Travel is all about getting away from life’s usual hustle and bustle, and one of the best ways to get away from everything is by staying in an off-the-grid vacation home. Living off-the-grid in any capacity is a great way to practice a self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle, but did you know you can build an off-the-grid vacation home as well?
To get an idea of what the process is like, we have compiled some tips and an infographic for those serious about starting up their own vacation homestead.
Decide where to live
It’s all about location! Once you have a dream vacation spot in mind, look into purchasing rural land that has a river or stream running through it. Consider the climate and growing season in your area, so that you can grow some of your own food.
Decide your living space
For those ready to get off-the-grid, the smaller the footprint of the space, the better. Tiny homes can run with little energy, making getting off-the-grid easier and quicker. You can buy a pre-built tiny home, make your own dry cabin or even construct a yurt.
Water is the key to life, so make sure your new vacation home has a reliable source. You will probably have to drill a well on the property and construct a way for the water to get to your house. If you’re unsure where to start the well, consult regional or state well drilling reports or ask neighbors about their experiences drilling nearby.
There are three main ways of harnessing electricity: solar panels, wind turbines, and micro-hydro electricity. Each method has its pros and cons. However, once set up, any of these electricity systems will power your home for ages. Micro-hydro electricity is a great, lesser-known option if your vacation home is near running water.
Dispose of waste
Composting is the ultimate way to reuse waste. You can throw away any plant-based matter into a compost pile to fertilize your garden with later. You will also need to set up a septic system unless you plan to use an outhouse.
Grow your own food
Depending on how long or often you will be using your vacation home, a garden and/or livestock will save you thousands on grocery store costs. Plus, you will always know exactly what is going into your body. Those who have been growing their own food for years agree the most important homestead crops are potatoes, corn, beans, and squash. Chickens are a great addition for laying eggs and helping with compost.
Don’t want to own, then rent
Aside from creating your own off the grid getaway, rentals are another option. Off-the-grid homes are becoming increasingly popular on travel sites like Airbnb. Rentals are a great way to try out an off-the-grid lifestyle to see what works for you. Of course, there are varying levels from tiny cabins far from civilization to high-tech, solar panel-clad dwellings.
Some stellar off-the-grid vacation home examples include:
- Off-the-Grid itHouse, Southern California
- Pisgah Highlands Cabin, North Carolina
- Baja Off the Grid, Baja California, Mexico
Living off the grid has countless benefits for yourself and the environment. There are many levels to accomplishing an off-the-grid lifestyle, from completely roughing it to integrating with a more modern lifestyle.
At any rate, it is worth looking into big and small ways you can maintain a more sustainable vacation home.