How to Make Money on the Road
How to make money on the road? The big question lingering over the heads of many beginner RVers wanting to hit the road and live their lives right now. I mean it’s tempting to see these full-time travelers out on the road and want to do it yourself. Learn how to make money while traveling in an rv or van so you can hit the road!
Today I’m featuring other full-time travelers and the ways to make money on the road from actual real life people like you and me.
These people are doing it and you can too! But before we start I want to let you know that the only thing stopping you from a life of freedom whether you want to travel or not is you. Remote work is everywhere you just have to know where to look.
Some of these travelers took what they were doing before whether it was a skill or an actual job and just made it remote.
So without further ado let’s dive in shall we?!
How to Make Money on the Road
Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant
4 years ago I started a blog with the intention of working from home but never with the intention of traveling full-time. Until the day came when we decided to do this crazy thing and sell our belongings and our home… you can read about Our Decision to Become A Full-Time RV Family here.
In the 4 years since I started my blog a lot changed. In fact, my entire career trajectory changed and I became a Pinterest Virtual Assistant offering digital marketing services to other course creators, bloggers and online business owners.
A Pinterest virtual assistant takes the content a creator is making and puts it on Pinterest for their audience to find, click on and consume. Most of my clients have monetized their blogs with ads, affiliate links and their own digital products.
This allows them to grow their email lists and grow their traffic which results in more money for them and job security for myself.
It’s a great gig and it funded our first year of full-time travel around the United States.
My company has grown to the point of it becoming more than just a virtual assistant gig for myself… I’ve created an agency out of it and we are now in the process of bringing on more team members to handle our growing client load.
Learn more about becoming a Pinterest Virtual Assistant.
Start a Travel Blog
This is by no means a fast way to make money while traveling but it’s a great way to share your journey and build a side income. There are a few people in this post that have blogs as well as their main gig and make money from them.
Work as a Software Engineer
This is one of those jobs you may be doing already and if you are and wondering how to make money on the road you likely need to think about how you can make it remote.
If you work for a company will they allow you to go remote? Perhaps you own your own business like Kathryn’s husband already. Let’s hear from Kathryn and she will tell you all about it.
In 2018, I quit my job in order to travel Europe in a motorhome. We set ourselves up from the very beginning to be able to live only on my husband’s wage. He has his own business writing software for insurance companies (I’m assured it’s as dull as it sounds), but it gives him the flexibility to work from almost anywhere.
We find being in the motorhome makes us much more frugal naturally as we’re not buying ‘stuff’, so we can easily live on his wage.
I left my job when we started travelling (I used to be an air traffic controller- they tend to frown if you’re not in the Ops room for your shift! 🙂 ) and the plan was for me to not work for a while.
Instead, I got bored after 3 weeks and started a blog about our travels- which has now grown into one of the largest motorhome travel websites in the UK. (I also have a YouTube channel, but honestly, I get very little income from it. It’s more of a place to share videos of places we go and tips for other motorhomers.)
I’m grateful we don’t need to look for work as we travel- in Europe with all the different languages I can imagine it would be really difficult. Having work online makes everything much simpler- as long as we have an internet connection, we’re good.
I LOVE working for myself – although blogging at The Wandering Bird is hard work. Way harder than I ever realized. And it’s tough to separate work and personal time when it’s all happening in the same room. But overall, it’s a brilliant way to live and I don’t regret leaving my ‘secure’ job at all.
Become a Virtual Assistant
Michelle from RV Obsession supplements her blogging income from virtual assistant work. You can do about anything under the sun as a VA and this is a great starting place for anyone wondering how to make money on the road.
My husband and I have been travelling around Australia, on and off, for the past 3 years. We started out in a camper trailer (we call it a camper trailer, but I think it’s called a tent trailer in North America). We then upgraded (not by much) to a caravan (travel trailer) that is more comfortable.
As for income; when our funds run low we have to stop somewhere for at least a couple of months for my husband to get some work. Ben works as a truck driver, while I work from the caravan on a couple of side hustles.
I’m working on our two blogs: BenAndMichelle.com and RVObsession.com. They’re both growing and bringing in some income via ads and affiliate income, but it’s not a full-time income yet. So I supplement our income with providing Virtual Assistant services to 2 clients.
One client is a fellow blogger in the RVing niche, I look after her Instagram account. And the other is an RV manufacturer here in Australia; I manage their Pinterest account while also writing articles for them every month.
I got really lucky with my 2 clients. After reading my blog, both actually reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in helping them.
For a while I did try and get some more clients, but you have to ‘put yourself out there’ a lot and I found it time consuming and draining, especially for my more introverted than extroverted personality.
We decided that since my husband was making enough money for us to cover our expenses and save up for more travel, all my time and effort could be spent on growing our blogs and serving the 2 clients I already had, rather than trying to find more.
It’s finally starting to pay off, with the blogs growing and making more money. So hopefully, by the end of this year, we won’t have to keep stopping for work, and can travel indefinitely while making money online.
Medical Research Scientist & Blogging
This one is very unique but I swear my husband tells me once a week he wants to become a scientist. Let’s hear from Chickery’s Travels and Julie will tell you all about her husband’s job and more!
We’re Sean & Julie Chickery and we’ve been full-time in our RV for six years now. While we are both retired from the Air Force, we’re not retired from the workforce. That means that we had to find ways to earn a living while traveling full-time.
Sean was able to translate his skills and training as a medical laboratory scientist to a remote position in medical research. He is a full-time employee who works from his home office, which happens to be in our RV.
I also initially started our full-time RV journey as a remote employee, but decided to create a business providing online education to our fellow RV travelers. With a background in education & training, it was a perfect fit for me.
Components of the business include a blog, online courses on blogging & financial preparation for full-time RV travel, as well as freelance writing for online publications. After the first year of establishing this business, we expanded to include in person presentations at RV shows and rallies.
Work as a Software Developer
This family has a variety of ways they make an income that are very traditional in some ways and gives you a good idea of how to take your current job on the road.
They also run a travel blog Way Beyond the Norm where they share their tips for RV life and travel with kids.
Brent and Kristi Corder of Way Beyond The Norm have been traveling full-time for 2 years and successfully working on the road while doing so.
Brent is in the technology space and contracts out as a software developer for banks. He has worked remotely for the last 7 years, so it was an easy transition to full-time travel. While it pays well, it is an 8-5 job Monday through Friday which leaves only the weekends for exploring new areas where they travel.
This type of work does require a specific college degree in business computer systems. So, if you’ve got the background, contracting in the technology field could be a great way to find work while on the road.
Work as a Health Consultant
Kristi has her chiropractic degree and license but is unable to work from the road in the chiropractic profession. However, her knowledge of alternative healthcare has enabled her to be a health consultant for people looking for alternative healthcare options for themselves and their families.
Think telehealth for non-drug approaches to healthcare and that’s what she does. She finds work by connecting with people she meets on the road as well as by word of mouth and advertising on social media.
While this type of work does require a higher education degree, similar work such as health and life coaches are great options for anyone who loves helping others live a healthier, happier life.
Speech Language Pathologist
This is another one of those instances where a traveler was able to take their job on the road with them. It’s not uncommon for this to be possible with the changing landscape of jobs around the country.
Let’s hear from Kathryn on how her and her husband travel while she makes money as a SLP.
We are Joel and Kathryn Mancewicz, and we have been full-time RVers for the last year and loving every second of it! I (Kathryn) work as a traveling Speech-Language Pathologist. I take contracts all over the country to work in hospitals or schools for about 13 weeks (or up to a whole school year for school jobs where I’m not covering a maternity leave or something more temporary).
Joel’s job as a precast concrete designer and project coordinator started out based out of Albuquerque, NM where I attended grad school. But after the 2 years of grad school and him working at that job, we were ready to leave NM. Rather than seeing him go, his company asked him to continue working remotely which he has been doing now for the past 3 years (wow, the time has flown!)
Our remote jobs pay us a regular salary that fully covers all our expenses for living in an RV and allows us to save a ton of money too. In fact, we are definitely shooting for early retirement or partial retirement.
My job, in particular, has allowed me to continue working as a speech-language pathologist (which is what I went to school for) but by taking the job on the road instead of staying permanent, I have actually been able to DOUBLE my salary. I would 100% recommend traveling speech therapy to anyone already in the field who wants to become an RVer.
It was a really easy transition and honestly, I have been so much happier in my work than I was when I was in a permanent job. For those of you who have a regular office job, you can try doing what Joel did and see if your company will allow you to work remotely and continue on with your current work.
Offer Photography Services
Ron has an interesting story on how he was offering photoshoots and just got so busy he had to bring others in. He happily does this while taking his home with him. What a wonderful way to make money while rving and see all these beautiful places!
But don’t listen to me… here’s Ron’s story.
I grew up in a small town outside of Louisville, KY. My first career was radio broadcasting. I was lucky enough to get into that right out of high school. That career brought me to Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1998. In the early 2000s, I got into photography as a hobby and a way to make a little extra money.
By 2009, I had decided to focus exclusively on photographing families who were on vacation at the beach and was getting so much work that I had to contract the “overflow” work out to another photographer. In 2010, I changed the name of my business from “Ron Wainscott Photography” to “Shore Shooters Beach Photography” since I was no longer the only photographer in the business.
2010 was also the year I met April Loyle, who is now my business partner in both of the photography businesses. April leads the “creative” side of the businesses by recruiting and training the best photographers in our areas. I primarily take care of the “business” side of things, but I still get the camera out when we need extra help.
After expanding Shore Shooters into a number of beach communities throughout Florida and South Carolina, we decided to start a similar tourist-based business (Mountain Escape Photography) for families visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Together, Shore Shooters and Mountain Escape provide work for nearly 50 photographers.
When I traveled to the different areas where we do business, I always seemed to be in a hurry to get my work done and get back home because hotels in tourist areas can get expensive!
That’s why I came up with the idea to take my “home” with me wherever I go. By becoming a full-time RVer, I am now able to spend as much time as needed in each area my businesses serve.
Full-time RVing also allows me the flexibility to be the backup photographer when a certain area is really busy and we don’t have enough photographers to keep up with the workload. For example, in the mountains, our busy time is during the fall when the leaves are changing. This is when everyone wants family pictures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During this time of the year, I can stay in the mountains as long as necessary, while still being “home”.
We are always recruiting new photographers, so we would love to find some more traveling photographers! Our photographers are not limited to shooting in just one area, so it’s a perfect opportunity for other full-time RVing photographers! Once a photographer is in our system, they can shoot for either company and change locations as often as they want. Interested photographers can apply here.
Work as a Market Researcher
Christina started remote work before she ever hit the road which is a testament to her motivation for an alternative lifestyle. You can read more about Christina & her husband journey.
Here’s Christina’s story and she even tells us about a job I’m covering next.
In 2013 my husband and I decided to move from New York City to Raleigh, North Carolina. I had no desire to leave behind my well-paying career in market research, so I prepared a pitch for my boss and asked permission to start working from home. Two years later, after discovering RV life, I prepared another pitch and was able to take my career on the road. My request to work remotely was granted because I had built credibility with the company and I was prepared to answer all of my boss’s questions about the logistics of internet and travel. After working from our fifth wheel for three years, I have recently left my career to pursue a new passion. My husband is currently attending school to become an RV technician. Once his certification is complete, we will start a mobile RV repair company that can travel across the country with us.
Become a Remote RV Mechanic
Christina’s husband is going to school to get his certification to become a mobile RV mechanic. This is a great way to make money on the road and travel. You’re in and out of RV parks so often and RVers are a friendly crowed. They talk a lot and want to know your story. I can’t tell you how many times my husband was working on our RV in a park and a fellow traveler asked him for help. He’s not even a remote mechanic!
Learn how to become a remote RV mechanic like Christina’s husband.
Become a Workamper
I have an Instagram friend that is traveling while workamping. They have traveled to some of the most beautiful places and his jobs are always changing.
You can also work at Amazon as a workamper!
The possibilities are endless. Your best bet is to start with Sharee over at Live Camp Work and branch out from there. She’s a wealth of knowledge!
Sell Products like Arbonne
Direct sales companies get a bad rap but honestly if you’re social and love a product why not make money talking about it? I have personally sold for multiple MLMs and have friends successfully making more money than I do selling products.
My friend Brooke sells Arbonne and her family of 4 travels full-time on her income alone. She’s a testament to authenticity when it comes to sharing products you love.
There are a ton of companies to choose from and Arbonne is a great option. I actually use their products daily in my life and love them.
Connect with Brooke to see what she’s doing!
Teach English with VIP Kid
My friends over at We Live on a Bus make an income teaching english as one of their many income streams.
VIP Kid is a viable option to make money remotely that is truly flexible.
VIP Kid has become a leading resource in the industry for teaching kids. They don’t require you to have a teaching certificate but they are particular about who they take. Don’t be put off by that though! They encourage you to apply and use their resources to get past the testing phase.
Still wondering how to make money while traveling in an rv?
There are vast resources available to anyone looking for remote work but here are a few extras before you go.
- Make money as an Instacart driver
- Become a transcriptionist
- Sell handmade products online
- Become an Amazon FBA shop
- Offer tutoring services
- Offer graphic design
- Build websites for others
- Create online courses
- Become a bookkeeper
Where can I find work?
There are companies out there that can help you to find people looking for your services.
Companies like Upwork, Fiverr and FreeUp can help you to find jobs you can pitch. Fiverr is a company where you list your job and people come to you. Upwork allows you to pitch people who post jobs and FreeUp pairs you with people looking for VAs and they get the choice to interview you.
Each of these are slightly different but can help find ways to make money on the road using your existing skills.
So do you think traveling full-time and either creating a job for yourself or taking your current career with you would work?
Traveling is a great way to live life right now but it costs money at the same time!