Lifestyle

How to Make Money on the Road

Want to travel, but not sure how to fund your trip? Here are a few ideas on different ways to make money on the road!

One of the most pressing questions that people have about van life is how to make money on the road. Working while traveling seems like a difficult situation. However, there are SO MANY ways to make money on the road – more than you might think!

Growing internet capabilities are making online jobs more accessible and available. Many companies that went online due to the global pandemic are permanently keeping some of their positions remote! This is giving nomads a lot more options when it comes to funding their lives and travels.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can make money on the road!

Seasonal jobs

A man with his back to the camera looking out at the view as he stands at the edge of the Grand Canyon.

There are a lot of seasonal jobs that van lifers can take advantage of. With these, you would stay in one place for a few weeks or months at a time to work. There are a few different types of seasonal jobs, including:

  • National Park rangers
  • Jobs surrounding national parks
  • Campground workers – commonly called workamping
  • Farm workers
  • Amazon warehouses

These jobs also typically provide free housing (or at least a place to park your rig). This is a great way to travel with a sense of stability. Alternatively, some nomads like to work for a full season and then take time off to travel with the money they earned!

If you’re interested in this type of work, check out CoolWorks to find seasonal job listings around National Parks or other amazing natural areas!

Van buildouts

If you’re feeling confident in your van-building abilities, try starting your own van-building service. You can also consider joining a van conversion company. This is becoming a pretty popular business as the van life community grows. There are plenty of people out there who want an adventure van but don’t have the time or experience to build it out on their own.

You can find specific people online who need a build done for them, or you can simply build out a van on your own and put it up for sale! This is a long-term gig, but you can go at your own pace and make a lot of money in the end!

Sell your special skills

A group of people with yoga mats gathered outside for morning yoga at a van life meetup. There are camper vans and buses lined up behind the stage with the instructor.
Morning yoga at Descend on Bend, 2021

Not sure if you want to build a full van but still have some useful skills? You can sell your skills online! There are plenty of people who are building or renovating their vans and need help with part of the project. For example, if you’re a pro at electric setups, you can be hired to set up someone’s solar system for them.

If you have other types of skills, like yoga, photography, or jewelry-making, you can host workshops or classes wherever you travel. This is a great way to earn some cash on the road and meet up with other van lifers in the process!

Make & sell art, jewelry, or other products

If you have any crafty skills, you can make your own products and sell them on the road! A lot of van lifers make and sell art items like paintings, jewelry, wood carvings, and more. Some also make and sell their own products, like sunscreen, coffee, clothing, and more!

You can sell your items on vendor websites like Etsy, book spots in farmer and art markets through your travels, or even sell your items to other van lifers in campgrounds or at van life meetups!

Blogging

A smiling girls standing in her camper van holds up a laptop with her website on it, entitled "What Lies Ahead."

Believe it or not, you can actually earn a full-time living by running a blog! If you create your own website and post consistently, you can gain an audience and start earning. You can make money through advertisements on your blog and affiliate marketing. You might also decide to write your own book or van life guide, which you can sell on your blog for extra cash!

This is a job that requires a lot of work and dedication, and it might take a while to really take off. However, it can be nice to have a job that is focused on yourself and your travels. It’s a great way to make money off of your own personal experiences!

Teach or tutor online

A popular way to make money on the road is to teach English to foreign students online. You don’t need to have any special teaching experience, you just need to speak English! Websites like DaDa allow you to teach English online. They provide you with great pay and super flexible schedules – two perfect traits for van life jobs!

There is also the option to tutor online. This type of job also provides flexible schedules, with many of them allowing you to choose your own hours. Skooli is a great example of an online tutoring website. You typically don’t need to be an expert in a subject or have previous tutoring experience, but you might have to take a subject test or mock tutor to get the job!

Social media managing & brand deals

A girl sits by a rocky riverside in Montana, opening up a portable, chest-like fridge and pulling out a canned drink.

If you’re good with social media, you might want to consider managing a company’s social accounts! Companies nowadays understand that the future of marketing is through social media, so they’re constantly looking for experienced people to help keep up with the times and trends.

This job allows you to work your own hours and from anywhere. Plus, a lot of people like to plan out posts ahead of time. This means they might spend a full day working and planning out posts so they don’t have to do anything for the rest of the week!

You can also work on gaining a good following on your personal social media accounts to start earning brand deals. Brand deals are when brands send you their products and pay you in exchange for advertisements. You don’t even need to have a huge following. There are plenty of van lifers with less than 10k followers who get amazing, PAID brand deals!

You typically get to keep the products from these deals as well. Personally, I’ve gotten a few brand deals of my own. I’ve earned a free solar power system ($900 value), fridge ($400 value), and enough coffee to last me for months!

Food and grocery delivery services

Postmates and Instacart are two online food and grocery delivery services that are available almost everywhere. You are able to update your location on the app and deliver to people wherever you are! You are also never restricted to any one location, so this works great for travelers.

The way it works is you take a food or grocery order on the app, buy everything on the list (or pick it up at the restaurant), and deliver it to the customer to earn cash (and an extra tip!). You are able to work literally whenever you want, which can be very helpful for people who don’t have solid living schedules.

It’s important to note that these jobs are more geared towards urban areas, so this might not be fitting for people who prefer to stay in remote areas.

There are so many creative ways to make money on the road. Whether you decide to work seasonally, remotely, in a job that doesn’t need professional experience, or even a special skills job, you have tons of options. All you have to do is decide which job is the best fit for you!

Have other remote job ideas that we didn’t mention? Share it with us in the comments!

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

2 comments

  1. So many great ways to live creatively these days! I’ve been a professional concert harpist for over 40 years. Never planned for van life but at the age of 60, covid hit and all live concerts were stopped. To get the comfort of live harp music to people just when we needed it most, I converted a Ford Transit into a rolling tiny home /concert hall and hit the road with my cat and concert harp in a project I called Harp to Heart. 2021 ended up being the best year of my career and I’ve fallen in love with the lifestyle. It’s winter in Canada now and I can’t wait to be back on the road as soon as it’s warm enough. Hope to connect with the vanlife community along the way. Btw, my licence plate and social media are HRP2HRT. If you spot me on the road, I’d love to hear from you! ❤️

  2. I met a guy who full times and makes money as a Mobile RV Repairman and as a certified RV inspector. He has a sign on the sides of his truck and said he’s quickly booked up after he sets up camp. With a van, you may want something removable. Or you could pass out business cards. My friend found him through the internet–apparently he can easily change his info to match his current location.

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