What's the buzz of sleeping in your car on vacation?

What's the buzz sleeping in your car on vacation?

Sleeping in his car.

For a few years, Instagram has been selling us the dream of the vanlife like the perfect meeting between comfort and the freedom to move. But, buying a van and fitting it out completely is not given to everyone. So, to travel cheap, another trend has emerged: that of sleeping in your car. Quite simply.  

The vanlife on a small scale 

This idea of ​​sleeping in your car rather than in a hotel or other accommodation has actually developed as an alternative cheap and minimalist vanlife style. The advantages of the car is that often we already have one, it's smaller, it's cheaper and it's less management. 

“The price of vans has exploded in recent years, says Gabriel Jousset, founder of the van equipment sales and rental company, Le Baroudeur. People tell themselves that they can't buy one, so they will sleep in the vehicle they already own while waiting to see if the price drops eventually.” 

Bianca Pomerleau, author of the travel blog La Grande Déroute, has also seen this practice develop. She has also created a Facebook group of sleep in the car enthusiasts, Sleeping in her car, whose number of members continues to grow. To date, there are more than 5,000. 

As she explains, people often go to sleep in their car for a short getaway of a few days. They do not necessarily want to equip themselves with a super van but seek the same freedom. 

Equip your car 

How do you settle down to sleep well in your car?  

The first step is to lower the rear seat (ideally you have a hatchback) and place a mattress. It can be a camping mattress, a foam mattress or a custom-made mattress. 

Then, we install curtains and mosquito nets in front of the windows, just to have privacy, to block the light and to be able to ventilate the car without letting mosquitoes in.  

A once these basic steps are completed, everyone is free to add items as needed. You can, for example, get camping equipment, an electric cooler, a portable toilet and, why not, install a roof tent to afford a second floor.  

Where to sleep? 

While it is legal to sleep in your car, some places do not tolerate spending the night there. It is therefore important to inquire before leaving. 

Municipalities or provinces often have their own regulations regarding this practice. Some are very welcoming, others less so.  

For example, the North Shore is super welcoming, says Bianca. The practice is well supervised while remaining very open. A list of places to sleep in your car is even provided by the Tourist Office.

On the other hand, Quebec City is much more restrictive. The municipal by-law stipulates that “it is forbidden for a person, without reasonable cause, the proof of which rests on him, to loiter, wander or sleep in a street or in a public place”. 

It is also forbidden to spend the night in a rest area.  

A few more rules 

  • Party people , take note, it is forbidden to be intoxicated in your car, whether it is running or not. It is therefore illegal to go to bed drunk in your car. 
  • And the most important rule, which does not change anywhere, is well clear: we leave no trace of its passage. In other words, we pick up all our waste! 

The series “What's the buzz” recent trends in an uninhibited way. Make your “reminders” during your next dinners by reading it regularly in the Inspiration section of the Journal Métro.

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