Traveling is a passion for many people. It’s an amazing experience, but one that can quickly become expensive. Earning money while you’re traveling is the perfect solution. This gives you the chance to enjoy your experience to the fullest, without needing to stress about finances. In many cases, the process can mean that you’re able to do more and go further than you could otherwise.
In this list, we’re taking a detailed look at all the ways that you can make money while you’re traveling in an RV or a van. Some of these are good for a little cash on the side, while other approaches offer more.
Making money as you go could even allow you to live in your RV full-time if you planned well. After all, the costs of this lifestyle are much lower than all the complexities that come with owning a house and living in a city.
The trick, as always, is to find the approaches that fit your needs and skills. Thankfully, there are plenty to choose from.
Table of Contents
- Do Some Preparation and Planning
- Jobs On The Go
- Renting Out
- Earning Online
- Make Money While Traveling In Your Van Or RV
Do Some Preparation and Planning
The very first thing you should do is simply to plan. Take the time to consider how you will earn money and what you will need to do so. You’ll also want to think about how this fits into your travel goals.
For example, if you are emphasizing online techniques you’ll need to have reliable access to the internet while you’re working. There are some portable options for WiFi, such as a device that Keepgo offers, but these can get expensive fast. Alternatively, you may need to plan you traveling around WiFi access. You’ll also need a way to get paid, such as a PayPal account.
Likewise, traveling in an RV often puts you in holiday mode and it can be tough to attempt to work at the same time. And, regardless of how you do it, making money does take time and dedication. So, you’ll need to make sure you have the time and ability to work.
One of the best ways that I’ve found is to carve out some time specifically for vacationing or traveling while making other time focused on work. This depends a little on how you plan to earn, but it is one viable approach. Some of the methods on this list will naturally solve the problem for you.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way – let’s look at how you can actually earn.
Jobs On The Go
There are many employment opportunities throughout the country if you know where to look. These give you the chance to stop for a while and earn some money, then keep going with your traveling.
Summer Camps and Resorts
These locations will often provide flexible work opportunities for travelers. The exact role will depend on the place in question and what their needs are. But, this provides the perfect opportunity to interact with others and to be more engaged.
You can often simply find work by enquiring at the location. The site CoolWorks is also worth checking out. The site specializes in this area and highlights a wide range of flexible jobs, along with when they are available. You could even use this information as a guide and plan your travels around the opportunities that are available.
The site Workamper has a set of employer pages that you should look at too. These provide details about various employers and programs that you can work for.
Look For Day Labor
Some places will hire day laborers. This does apply to summer camps too, along with a range of other locations. These roles are often physically intense, while others may require specific skills.
You can keep an eye out for local advertisements or postings on sites like Craigslist. But, these days, you’ll probably need to go through an online service. There are various staffing services that focus on day labor and can help you find the work you need. These will often involve some vetting processes and getting accepted can take time. Still, they provide you with access to work you wouldn’t find otherwise.
Do Odd Jobs Or DIY
If you don’t want to get involved with a company, you could just stick to odd jobs and DIY. There is often work that needs doing and some people will look for help in local papers, Craigslist, or on bulletin boards.
You can also advertise yourself, especially if you’re in the same place for a little while. This can be a practical way to find work. It also means you’ll often be doing different things, which helps keep life interesting.
Work On A Farm
There is a cool program called WWOOF USA that allows you to work on a farm, in exchange for room and board. The program has you working for half of the day. The rest of the time is yours to do with as you wish.
This isn’t technically a way to earn, as you’re not getting paid. But, you are saving any money you’d need to spend to park up for a while. You also get the chance to sleep in a normal bed and have a shower (or a bath). You might be missing those luxuries if you’ve been on the road for a while.
Making And Selling Crafts
Crafts are always in demand and can be a great way to earn. There are various ways to sell jewelry online, but if you’re traveling, making sales in person probably makes more sense.
There are plenty of opportunities to do so. For example, you may be able to find local markets that would allow you to set up a stall. Some people running yard sales may even let you join in, especially if you give them something in return.
You’ll even see people setting up stalls on the side of the road or selling out of the back of their van. Just make sure that you’re complying with local laws at all times.
Be A Street Performer
This technique works best for anyone musically inclined, although you could develop an entirely different type of performance if you were creative enough. Either way, the idea is simply to perform in a busy area for tips. The right performance in the right location can easily be profitable.
You will also need to check local laws first. Some areas require you to have a license or may place some restrictions on what you can do.
Performing is most relevant for populated areas. If you’re traveling in more remote locations, the potential audience would be too small.
Earn As A Courier
You’re going to be traveling anyway, why not earn some money from the process? Sites like Roadie will pay you to make deliveries. Roadie uses a gig-based approach, where you can pick up whichever deliveries suit you.
The amount you earn per gig is typically based on the distance and it’s often not a large amount. But, you could potentially earn hundreds of dollars for a long-haul delivery. You can also pick up multiple deliveries along the same route, allowing you to earn more without much extra effort.
Payment is made into your bank account, typically within three to five days. Even though you’re not getting cash immediately, the system is worth checking out.
Be A Network Marketer
This approach is mostly used to earn money in your own environment. After all, you’re meant to develop connections and get other people involved. Many of the companies also use a catalog-based ordering system, which wouldn’t be practical on the road.
But, if you just wanted to focus on sales, some inventory-based companies could work. For example, distributors for the jewelry company Paparazzi sell $5 jewelry, which they purchase in bulk. This style would give you a collection of products that you could sell from the back of your van or at a stall.
It’s not the most powerful technique in the world. Still, it’s an interesting alternative. This is also a way to earn if you’re not interested in making your own products.
Hold Local Classes
Teaching is always a good way to make some cash – and this applies to many different talents. Think about the skills that you have, along with what people would want to learn.
You can teach pretty much anything. But, for traveling, I’d recommend lessons that don’t need many resources. If you can teach outside, that’s even better. One of the best options is exercise classes, like yoga, HIIT, or something similar. If it’s a lovely day outside, you’ll often find that people want to join.
You can advertise locally using flyers or signs. If you’re in the same place for a while, you could also look at listings in local papers.
Buy And Resell Items
Selling items for money is a bit of pain when you’re traveling, but you do have some unique opportunities. In particular, you’re able to access many more second-hand shops, yard sales, markets, and the like. This gives you the chance to find more rare and unusual items that you could potentially flip for a profit.
To do so, you need to know what you’re looking for and what it’s worth. For example, some people trawl markets looking for gold jewelry pieces that are sold as costume pieces. They then earn by selling the gold. Others look for items where the value is underestimated, like rare board games or books.
You would also need a place to make sales. Gold is easy enough. But, finding customers for rare products would be more difficult. You’d probably need to rely on eBay or Amazon, which could be tricky while traveling. And, don’t forget, you’d need the space to store anything you buy until you can sell it.
The style can work and it might even be fun. Just make sure you plan well first. Otherwise, you might end up out of pocket with a van full of junk.
Sell Your Plasma
Many people sell their plasma as a way to earn a little extra money. You don’t get a large amount but there are plenty of locations that will pay. However, this approach works best if you’re traveling near large towns. Many small towns won’t have any suitable places to sell plasma.
It’s also possible to find someone to sponsor your trip (or some of it). This is most common if you have a blog, as that helps to get your name out there. Having a decent following on social media can help as well. But, some people have also managed to find sponsorship through other means.
Heath and Alyssa are one example of this. They ended up being sponsored by Snagajob and traveled across the nation finding hourly jobs.
As they point out, a key aspect is having a project and a goal. No one is going to sponsor you for just traveling. But, if you have a specific task in mind, you might be able to find someone who is interested, especially if it ties in with their business model somehow.
Find Temporary Jobs
One other angle is to focus on temporary work. This is what Heath and Alyssa did in the example above. With this style, you’re looking for a conventional job that you can keep for a little while, such as waitressing or working in a retail store. The idea is that you work for a period and save money, then travel. After that, you simply repeat the same pattern in a new city.
This approach means that you’re traveling much more slowly, with longer gaps between your trips. You may even find yourself staying in the same place for months at a time, depending on the work that you find.
The flip side is that you get to use your traveling time for just traveling. You don’t have to worry about work every day and you only need to look for work when it’s time to stop again.
If you plan to travel for a while, you probably have some things at home that you don’t need. Why not make some money from them?
Rent Out Your Home
An easy way to earn is to simply rent out your home while you’re away. After all, you won’t be using it. Why leave it just sitting empty? The most common way to do this is through Airbnb, which has become incredibly popular.
You will also need to arrange for management of the place between one set of renters and the next. Various places can offer this service and you can advertise locally as well. Or, better yet, employ someone you know to perform the role. That way, you get some added peace of mind.
Even so, this one does require a bit of trust. With regular Airbnb, at least you get to check in on your place regularly. You don’t get that luxury if you are traveling.
Rent Out Your Car
There are also some companies that allow you to rent out your car. This mightn’t earn you as much as renting your home, but it would be less stressful too. Besides, if you have a car sitting at home, why not make a little money from it?
This isn’t a fast way to earn, as you need to wait for someone to make a booking. You may also want to focus on long-term rentals, which would mean you have less to organize.
Various services help you get started with this process, including HyreCar. Some of them even have insurance plans to help keep your vehicle safe.
Making money online isn’t the easiest process while you’re traveling, but it is very achievable. There are also many different approaches that you can try – giving you plenty of flexibility.
Be A Travel Blogger
Travel blogging is a natural fit for anyone who is living on the road. This gives you a fantastic chance to talk about your experiences and to get other people following along. You basically get to earn money while writing about traveling.
Being successful in this field does take some planning. There are a ton of travel blogs out there already, including many in your local area. You need to find a unique angle or perspective that can help you to stand out.
One direction to consider would be to teach people how to travel the United States effectively (if that’s what you’re doing). For example, you might highlight lesser-known sights to see, along with ways to save money and other useful tips. Other people in this field have written about ways to earn while you travel, sharing their own experiences.
There are two main ways to make money with travel blogging. One method is affiliate marketing, which we’ll come back to later on. The other is to host ads on your website. These pay you a little bit based on your traffic. You’re not earning a ton but the income can add up, especially if your site becomes popular.
If you have the skill and background, trading stocks can be a way to earn. The same applies to cryptocurrency as well. But, you do need to be very careful in this field. It’s easy to lose money and many people do regularly.
I would only ever recommend this option to people who already have the skills and can afford to lose anything they invest. If that’s the case, this might be viable while traveling. For beginners, stick with something more reliable.
Sell Your Photos
Photography is another approach that works perfectly with traveling. You’re likely to find many amazing places to take photos – so why not make some money from them?
One method is to sell your photos professionally, such as through your own website. I’ve also seen people create products based on their photos. Canvas prints are one example.
You could also do an in-person variation of this, where you use a print store to create cards based on your photos and then try to sell them at markets. If you sold them at $5 apiece, or something like that, you might get some interest.
In either case, you’d need to be great at marketing to do this effectively. It would help if your photos are somewhat unusual as well. After all, there are a lot of amazing photos and photographers out there. This means you probably won’t earn much from a photograph of a sunset, regardless of how beautiful it is. The competition is simply too high.
A second method is selling stock photos. Most paid stock photos sites allow you to do this. The catch is that you only earn if your photos sell. You don’t normally get much per sale either. If some of your photos become popular, this could be a nice income source.
But, once again, it helps to be a little unusual. No one is even going to see your work if there are thousands of other images that look similar.
Run An Amazon FBA Business
Amazon FBA is a system that allows you to sell products on Amazon, without having to manually ship them every time you make a sale. Instead, your items are stored in Amazon’s warehouses. Amazon is then responsible for most of the related processes, including packing and shipping products out to buyers.
This can be a good way to earn, as long as you find products that will sell and you can turn a profit on. Doing that takes time, research and planning.
It wouldn’t be practical to set up an Amazon FBA business while you are on the road. There is too much initial work involved, especially as you need to get all of your products to Amazon. But, once you have the business up and running, you could potentially maintain it while you’re traveling.
Writing is another process that you can do pretty much anywhere. As a field, freelance writing is huge, with many writers earning a regular income from their work. There is also high demand. That means they work is there if you know where to look.
Sites like UpWork provide a way for freelancers and writers to find one another. You can also advertise your own work, perhaps through a website or even Craigslist. Writing guest blogs can also be effective and you may get paid per article.
Like many fields, freelance writing can be tough to break into. Most people feel like they can write, so there is considerable competition. Some people hiring won’t pay well, while others will be a little worn out from poor-performing writers.
But, once you start to develop a reputation and find good clients, freelance writing can be powerful. For example, you could easily end up with a task that involves writing 50 small articles over the course of a month and turning them all in together. This would be easy enough to do on the road, especially if you’re familiar with the topics.
Personally, I’d suggest developing a business and a client base before you try to earn while you travel. This gives you the most flexibility and means you’ll know exactly what to expect. Many regular clients may also understand if you’re not answering emails for a few days at a time, while a new client might not.
Freelance writing is probably the easiest type of freelancing, just because it doesn’t require unusual skills. But, if you do have marketable skills, you can potentially earn with them as well. You may be able to earn more, especially for specialized skills.
The site UpWork that I mentioned before covers many of these areas. Other people focus on places like Fiverr or promote themselves using their own website.
Basically, if you can do the work remotely, there is probably a market for it somewhere. In some cases, you can even freelance in person. Of course, doing so in person would be more difficult, especially as you would be dealing with a new audience regularly.
Regardless of the approach you take, it’s worth creating your own website. This gives you a base that you can use to promote yourself and to highlight what you do. A site can also be somewhere to document your journey or talk about your passions. Many people find that they end up generating interest in their work as their audience grows, even if most of the site isn’t even about what they offer.
Any Remote Job
Most ways to earn with an RV focus on relatively new job types, along with side hustles. But, some people simply earn by doing their regular job on the road. This only applies to jobs that can be done remotely. Still, companies are being increasingly flexible about remote workers.
That isn’t surprising either. Many roles are all about the work you’re doing, not where you are doing it from. For example, some businessmen can do their work remotely and hold conference calls when needed. Likewise, some college-level teachers earn by teaching online courses. Many colleges have these courses now and they can easily be taught remotely.
One final way to earn is affiliate marketing. This approach isn’t specific to traveling at all. Instead, it is something that you can do pretty much anywhere. All you need is a laptop and periodic access to the internet. That’s the beauty of it, your chance to earn stays the same no matter where you go, meaning that you can put your focus on other areas instead.
Affiliate marketing is a pretty simple concept – you earn money by promoting products from other people and companies. This typically means that you get the ability to make affiliate links. When people click on these links they are taken to the products. The price doesn’t change for them at all. But, if they make a purchase, you earn a commission.
What this commission depends on the specific program that you are a part of. In some cases, you might be earning around 5%. But, other programs offer 15% or even higher. If you can make a decent amount of sales, the income potential is significant.
If you build your own website (which isn’t difficult), affiliate marketing can be easily scaled up. This makes it a great long-term process too.
For example, I know that I can leave my sites for periods of time, especially if I have posts scheduled out and have left instructions for any writers working for me. This gives me the chance to be mostly offline for a while and enjoy traveling, while still earning.