When you first Google Kift, you’re met with a flashy website and the promise of everything you need to live, work and play as a digital nomad. Intrigued? I definitely was!
Simply put, Kift is a platform that brings digital nomads and anyone living the van life together. They offer a fully equipped kitchen, cosy living areas, inviting plant-based food, and outdoor activities as part of their membership-based community!
You may have a passion for van life, rented an RV from an app like Outdoorsy for a long trip before, or you just want to be part of a community of working travelers with similar interests.
Either way, this blog explores all things Kift so that you can decide if the app is truly creating a new, "better" way to live as a digital nomad.
What is Kift?
Kift helps digital nomads, mainly those who live in campervans, meet a community of like-minded people. Through Kift you can gain access to a network of houses across the US where you can work and live.
Kift offers a safe way to disconnect from city life and reconnect with nature. The platform welcomes digital nomads traveling in vans to community houses that have wifi, fridges stocked with food, and outdoor activities. Best yet, getting a Kift membership allows you access to their properties all over the west of the US.
Kift also aims to inspire others into the way of van life. They do this through luxurious kitted-out campervans. You can buy a brand new van, equipped and designed just the way you like. Or rent a van to try out van life before you commit to it full-time!
Who founded Kift?
Kift came into being in 2019. Colin O’Donnell is the CEO and founder of Kift. His ambition was to connect more with nature.
Loving van life and communal living, Colin wanted to find a way to connect the two. And so, Kift was created!
Flash forward to 2022. O’Donnell has 4 houses across the west of the US and a growing community, continuing his mission to inspire people to work and live anywhere.
What are the features of Kift?
Now that you have a basic understanding of Kift’s mission, you’re probably keen to know what they can offer you. Let’s take a look!
Kift offers digital nomads who are living in a campervan a space to work and live with comfort, safety, and a sense of community. These community houses are shared with other members of Kift, and because everyone was brought together due to their love of work and travel, you're sure to find a new friend, or many!
Community houses offer:
- Fast wifi
- Stocked fridges
- Laundry facilities
- Shower facilities
- Secure parking
- Direct access to nature
- Community-based amenities and activities like yoga, mountain biking, events, and more
The current locations of their community houses are in:
- Discovery Bay, WA
- Portland/Mt. Hood, OR
- Lakeport, CA
- Joshua Tree, CA
In need of a van to start your van life journey? Then Kift may have a van that ticks all your boxes.
Kift offers the option of renting a van, similar to companies like Wicked Campers. Utilizing this option allows you to try van life before you fully commit. You wouldn't want to give up your homey apartment before knowing whether you'll really love camper life!
If you’ve already made up your mind about living the van life full time, you can also buy a campervan through Kift.
Kift’s vans offer all the luxuries of a house. With a toilet, full kitchen, outdoor shower, and comfortable bed, it's your home away from home.
The final feature of Kift is its NFT. The world of NFTs is a little complex so let's keep it simple! You can purchase a Non-Fungible Token that gives you access to be part of Kift’s DAO.
What’s the DAO? It’s the community that helps run Kift. They make the decisions like where the next house will be and you can be part of it by buying an NFT.
Kift is a non-profit organization that believes in a community of decision-makers. They want to empower everyone to help change and shape the future of their company.
The "Kiftables NFT" also gives you 50% off memberships and early access to events!
How do you join Kift?
Van life on the road allows you to be constantly surrounded by nature, but you also don’t always have access to showers and washing machines. You can also find that you start feeling a bit isolated. That's where Kift comes in.
Does mingling with a community of digital nomads and eating good food sound like something you need? Then you should consider joining this unique, growing community.
Kift’s memberships start from $425 a month giving you unlimited access to Kift’s community houses. A little pricy but when you compare it to vacation companies like Vacasa and Airbnb, as well as the rising costs of rentals in the US, it's manageable.
If you’re interested in joining Kift, you need to answer a few simple questions and then you’ll receive a follow-up call from a community member to continue to process.
Benefits of Kift
Access to Community Houses on the Road
Van life can be lonely and to combat this, the community houses are a great idea. Take your mobile bedroom to one of Kift's many communal homes and be met with fun, new housemates.
So long giant RV parks, hello comfortable houses packed with likeminded digital nomads.
Ability to Network of Like-Minded Digital Nomads
Looking for a group of mates who are working on the road and love nature? Then you may find them at Kift.
Kift aims to bring nomads together in a space where they feel included and comfortable. Sounds good, right? You may find your new best friend through Kift, or maybe even your next business partner!
Offers Renting or Buying of Campervans
If you’re not currently living in a van but want to be part of the Kift community, they have you covered.
Kift offers an easy way to get access to a campervan. You can buy a van from Kift or just rent a campervan for your next adventure.
Open Houses to Try Before You Buy
It's important to try something before you commit to it 100%.
Kift has introduced open houses where you can sign up to have a look into what Kift offers. A great way to try before you buy and see if the Kift life is suitable for you!
Drawbacks of Kift
Expensive in Comparison to RV Parks
One of the largest drawbacks of this unique platform is that Kift is a little expensive, especially when you compare it to other options.
For their basic plan of $425 a month, it gives you access to a few properties in the west of the US. Compared to an RV park, that's quite a lot! Not only do you often get more privacy and space in RV parks, they're also many more RV park options and staying overnight is not nearly as pricey!
However, you have to put this into perspective and consider the perks that come with Kift's higher fee. It’s all about what works for your monthly budget and what you're looking to experience.
Limited Community Houses… Currently
Currently, Kift only has 4 properties to choose from. They plan to expand the houses they own, and even go international. But for now there aren't many locations to choose from.
If you like to roam, then this type of van life can be a little restrictive.
Lack of Information Upfront
When you Google Kift, there isn't a lot out there. There are a few reviews from people who’ve stayed with Kift and some videos showing you the lifestyle at their community houses, but that's it! There isn't a lot of information available to you so that you can make a fully informed decision.
If you want information upfront, you need to do more work! For instance, investigating further by talking to a community officer will help you find out if this lifestyle is for you!
It's a Niche Way of Life
Van life isn't for everyone, it's as simple as that! You may love the comfort of your own home and that's okay. But I do encourage you to give it a try, at least once so that you can say that you've tried it.
Is Kift worth it?
Overall, Kift is worth it if it works for your lifestyle, meaning you need to be into van living or communal spaces. However, if this type of lifestyle excites you, then the Kift community is for you! Its innovative solution to the housing crisis in America is the hope we all need right now!
Even though Kift is still building momentum as a new company, this community could be the new way to live. The company hopes to inspire digital nomads into the way of van life, with safe and inviting spaces to relax and work in. They offer a way for you to find a community of people that do what you do, all while getting closer to nature!
But it is a niche lifestyle. Not everyone wants to live in a van or constantly be on the road. Home comforts are important to many of us, and communal living isn’t everyone’s cup of tea either. Before you dive into Kift's offerings, remember to be self-analytical and really ask yourself if it's something you'd enjoy trying!
If you’re ready to take a leap of faith and try something new, you should definitely try Kift to meet a fantastic community of people. You'll probably find new adventures, epic people to share them with, and the freedom to work and live on the road more comfortably!
Our Rating: 4.0/5
- Community of likeminded people
- Great for van life on the road in the US
- Access to high-quality community houses
- Has other offerings, like renting and selling vans
- High price per month
- Limited community houses
- Niche brand
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