Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
THE OPEN ROAD — For many, freedom is the big reason for hitting the road.
You don’t want to be tied to a particular place for work, a mortgage or any other reason. Maybe you want to see the United States or even other countries. Perhaps you do want to settle down, but you’re just not sure where yet. Or maybe you don’t want to deal with a lot of living expenses. Whatever your reason, you’re not the only one who dreams of an endless road trip.
The big thing holding many people back, of course, is money. How do you earn a living if you’re always traveling? It’s possible to live completely on the road and still earn enough money to cover your expenses — and have a little fun, too — thanks largely to ever-present access to the internet.
Here are some suggestions for how to make a living while traveling:
Take a remote position at a “regular job”
Many companies offer remote work positions that allow you to work from your computer without having to step foot in an office. If you do need to go to a physical location, it’s often only rarely, so you could time your road trips so that you can go into the office when necessary and then hit the road again when you’re done.
For remote work, you’ll want to make sure your computer is up to speed and has a solid internet connection since you’ll be relying on these tools completely to accomplish assignments. You can inquire at your current workplace about remote work options or you can look for a different company that specifically offers this employment option.
You can also create your own remote position by becoming a freelancer. Writing, editing, graphic design, web design and software development are common freelance gigs. If you have a marketable skill, odds are good there’s a demand for it and many companies work with freelancers to supplement their own internal employees.
Freelancing is tough, but it can also be a great way to free yourself of the constraints of a 9-to-5 job so you can hit the road. You can go it alone or try one of the many online marketplaces that have sprung up for freelancers, like Upwork.
If you have a creative flair and a knack for good craftsmanship, you can set up an online shop to sell your goods. Etsy is popular and there is a lot of potential to sell goods there — you can achieve a lot with a little creativity and elbow grease.
As for shipping, just find a local UPS or post office on your travels, and you’ll be good to go.
Run a shop out of an RV or camper
You can also go the local route and sell out of your RV as you travel. RVs are popular with road warriors for several reasons — they provide a mobile living space that is reasonably affordable, they can be parked nearly anywhere and they offer plenty of space for working and storing goods for a shop. RV Life Magazine lists multiple kinds of shops you can run from your RV, and you’d be surprised at how successful these enterprises can be.
However, be sure to do your research beforehand and acquire the necessary licensing to sell goods locally and in different states.
Seasonal work and “workamping”
“Workamping” refers to the practice of working for the owner of an RV park or campground in exchange for a free parking spot and a small paycheck. You can make the rest of your income by taking temporary or seasonal jobs on a part-time basis. This is a popular practice in the traveling world because it keeps your source of income varied and focused on the essentials.
You might not need hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue — maybe you just want to cover your living expenses and enjoy your free time. Workamping and seasonal work are perfect options for that.
These ideas are just the beginning, of course. There is plenty of work out there for the chronic road warrior — you just might have to get a little creative to find it and equip yourself for success.