What is "Schengen Shuffle" Travel & How To Do It!

May 03, 2023

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! LIFE IS A BEACH digital nomad lifestyle
Have wanderlust & want to do long term travel in Europe as a retiree, digital nomad or family travel worldschooling? If you are American, Brit, Australian etc, just do the "Schengen Shuffle" like we have been doing in Europe for the last year. We flew from Los Angeles to Paris last May 2nd, then spent almost 3 months in Barcelona, then we spent high season 2 months in super cheap Bansko (which is like budget Switzerland), then road tripped in Croatia and Montenegro, then  back to Barcelona for the fall and Christmas plus more house hunting. Then we spent the winter on the beach in a beautiful airbnb in Cyprus ( review coming) and last  week we flew off to Italy and now so excited to return back to Spain long stay in our  camper van near the beach and Barcelona

What is %22Schengen Shuffle%22 Travel & How To Do It! exploring europe by car
We enjoy taking our time and exploring places we've been before and discovering new places! We live a much freer, rewarding, luxurious  life this way at MUCH less cost than we did living in California apartment or home.

What is %22Schengen Shuffle%22 Travel & How To Do It! rome roma fountain

We really love Europe and never tire of exploring the endless  beautiful cities and country sites!

What is %22Schengen Shuffle%22 Travel & How To Do It! exploring beautiful cites in europe
We also stay healthier this way hiking, biking, swimming, barefoot sunrise walking to ground and visiting natural springs to soak in warm or cold healing waters. 

What is %22Schengen Shuffle%22 Travel & How To Do It! wellness spas in europe  fitness  health  natural springs
One of the safest ( even more so with covid) and cheapest, (yet luxurious) ways to explore Europe is in a camper van and I am thrilled to get back to our vintage tiny home. We loved renovating it last summer in Barcelona so it feels brand new!

What is %22Schengen Shuffle%22 Travel & How To Do It! van life digital nomad europe style
Especially since the pandemic, many more people  do full time "Schengen shuffle" travel by van or small rv as remote work, digital nomads and remote schooling or "worldschooling" has blossomed. Looks like we started a trend in 2006 when we started as a family & now happy to join back in as an empty nester couple. 

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! vintage camper van life europe freedom
We bought our 1998 Ford Rimor  van in 2005, so are very fond of it and have more than gotten our money's worth in this investment that we likely will pass on to our 22 year old daughter eventually. Won't it be wonderful if she can  explore Europe some day in it with her children like we did with her?

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It!  Cooking bone broth & making salads in our van
We like to shop locally and at farmers markets &  cook our own healthy food in our camper or airbnb, so we have become skilled at making the most of a small space! I actually really enjoy how it makes me a more mindful minimalist & is great for our health,  longevity & my diet. Here I am making a big salad for me and some bone broth for hubby. Every day is a picnic!

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! Every day is a picnic in van lifestyle
I love the indoor/outdoor living and  catching the sunrises if I can when I wake up like this beautiful one I put on Instagram on our first day back here. So much beauty makes me happy!!

IMHO, a camper van really is the best way to do slow travel in Europe......

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! van life style beach spain
....and makes for a great "second home" when we do longer stays. Plus it is cheap to store our van safely when we are not here & enjoying other modes of travel & lodging. 

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! Flying Ryan air & budget airlines in europe
We do our "Schengen shuffle" with a combination of camper van, cheap flights,  

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! luxury  laptop lifestyle location independent Yachting
airbnb long stays, 

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It!  airbnb digital nomad croatia dubrovnic resort camping bungalow rentals,

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It!  camping resort  bungalow

car rentals when needed,

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! exploring europe vineyards by rental car

 but mostly, we  live large on little 

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It!  digital nomad full time travel cheap bargains
 with a small carbon footprint 

What is %22Schengen Shuffle%22 Travel & How To Do It! boats yachts rovinj photography
mostly walking

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! visiting vineyards in Europe wine tasting beautiful destinations
or biking  to get around

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! biking & mass transit low carbon footprint travel
or using mass transit 

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! spain villages flowers beautiful destinations we just thrive on slow travel, doing life our "location independent" way!!

What is Schengen ShuffleTravel & How To Do It! loving slow travel


Do you want to do the "Schengen shuffle" and a long stay in Europe? Many say it's best to use a Schengen calculator ...Google for one. Most ( like Americans, Brits, Australians)  can stay for up to 90 days within 180 days but the calculations may be a bit tricky. Most go to a non Schengen country to wait until they can return ( like we did with nearby Bulgaria & Cyprus so still in Europe, but out of Schengen). Beautiful Morocco, Montenegro and Turkey are popular out-of-Schengen nearby, low cost locations that are popular with van lifers, digital nomads and world schoolers as they are easily drivable close, good internet & safe.  

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! beautiful  Kotor montengro airbnb home view
If you enter Spain on a 90 tourist visa/allowance, then you need to leave for another 90 days before you can come back.Tip: don't count 3 months as 90 days. Some months have 28, 30, 31 days and you can create problems for yourself. I type in Google "April 5 + 90 days" and it will give you the result. Generally we leave a 1-2 day buffer on the departure date...Just in case the flight is canceled or something. Google has heaps of info on this.

What is %22Schengen Shuffle%22 Travel & How To Do It!  so many beautiful desintions

 There is so much beauty in this world & we love Europe, so find this a very enriching & exciting way to live large & healthy on a small budget. It is a great way to strengthen a partnership via romantic travel adventures!

What is %22Schengen Shuffle%22 Travel & How To Do It! extraordinary vineyard with sea and mountain views
Now it has been one year for us doing the "Schengen Shuffle" and we still adore this lifestyle, so plan to continue it as we also look for a home and land to buy in Spain near Barcelona. We will likely continue this lifestyle even after we buy our home and will just use our new home as a base, but still travel lots, use our camper van to explore Europe and sometimes airbnbs.

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! empty nest couple travel retirement travel  water falls europe hiking
Next winter Jan - April we might try going outside of Europe like Buenos Aires and Mexico for a warm winter and beach explorations. We might get a digital nomad visa. With the world's crazy financial crisis and other things, we are in no hurry to make final decisions yet, but have found some great home possibilities. 

We're just all about enjoying our empty nest years of "new couplehood" & seeing as much of the world as we can while we are still young & healthy enough to enjoy it. How about you? 

What is Schengen Shuffle Travel & How To Do It! digitalnomad lifestyle sea views heaven on earth

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So glad to see you on the road again. Now I can once again travel vicariously through you until I am able to do it myself!


Aww, thanks so much Robyn!! It is always so sweet to hear from you and I am glad you enjoy traveling along vicariously and dreaming of your own travel coming up!!

Because we are also juggling a few things like house hunting in a foreign land, we are going a bit slower than we'd like, but it will all work out. Like seeing Rome recently made me want to go back and spend a few months wandering Italy again. lol Always more to see, do and dream about!!


Wow sounds like you had such an eventful time! I also just recently visited Barcelona for a few months. Thanks for the wanderlust :)

jeanne dee

Thanks, we did Samara! Glad you enjoyed Barcelona too.We are back here now and looking into where our next destination will be. I love wanderlust and endless, slow travel. :)


Astonishing pictures of places you visit in Europe. And I love reading your experience in living and traceling with shuffle.

I’ve never tried it and it really intrigues me. Might as well try it too!

jeanne dee

Aw, thanks Gladys! It really is a great way to live, so go for it! We're back in our vintage van now near Barcelona and Sitges, bu one thing I love about doing the "schengen shuffle" are the new countries and places I discover that I would have never known. We were just in Ksamil and Saranda in Albania near Corfu, Greece and I would never had known that they are spectacular in Sept and Oct!! Now looking at a hot beach destination for the winter 3 months. :)


Loved this post. The idea of traveling slow and just taking time to immerse yourself is the best way to explore.


As an Australian, I chose to become a (renewable) temporary resident in Greece and do road trips to different destinations around Europe. Always nice to have a home to come home to.

Jeanne Dee

Aw, thanks Lenore! I could not agree more and love slow travel.

jeanne dee

That sounds wonderful Marilyn!! I love it that there are so many wonderful ways to travel and we can choose any of them as we go along. :) We've been homeowners many times over the years and taken tons of road trips on 4 continents, so have enjoyed those experiences too. We adore the schengen shuffle digital nomad life & our vintage van life, so likely will continue it as long as it works for us.

At some point we might buy a home and land in Spain and possibly one in Mexico, as bases, but likely will keep on traveling as much as we can slowly as long as we can to places we love and new places.

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