Stay on the road longer by earning money as you travel. In this article, I list some of the easiest and most popular ways to earn money and travel.
There are many different ways to make money while travelling, including working odd jobs, selling crafts or goods, and freelance writing or blogging. Below, you’ll find some suggestions for making money while living on the road in a van, motorhome, or RV and enjoying all the amazing experiences that come with it!
Let’s get started!
How can you make money living on the road with a remote job
Van Life is on the rise! Which leads many to ask the question ‘How do I fund life on the road?’
Here are some options for remote jobs.
Take your current job fully remote
Before you quit your job and dive into a new remote career, take a second to think about whether you can take your current job remote.
If your job can be done from home, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask your boss to let you do it that way.
Many companies are now offering remote work options, and more and more employees are taking advantage of them.
The best part is that if you’re already doing the job, your boss is likely to be more open to the idea of you working from home.
Here are a few tips on how to ask for a remote work arrangement:
- Mention that you’ve been following the company’s trend of offering remote work options.
- Explain how you’re an excellent performer and that working from home won’t affect your productivity at all.
- Promise to stay in touch with your team and provide updates as needed.
- Suggest a trial period to see how things go.
- Thank your boss for their time and consideration!
It can, however, be a slight mental jump for a company manager to think of ‘working from home’ and ‘working from a van’ as the same thing.
It might be worth ‘stealth working’ in your van for a while to prove your productivity before fully disclosing that your home is on four wheels.
Passive income is considered money that you earn without having to actively work for it.
The thing is, you do have to work for it (very hard in some cases) initially in order to benefit from its long-term rewards. While others are out on hiking adventures you could be working late into the night inside your van.
Passive income can come from a variety of sources, such as rental income, royalties from intellectual property, or investing in dividend-paying stocks.
The best part about passive income is that it can continue to generate income long after you’ve stopped working.
This makes it a great option for retirees or anyone who wants to have a stream of income that doesn’t require them to be constantly on the job.
Many older van lifers and RVers will rent out their bricks-and-mortar homes to fund their life on the road.
Some people hire an AirBnB management company to handle everything for them. A nice option if you’ve got a physical house!
A profitable blog starting from zero articles and scaling to become a passive income generation machine is the dream of many.
Online business owner
You can earn decent money as a business owner. We’ve written about how to start an online business in Australia in this article.
Starting your own website or blogging online business can be a great way to generate an income while on the road.
Odd jobs and home repair person
There are many ways to make money while traveling, and one of the most common is through odd jobs and home repairs.
If you have special skills or experience in these areas, there are many opportunities available to you.
These websites allow you to search for specific types of work in your area, and they can be a great way to connect with people who need your services.
Another option is to contact local businesses and ask if they need any help with odd jobs or repairs.
Many businesses are always looking for trustworthy people they can call on for help when needed.
If you’re willing to put in the work, there are many ways to make money while living on the road.
By leveraging your skills and networking with local businesses, you can easily find work that will allow you to enjoy all the amazing experiences travel has to offer.
If you’re an expert in a particular subject area, online tutoring can be a great way to make money while traveling.
You can work with students from all over the world, and there are many platforms available that make it easy to connect with potential students.
One great platform to consider is VIPKID. VIPKID connects teachers with students in China, and the company pays teachers up to $22 per hour.
This is a great option if you want to work with students from a different culture, and the company provides all the materials you need to get started.
Another great platform for online tutoring is Tutor.com. Tutor.com connects tutors with students of all ages, and the company pays tutors up to $40 per hour.
This is a great option if you want to tutor students in a wide range of subjects.
If you’re interested in online tutoring, there are many platforms available that can help you find students from all over the world.
By leveraging your skills and connecting with potential students online, you can easily earn money while traveling.
Freelance writing is an in-demand skill.
One of the benefits of being a freelance writer is that you can work a few hours or 9-5… it’s up to you.
As a freelance writer, you have the ability to work from anywhere in the world.
This is a great option if you want to travel and see the world while still earning an income.
There are many platforms available that allow you to find freelance writing jobs. One great platform to consider is Upwork.
Upwork connects freelancers with employers from all over the world, and the company pays freelancers up to $50 per hour.
This is a great option if you want to find high-paying writing jobs.
Another great platform for freelance writers is FreelanceWritingGigs.com. FreelanceWritingGigs.com connects freelancers with employers who are looking for writers, and the company pays freelancers up to $50 per hour.
This is a great option if you want to find high-paying writing jobs quickly.
Seasonal jobs are available in many industries, and they often offer great pay and benefits.
One great option for finding seasonal jobs is to search online job boards.
A great job board to consider is Indeed.com.
Indeed.com allows you to search for jobs in your area, and it features jobs from a variety of industries.
Another option is to contact local businesses and ask if they’re hiring seasonal workers. Many businesses are always looking for extra help during busy times of the year.
Seasonal jobs can be available in the following areas: retail, food service, delivery driver, housekeeping and domestic duties, landscaping, and construction.
Any job that you can do on your computer is a potential van life job.
The Digital Marketing Manager is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing the digital marketing strategy for the company.
This includes strategies for website design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine advertising (PPC), email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
The Digital Marketing Manager also oversees the work of any contractors or agencies who are working on digital marketing projects for the company.
Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers.
They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.
Web developers can sell their services in designing and creating websites.
They can manage the look of a customer’s website, as well as the functionality.
Becoming a web developer takes time and practice. It’s not something that can be learned overnight.
However, if you’re willing to put in the work, you can become an introductory level web developer in a few months.
Gone are the days when you need to learn complex coding.
An easy place to start is to charge small businesses for creating a Squarespace site. Even with an introductory level of skills, you’ll probably know a LOT more than the small business clients who will pay you to help them.
Copywriters are responsible for creating compelling and interesting content that will be used in marketing and advertising materials.
This includes writing headlines, body copy, calls to action, and more. Copywriters often work with advertising agencies, but some also work freelance.
If you have any of these skills, you can easily find clients who are willing to pay you for your services.
There are a number of ways to find clients, such as job boards, freelancing platforms, and social media.
Once you have a few clients, you can start charging more for your services and doing fewer jobs.
This will allow you to make more money while still having the flexibility to work from home.
Tip: Finding higher paying clients and doing fewer jobs can be a better strategy than working yourself to death for pennies.
Coaching is a growing industry, and there are many people who are looking for coaching services.
There are a few things you’ll need to do to start a coaching business.
Choose a niche or specialty. This is the area you will coach people in. Decide what type of coaching you will offer.
Will you offer one-on-one coaching, group coaching, or both?
Create a website and social media accounts.
This will be used to promote your business and attract clients. Develop a pricing strategy. How much will you charge for your services?
Create a marketing plan. How will you attract clients?
Coaching business can be great if you already have industry contacts and/or an audience to promote your services to.
Digital product vendor
Setting up an Etsy store is a great way to sell your digital products like planners, templates, and digital stickers.
Etsy is a platform for creatives to sell their handmade or vintage items, and it’s a great place to sell digital products.
The benefit of starting a business selling digital products compared to physical products is that you don’t have to deal with storing your products (except on your computer) and there are no postage issues to deal with.
Also, you only need to make the product once!
Etsy has an affiliate program, so you could skip the product-making phase altogether and curate products others have made on a website.
Get creative with how you think about generating your income streams.
These positions can last a few weeks or longer.
Many retail stores will start hiring for positions months before the season peaks.
If you want to teach English online, there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll likely need to get a TEFL certification.
This is a certification that shows that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to teach English as a second language.
Google ‘Teach English’ and you’ll find plenty of companies willing to hire you!
A virtual assistant is a person who provides administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients from a remote location.
They often work for businesses, but some also work for individuals. Virtual assistants can do things such as manage calendars, schedule phone calls, and more.
If managing calendars and scheduling phone calls is your thing then being a virtual assistant might be your thing.
Workamping is a term used to describe a type of work that combines camping and working.
There are a number of jobs that fall into this category, such as working in a campground, doing odd jobs around the campground, or working as a tour guide.
Workamping can be a great way to travel and see new places.
Companies/organisations (e.g. National Parks) will hire temporary workers to deal with increases in demand over certain seasonal periods.
You can set your own price and keep the rights to your photos.
Another way to make money as a freelance photographer is to do paid photo shoots. One of the most famous van life photographers is Christian Schaffer.
In addition to video editing skills, all you need to earn income as a video editor is a computer and some video editing software.
With the growth in online video, this is a potentially lucrative area to get into.
You can build skills in this area by taking one of LinkedIn Learning‘s online learning courses.
Just like video, podcasts have been on the rise in recent years.
This is likely due to the fact that it’s a great way to consume content. And someone is needed to edit all those hours of recording.
To learn the skills to become a podcast editor, you can turn to YouTube, or you can find an online course.
One of the best ways to learn is by doing. Find a podcast that you like and edit an episode. You could also consider launching your own podcast and monetising your audience in the future.
Sell goods, services, and the skills you learn from setting up your own store! Let me explain…
Setting up online stores to sell your products and/or services has the added benefit of potentially being able to sell the skills you’ve learnt by setting up your online store to others. Don’t let all the hours you spent learning Shopify, Instagram etc. go to waste. They are now part of your sales inventory (if you wish to sell them).
There’s no shortage of small business owners who are willing to pay people for websites and/or set them up selling online.
Selling an online store creation to one client can be a very high payout compared to the trickle of income your own store might bring in.
You never know what you might end up doing: maybe your own dog sitting website
As a bookkeeper, you would be responsible for recording and tracking financial transactions.
This can include anything from recording sales and expenses to preparing invoices and maintaining financial records.
As a pet and house sitter, you would be responsible for looking after pets and houses while the owners are away.
This can include feeding and watering pets, walking them, and cleaning up any messes they may make.
It can also include taking care of the home by ensuring that all appliances are turned off and windows are closed etc.
This doesn’t tend to pay well, but you’ll get to hang out with a cute cat or dog, take a shower whenever you want, and enjoy the luxuries of a house for a while to break up your road tripping.
These schemes often promise huge returns for very little work, but in reality they rarely deliver on their promises. Steer clear!
Most people who invest in them end up losing money. So if you’re thinking of taking part in one of these schemes, be very careful – you could end up out of pocket.
They usually don’t pay a lot, but they’re an easy way to make a few bucks here and there.
Plus, they’re a great way to test out new products or give your opinion on current ones.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want a little more security around the way that you make money. While there are examples of success stories they are far and few between.
Also, the time it takes to film, edit, upload, respond to comments and keep satisfying the algorithms sounds a little exhausting.
Additionally, if YouTube radically changed its algorithm or stopped paying content creators tomorrow there would be absolutely nothing you could do about it.
You don’t want to be left stranded if the income dries up without warning.
Hopefully with the suggestions above you can find an option or two to get started planning how you’ll make money on the road and won’t have to start selling body parts!!!
The good news is you don’t have to pick just one way to earn money on the road!
How much money you need to make is going to depend on your circumstances.
Working on the road can be fun but you also don’t want to be stuck inside your campervan staring at a laptop screen all day every day.
How much money you need is unlikely to warrant a full-time income which means you probably don’t need a full-time job!
The many options to find a free place to camp is going to cut down your accommodation/living expenses considerably.
If you keep your current level of income but move into full-time living on the road, you might find yourself with a lot of extra money!
Save money rather than spending it to buy yourself big stretches of time to enjoy the outdoors.
Is working remote from a van much different from working remotely from a house? Not really.
The shift from working at a desk with a ‘bricks and sticks’ roof over your head to moving online remote work on wheels will be minimal.
You might even find that your productivity increases dramatically when working in your van as there is less to distract you e.g. doing the washing, or deciding you really do need a bubble bath after that Zoom meeting 😉
If your job is online, having a reliable internet connection is essential.
I pay more than I probably should for internet using the Starlink RV service, as well as having pre-paid portable wifi-hotspot device from two internet companies, and using my phone as a hotspot.
Yes, this might sound a little over the top, but I work remote in Australia (huge distances between some towns!) and if I lose an internet connection and am unable to work it’s a huge issue!!! Better safe than sorry.
It can take a few months to find your feet working on the road, and to adjust to the new lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a few ideas before you find your perfect balance of income streams for funding your van life dreams.
If you’ve started making money remotely and want to share your story I’d love to interview you and share your story on Remote Work Vanlife to help others get their remote careers started.