Generating Income While On The Road
The next article in our Van Life Series is - Generating Income While on the Road
Generating income on the road is a popular option for those who choose to live the van life - especially if you wish to prolong the lifestyle. There are several ways to make money while living on the road, including remote work, freelance jobs, seasonal work, and entrepreneurship.
Remote work is becoming more popular and accessible, especially in the digital age. Many jobs can be done remotely, when armed with a fast laptop, a set of headphones, and a mobile phone hotspot . Remote work allows you to set the schedule, while having a steady income, and maintaining the flexibility to travel and explore new places.
Potential options for remote work could include
- Freelance writing, editing, and proofreading
- Virtual bookkeeping and accounting
- Web design and development
- Social media management and content creation
- Online tutoring and teaching
- Virtual assistance and administrative work
- Graphic design and illustration
- E-commerce and online retail
- Digital marketing and advertising
- App and software development.
Note: Post-COVID, some employers are less willing to allow full-time remote work, while other companies are totally fine with remote work, assuming your performance is good.
Freelance jobs are another option for generating income while on the road. Freelance work is typically project-based, where you bid to complete a project, and once done, you get paid.
Four of the largest freelancer "marketplaces" are listed below. Most people create a profile for themselves, then actively look for projects posted. The beauty of these services is emplorers will seek you out once you're profile is fleshed out and compelling
- Upwork - This is one of the largest platforms for freelancers, offering a wide range of jobs from writing and editing to graphic design and web development.
- Freelancer.com - This platform offers similar services to Upwork, with a focus on software development, design, writing, and data entry.
- Fiverr - Fiverr is a platform that offers services starting at $5, covering everything from graphic design to social media marketing.
- Guru - This platform has been around since 2001 and offers a range of freelance services, including web development, design, writing, and marketing.
Seasonal work is a popular option for those who prefer a more hands-on approach. Many seasonal jobs are available in the tourism and hospitality industries, such as working at a campground or national park. These jobs often provide housing and a steady income for several months at a time, making it an ideal option for van lifers who want to work for a set period and then move on to a new destination.
While not an exhaustive list, here are some more ideas for seasonal work
- National parks and campgrounds
- Ski resorts and lodges
- Summer camps for kids
- Agricultural farms and ranches
- Theme parks and amusement parks
- Outdoor adventure companies (e.g. white-water rafting, zip-lining, hiking)
- Christmas tree farms and pumpkin patches
- Beach resorts and tourist destinations
- Music festivals and events
- Retail stores during peak shopping seasons
In addition, here are some resources to check out when planning your next trip
CoolWorks.com: This website specializes in job opportunities in national parks, resorts, and other outdoor recreational areas.
SeasonWorkers.com: This website offers a range of seasonal jobs in various industries, including hospitality, agriculture, and tourism.
JobMonkey.com: This website has a section dedicated to seasonal jobs, with a focus on opportunities in the travel and tourism industry.
Backdoorjobs.com: This website features opportunities for "short-term job adventures" in various fields, including outdoor education, conservation, and hospitality.
Indeed.com: This popular job search engine has a specific category for seasonal jobs, where job seekers can search for opportunities in various industries and locations.
Starting a new business, or taking an existing business on the road is another way to make a living while living on the road. Starting a business that aligns with your interests and skills can provide a steady income while allowing you to work on your own terms. Some popular businesses for van lifers include selling handmade goods, offering services such as mobile pet grooming, or starting a mobile food truck.
Another potential opportunity lies in chronicling your Van Life experiences, on YouTube. Many van lifers have created successful YouTube channels where they share their experiences, tips, and adventures on the road. By creating engaging content and building a dedicated audience, YouTubers can earn money.
One popular example is the YouTube channel "Kombi Life," which documents a couple's journey living in a Volkswagen van while traveling around the world. They monetize their channel through advertising revenue, sponsorships, merchandise sales, and crowdfunding from fans. Another example is the channel "Eamon & Bec," which features a couple living in a converted Sprinter van and documenting their travels and van life tips. They earn money through sponsorships, affiliate marketing, merchandise sales, and YouTube ad revenue.
Overall, there are many options for generating income while living on the road. It's important to consider your skills, interests, and financial needs when deciding which option is best for you.