11 Ways to Make Money on the Road

One of the most frequently asked questions about a nomadic lifestyle, how do I make a living on the road? Leaving a stable income stream can be scary. It's a relatively different approach to making money than most people are use to. Luckily, it's not as difficult as you might think.
Lets jump right in! Now I could provide a list of possible jobs, but we are going to take things a step further and find the type of work that's best for you.
  • What are you good at?

    To do that I need to get to know you better. Like the people that choose this path, each income option is unique. So, first things first a little planning and preparation is in order. Begin by evaluating yourself. What skills, talents, or work experience do you have? Would you feel comfortable working online or doing physical work? Are you a craftsman or perhaps a good writer? Figure out what your good at and what skills you possess that are marketable.


  • What are your financial needs?

    Next, figure out your financial needs. Some types of jobs pay more than others and it is vital that the work you choose can realistically cover your expenses. For example, affiliate marketing, blogging, or starting an online business may seem like a big hit but that is a long-term game. It takes time and fine tuning to become successful. Consider how long the money you make needs to last. Are you going to have to save for awhile and then travel or work on the go? Hold that thought as we move on to the next point.


  • What is your lifestyle goal?

    Stationary? Nomadic? Full Time Travel? Extended trip? The type of work you do will also largely depend on your lifestyle. If you remain stationary or within a general area, then traditional employment at a stationary job may be best. In contrast, constant travel might make working primarily online more efficient. Being nomadic or traveling and then staying for varying lengths of time, is a good median where either could work.


  • Look around: Sometimes you don't know you could be good at something until it's presented in front of your eyes. Have a look at job posting sites, some are specialized for RV/Van lifestyles like the "Your RV Lifestyle" job board.

Did you figure out what you need? Good. Now we can begin. Note: I have not personally tried all of these methods. This list is simply a guide to help give you an idea of what options there are. If one interests you I recommend doing some digging and checking reviews to learn more.


1. Seasonal:

This type of work typically follows the harvest and includes farm work, crop harvest, and fruit picking. If you have a CDL (commercial driver's license) you could even snag a job as a truck driver.


2. Restaurant:

Steak houses, diners, and coffee shops are always looking for help and they are everywhere. Jobs as a barista, cook, waitress, or receptionist require little or no experience and so it's easy to get into. Work at a food joint for a while, earn some cash, and then bounce. On to the next adventure.


3. Teaching/Guiding:

You don't necessarily need a degree or even a certification to teach. You can work using the outdoor experience and skills you already have such as surfing, snowboarding, kayaking, or backpacking. Finding a job instructing these courses can be fun and also allow you to be near the environment you wish to explore. If you do have a degree you can qualify to teach English via video chat to foreign children on TeachAway, VIPKID, or DaDa.

4. Parks and Rec:

Working for a national or state park also has its perks. Doing this allows you ample time to explore the park while you work there until you're ready to visit the next one. Jobs you could apply for include a park warden, receptionist, or general park worker. The same applies to ski resorts who hire similar positions.


5. Sell your skills:

Great at creating unique bobbles or making crafts and jewelry? Etsy is a popular marketplace where you can sell homemade items. You could also sell art and wood carvings. More traditional skills might include carpentry, welding, and construction. These all pay well and are high demand skills. Even busking at times can help collect some spare cash.

6.Photography and Videography

Handy with a camera? Use your skills to freelance or sell stock footage. You could approach non-franchise restaurants and offer to shoot their menu for advertising. Or shoot campsites and BnB places for the owners to promote their listings. Some travelers already have a drone to capture their adventure but may not have considered using it for profit. Invest in taking the part 107 license and become a commercial UAS pilot. Then you can freelance photo and video or sell the footage online to companies that pay royalties. These companies include Pond 5, Shuttershock, iStock, and AdobeStock.

7. House/Pet Sit:

House sitting has become popular. Find a home looking for sitters where you want to travel then reap the benefits of having a place to stay and getting paid for it. All you have to do is keep it clean and well maintained. Online house sitter sites include MindMyHouse, HouseSitter, and Nomador. 

8. Delivery:

Delivery services such as DoorDash and Roadie pay you to deliver items. DoorDash consists of delivering food from different restaurants while Roadie can be anything at any distance. For example, want to go to California? Pickup a package and deliver it on the way to earn some extra money for your travels.

9. Finding Jobs:

If looking for traditional or even short-term work consider temp agencies. Their job is to connect employers with workers. If anything, it's getting them to stop sending you job offers that's difficult. You can also find local work through Craigslist and Workamper. Workamper in particular is more focused on jobs that trade work for a free campsite or RV lot.


10. Online Work

Making money online began in the 90's but has grown exponentially over the years. There are truly a profound amount of options and they differ greatly. These job's might not be that hard to find if you know where to look. Websites like FiverrUpwork, and Mturk act as job boards for a huge variety of online jobs. These sites connect online employers with remote workers like you. Here is a great Guide for Finding a Remote Job Online: Let's go

Here are some examples of online jobs:

  • Virtual assistant
  • Medical transcriptionist
  • Translator
  • Web developing/design
  • Call center representative
  • Tech support specialist
  • Travel agent
  • Teacher- teach online courses
  • Teach on Udemy
  • Social media manager
  • Data Entry
  • Transcribing
  • Programming
  • Customer service and support
  • Sales consultancy
  • Marketing (social media, digital and content marketing)
  • Take Surveys
  • Tutoring
  • Online Entrepreneur Approach
    • Create podcasts
    • Create and sell online-courses
    • Flip Domain Names- (by domain names that may be popular in the future and sell them to those who want that name)
    • YouTube- (monetize your videos)
    • Design websites

11. Writing Online:

If writing is your thing there are a ton of online jobs for freelance writers. Many of these jobs can be found through content mills or freelance sites. Some of these include Constant Content, ProBlogger, Textbroker, and FlexJobs. Here is a great Beginners Guide to Freelance Writing Online: Let's Go! Here are some examples of online writing jobs:
  • Content Writer
  • Write Speeches
  • Write blogs or edit them
  • Writing Contests
  • Write resumes
  • Features Writer
  • News columnist
  • Copy writing
  • Grant Writing
  • Ghost Writing
  • Essay Writing
  • Technical Writing
  • Entrepreneur Approach
    • Write an E-book to sell on Amazon Kindle
    • Write a "How To" E-book on a topic of personal expertise
    • Write a local travel guide for your area

12. Unique/Odd jobs

This is the "Oh I never would've thought of that." section. The world is a big place with a huge range of diversity and jobs are no exception. I've put together ten such odd jobs to give you an idea of what's out there. The possibilities are endless though somewhat illusive depending on the job.
  • Ship Hull Cleaner
    • Put your diving skills to work cleaning ship hulls underwater. Sources say the industry is in great demand of divers so pay is quite good.
  • Commercial Fisherman
    • If you like fishing and can endure somewhat strenuous living conditions you could sign on with a commercial fishing crew for a season. Deadliest Catch anyone?
  • Golf Ball Diver
    • You guessed it. Golf ball divers or snorkelers get paid to reclaim those shots that went into the deep end. You might be surprised how many are waiting to be found. Golf courses hire these folks to retrieve them so they can be cleaned and then resold or restocked for use.
  • Bike Courier
    • Got a bicycle? Put it to use delivery packages, mail, and even meals.
  • Cruise Ship Worker
    • A great way to see the world and work at the same time. Cruise ship work can be quite demanding. Employees may work up to seven days a week but the places you get to see and amenities might be worth it!
  • Fairs, concerts, or festivals.
    • These types of events often need temporary workers and in some cases you can use your skills as an artist to do face painting, portraits, or cartoon drawings. You could also be security for these events or work the ticket booth.
  • Product Tester
    • This could be destructive field testing on camping equipment or testing out make-up and beauty products. Try them out and send a report back.
  • Online Reviewer
    • Companies often pay individuals to review their website or business. Sometimes that's in the form of incentives or coupons. A lot of fast food restaurants have started doing this to promote ordering online for example.
  • Professional Queuer
    • Did you ever think you could get paid to wait in line? Well that's become a service people pay for. Perhaps someone doesn't want to wait in line for the newest iPhone so they hire you to do it for them.
  • Live Mannequin
    • Maybe you were really good at staring contests a a kid? These individuals get paid to stand as still as humanely possible in store front windows sporting the stores clothing or apparel.

Get Out There!

These examples are just some of the many options for working while traveling. Hopefully you found something that piqued your interest and helps make van life a reality for you! For more information about van life check out more of our helpful guides here!

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