adventure: but whatever name you use to describe yourself, the important thing is to enjoy the freedom and experience that life on the road can offer.

👉 If you need more good reasons to convince you to go on a road trip for your next trip, our article Why doing a road trip? will make you want to take to the world’s roads even more.