Figuring out just how to make money on the road is difficult for anyone wanting to start living the van life. In fact, it’s one of the top questions I get on my site!
Luckily, there are many ways to make money from a van, whether you dig computer work or want something a little more hands-on.
In this post, we’ll go over all the ways you can make money on the road.
20 Ways to Make Money from a Computer
If you carry a computer around and feel comfortable working online, the world is your oyster when it comes to remote work.
Freelance writing is in hot demand, and you can get work in so many places, from working for a larger company or starting your own blog writing business.
In fact, I have several people who write blog posts for my site, The Wayward Home. A good place to find blog writing jobs is on the Problogger Job Board.
Aside from writing blog posts, you can pitch to magazines, newspapers and online media outlets.
You can ghostwrite, write technical or white papers, or write copy for someone’s website or email list.
Need help getting started? Here are some resources from one of my favorite freelance writers, Lindy Alexander, who is an expert in magazine writing.
- 5 Ways to Get Featured in a Magazine
- 9 Markets for Food Writers
- 10 Successful Magazine Pitches
- How to Break into Travel Writing Online Course
Start a Niche Website, aka, Blog
Starting a blog, aka a niche website, isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but if you love everything about writing, digital marketing, email marketing, and being your own boss, this could be a great way to get started making money remotely.
You’ll have to learn how to choose a niche, do keyword research and write posts for the internet. Niche sites can make some serious money if you go about creating them the right way.
I make a full-time income from my site, The Wayward Home, which is over 6 figures per year. And in the beginning, I knew NOTHING about blogs or niche site creation.
This is a great way to make money on the road as once you get it up and running, a niche website is mostly passive income. I make the same from ads and affiliates whether I work or don’t work, which is amazing.
Interested? Download my list of 10 Profitable Blogging Niche Ideas, with Examples:
If you’re into crunching numbers, you may want to think about starting your own virtual bookkeeping business.
There is an incredibly high demand for bookkeepers, and the best part is that you don’t need to be in any specific location to do the job. You are able to work virtually from your computer from your campervan or RV.
This business is obviously for a very specific type of person. In order to find out if you fit the criteria, I invite you to watch this FREE video webinar, presented by the Founder of Bookkeeper Launch, Ben Robinson.
Social Media Management
The number of blogs, YouTube channels, Tik Tok and Instagram accounts are growing by the day. You can jump on this trend and become a social media manager for all types of businesses, whether you work for an online content creator or sign up with a company.
Becoming a graphic designer is the perfect way to make money from the road as a van lifer. Tons of companies need graphic designers, myself included!
I currently hire people to create social media graphics, YouTube graphics, charts and images for blog posts, templates and PDFs. If you have an eye for design, this could be the perfect remote work opportunity for van life.
Are you really good with grammar and have an eye for detail? Being a proofreader might be just up your alley if you’re wondering how to make money on the road. There are plenty of writers out there who need someone to go over their work with a fine-toothed comb.
If you’re not sure about proofreading as a way to make money, proofreader Caitlin Pyle offers a free webinar for people interested in proofreading.
To check out the free webinar, go here: Webinar: Learn the Skills you need for a career in proofreading.
If you don’t mind listening and typing away on your computer, transcription might be just the gig for you.
Plus, you could listen to audio and transcribe anywhere from your campervan to make extra money – you don’t even need an internet connection!
There are two types of transcription services you could offer – legal and general.
You can take a free transcription mini-courseto learn more about transcription and see if it might be right for you.
- Writing and responding to emails
- Formatting Wordpress blog posts
- Finding images for Wordpress signs
- Managing social media
- Managing a calendar
- Graphic design
- Uploading pins to Pinterest and writing descriptions
- Making short-form videos
The podcast industry is booming, with over 5 million podcasts worldwide, with the majority of listeners in the U.S.
Podcast producers can take on a variety of tasks, from editing audio and video, to uploading to pocast host and video platforms, to writing show notes and creating social media images for podcasts.
I’ve seen podcast producers that charge around $1,500 PER PODCAST for four episodes per month. So as you can see, the money can rack up if you start this sort of business.
If you love editing video, there are plenty of companies out there, and YouTubers, who need your help. Video editing positions tend to be a great way to make extra money on the road. Of course, you’ll need video editing skills, a computer and the software required to make these types of edits.
Facebook Ads Manager
You can also make good money on the road as a Facebook ads manager. There are courses out there that teach you exactly how to run Facebook ads, and then you can approach businesses and offer your services. If you have a passion for copywriting, analytics and image creation, this might be for you.
Online Coaching or Consulting
You wouldn’t believe how many online coaches there are these days, and they make big bucks! If you are an expert in a particular field, or if you are just passionate, you can build a thriving coaching business you can do from anywhere.
I know all types of coaches, from life coaching, to business mentorship, to parenting and sleeping, to real estate, to cryptocurrency, and more.
You can also make money while traveling by creating an online course. This is similar to coaching, but you’ll record videos and write text surrounding your area of expertise. You can market an online course through course creation platforms like Udemy, or by creating your own following via social media, YouTube or a blog.
Course creation can be very lucrative, especially if you understand how to market it using Facebook and Instagram ads.
Online Business Manager
An online business manager, also known as an OBM, is someone who helps an online business with strategy, marketing, operations and systems. Here are some examples of tasks and online business manager might take on:
- Business strategy
- Operations management
- Team management
- Financial management
- Systems and technology management
- Marketing and communications
- Business analysis and reporting
- Project Management
Write Romance Novels
You might think I am kidding, but the romance market is HUGE in the United States. Romance accounts for 23% of the fiction market, which means readers are just hungry for the genre.
If you love to write and are wondering how to make money on the road, this could be a really fun way to earn money while living the van life. Heck, you could even write van life based romance novels, go figure!
Create Printables and sell them on Etsy
Printables are a good business idea if you’re into creating graphics. In fact, RVer Emily Baldwin has a bustling Etsy printable business, which she combines with other business ventures to make money while RVing.
Interested in learning more about the online printables business?
A web designer designs websites for businesses, bloggers and sole proprietors. They decide on styling, colors, fonts and images that appear on the homepage and any other pages. This is a lucrative business that’s a great van life job. In fact, I hired someone to design my website, The Wayward Home, and it cost around $4,000. Some web designers charge $15,000-$20,000!
Usually, a web designer uses a combination of HTML, CSS and existing themes to create a stylish and informative website.
Web designers are in high demand, and it’s a job you can do with simply a computer and an internet connection.
Offer digital marketing services, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, or content marketing, to help businesses improve their online presence and generate leads or sales.
You can also learn how to do Google retargeting ads to help people with brand awareness on platforms like Google and YouTube.
Start an Amazon FBA business
An Amazon FBA business done while living on the road takes a bit of time to get started, but eventually, with the right product and support, it’s a great way to make money. One full-time RVing family, The Roving Foleys, made over $100,000 with their Amazon FBA business.
If you’re curious about starting an Amazon FBA business, you can take a this FREE Amazon Starter Course by The Selling Family, who also makes $100,000 per year on Amazon.
Become a Tax Preparer
Everyone needs their taxes done, right? As a tax preparer, you can work from anywhere as long as you have a computer and an internet connection.
You can learn to prepare both individual and business tax returns, and business will be booming.
Want to know if becoming a tax preparer is right for you?
Sell Your Services on Gig Working Platforms
If you’re a jack of all trades and like to do everything from creating short-form video, to graphic design, to freelance writing, to video editing, to Facebook ads, you might want to get on a gig economy platform. Here are a few popular platforms you can try:
Data entry is a popular way to make money on the road as a van lifer as it allows for flexibility in working hours and location.
With this type of remote work, you would be responsible for accurately inputting and managing data into digital systems, spreadsheets, or databases. This may involve tasks such as data validation, data cleansing, data analysis, or data migration.
Data entry is typically detail-oriented and requires strong organizational and computer skills, making it an ideal option for van lifers who can work independently with a reliable internet connection.
Find a Remote Job
Many companies are offering remote positions throughout the U.S. You can browse job boards for part-time and full-time work in your area of expertise. If you want to learn more about remote work, you can join Camille Attell’s FREE Remote Work Masterclass.
Take Your Current Job Remote
A lot of people forget that you might just be able to ask your employer to work remotely. Your boss might be more amenable to this than you think! It’s worth a try, though. Two van lifers I know, Sierra Eberly and Amber Baldwin, both started out taking their current jobs remote while they figured out how to create their own remote jobs.
Tips on Starting Your Own Business on the Road
Many of the computer options I mentioned above require finding clients and crafting your own online business strategy. I know this can seem VERY daunting, but it IS possible.
In fact, if you are wondering how to create your own business from a campervan, you should check out my interview with Sierra Eberly of Boondock Consulting. She left a lucrative 9-5 job to start a copywriting business on the road, and she is one of my amazing writers!
Listen to our interview here:
Here are some basic tips for starting a lucrative business
Identify Your Skills and Interests
Before starting an online business, it’s essential to identify your skills and interests to make sure you’re going to love what you’re doing and stay motivated. Make a list of your talents, hobbies, and areas of expertise. Think about what you are passionate about or things that other people typically need your help with.
After creating this list, try to figure out which skills could translate into a profitable business. You can do some preliminary research and find other businesses that are doing well, and try to figure out what has made them successful.
Find Your First Clients
Once you’ve figured out exactly WHAT you want to do, the next step is to promote your services to potential clients. Here’s how to get started:
- Build an online presence: Create a website or social media profiles to showcase your work and connect with clients. Engage with your audience, send messages, comment on others’ posts, and join Facebook groups relevant to your niche.
- Network: Join online communities or go to van life events to connect with potential clients, partners, and mentors.
- Offer promotional offers and discounts: To get new clients right off the bat, you can offer discounts or free trials. Van lifer Sierra Eberly regularly offers a free article to new clients.
- Ask for referrals and testimonials: Your first customers can become powerful advocates for your business. Encourage clients to refer friends and colleagues or leave testimonials on your website or social profiles.
How to Make Money on the Road Without a Computer (25 Ideas!)
There are lots of readers who come to The Wayward Home wondering how to make money on the road, but they aren’t computer savvy. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to make decent money so you can have even more freedom. Here are some ideas!
Get a workamping job
There are so many campgrounds and resorts out there looking for people to do workamping jobs. These can range from anything to raking leaves, to managing a gift shop, to answering the office phone.
Sharee Collier is a workamping expert, and she talks about how to find workamping jobs in this post: How to make money and RV with workamping jobs.
Check out my podcast about workamping jobs with Sharee Collier:
One time, when I was in college, I looked for odd jobs on Craigslist for ways to make money. Over a few days, I helped a woman sort through boxes and organize her house! It was a strange experience, but I needed the spending money.
If you’re living the van life on the road, get on that city’s Craiglist site and look under the gigs section to find people hiring for random jobs.
This could be anything from helping someone move, to packing boxes, to organizing paperwork, to participating in a random video shoot.
Check out how full-time RVer Camille Attell found work on Craiglist: 6 ways I’ve found remote work while full-time RVing.
Rent out your campervan or RV for a few days
Amazingly, some people have turned this line of work into a full-time job!
You can do this while you are staying with family, for example, if you just want this to be a short-term gig.
Offer pet sitting or dog walking
Petsitting and dog walking are great ways to make money on the road. There are many RVers and van lifers who travel with a pet, and can’t take their dog on hikes in national parks. You could be a pet sitter to help these nomads and earn some extra cash.
Or, if you are near a city, you could start your own dog-sitting website or use a service like Rover, where you make a profile that’s shown to homeowners in a particular area.
Find seasonal work
Back when I was in college, I worked at Gap over the winter break. It was just one month of work and an easy job to boot. All I had to do was go in after hours and stock shelves, fold clothes, pull items out of the back storage room. Tons of store hire for seasonal retail work over Christmas to help with the influx of sales and customers.
Finding seasonal work is a great way to make money on the road. In winter, many retail stores hire seasonal workers, but if you’d rather be outside, ski resorts hire seasonal workers as well.
Manage properties for people with Airbnbs
A lot of busy homeowners don’t want to deal with managing their Airbnb properties. That’s exactly what Elin Rose does, a sailing woman who does a variety of odd jobs to fund her travels.
She coordinates with the handymen, the house cleaners, and the renters to make sure everything runs smoothly with the Airbnb rental.
This isn’t a good odd job for the squeamish, but you can definitely make extra money selling plasma. According to WalletHacks, you can make $20-$50 for every donation. I saw in one van life Facebook group a person making $200-$300 per month selling plasma.
Donating plasma is more of a hassle than simply donating blood. First, the blood is taken from your body, the plasma is sorted out, and the blood is funneled back in.
It’s a time-consuming, not-so-fun process, which is why you’ll get paid.
Work at a dude ranch
Maybe you love the open-air plains of the wild west. Maybe you’re into horses and cows. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of jobs available at dude ranches across the United States.
Here are some of the jobs you could get at a dude ranch: line cook, office coordinator, wrangler, waitstaff, maintenance worker, ranch hand, you name it.
To find a job on a dude ranch, go to the Dude Ranchers Association website, which represents well over 100 ranches.
Work at a national park
Many national parks all around the United States hire workers for temporary or seasonal jobs. These jobs can run the gamut from mechanics, to museum curators, to data analysts to landscape architects.
There really is a job for anyone, plus, you get to be at a gorgeous national park!
Seasonal jobs are either for the summer months or the winter months. This might be one of the best van life jobs out there.
Imagine waking up in a national park, and making money while you’re at it!
Run errands with Task Rabbit
The gig economy means there’s plenty of random tasks being hired out in cities across the United States.
You can join Task Rabbit and become a Tasker, which means doing anything from helping someone move, to assembling furniture, to home improvement, to heavy lifting. There are plenty of ways to make money here.
Make deliveries with Postmates
Postmates is a team of couriers who deliver anything from a store or restaurant.
If you sign up to do deliveries, it’s on your time and your watch, and you can pick where you work and what you’ll deliver. The app allows people in many cities across the United States to order from restaurants, grocery stores and personal items for delivery in under an hour.
You can read more about being a Postmate in this article: What it’s like being a Postmates delivery guy
Offer tutoring services
If you find yourself living the van life near a certain city for awhile, you might want to offer up services as a tutor as a way to make money on the road, especially if you’re good at math, science, a foreign language, or writing.
You could post an ad on Craigslist, or call schools you’re close to and ask how to get involved as a tutor.
I know at least two people who make $100 per hour tutoring. One lives in San Francisco and another is in Houston, so you never know when you might get a lucky break tutoring.
Work as a bartender
When my sister was traveling and living on the road for a year, she and her boyfriend were always looking for ways to make extra money.
They decided to stop at an RV park in South Florida for several months, and she got a job working at a bartender at the beach.
She said it was a good experience, mostly serving snowbirds, and she was able to make a decent income. If you’re planning on hanging out in one place for awhile, this could be a good option.
Become a flea market flipper
If you’re driving around in your van or RV, why not stop and look through a thrift store or a flea market here and there. You could then mark those items up and sell them via eBay.
Melissa of FleaMarketFlipper.com made $40,000 in a year just flipping items.
She and her husband have a FREE webinar on flipping flea market items.
Become a campground host
If you’re flexible in your traveling and love people and management, you might want to consider becoming a campground host to make money while traveling.
These are not high-paid jobs but could keep you busy for a few months out of the year. Plus, you’ll get a free place to park your rig.
You can also search for campground jobs through this website: Work for RVers and campers
Do harvesting and farm work
There are several websites where you can look for harvesting and farm work, much of which is done seasonally. The Sugar Beet Harvest is wildly popular, with some people banking thousands of dollars in just a few weeks.
According to Sugar Beet Harvest’s website: “American Crystal Sugar and Sidney Sugars hires over 1300 workers stationed at 45 sugar beet receiving stations. These seasonal employees are an integral part of making yearly sugar production a great success. These short-term positions offer excellent compensation and attract applicants from all over the United States and Canada. Locals and travelers alike come to make a hefty paycheck while being able to enjoy various outdoor attractions and campsites.”
Become a mobile mechanic
If you’re living in a campervan or RV, there’s no doubt you’re going to come across people who need help with their rig.
Whether that’s providing oil changes or more advanced work, this could be a great little business to start on the road. First, you’d need to brush up on your mechanic skills, or learn how to be a mechanic in the first place.
Set up a website and connect with other RVers and van dwellers to find work on the road.
Offer your trade to other fellow travelers
Are you an electrician, a woodworker, or a metalworker? Think of ways you can use these skills on the road to make extra money.
My boyfriend is an electrical contractor and a general handyman, and when we start cruising on the sailboat, I know he’ll find ways to fix other people’s boats.
This can be done through networking, social media, services you offer on your website, etc. I know if I were out traveling in a van, I’d love to find a mobile mechanic if I had an issue!
Work at a restaurant
Oftentimes, you’ll be able to find a restaurant to work at for a while when you’re driving through a town. This could be anything from hosting, to washing dishes, to bussing tables, to becoming a server.
Of course, this all depends on how long you’re going to be in a particular place, but could be a good way to bring in some much-needed cash.
Join the Amazon Camperforce
Amazon’s Camperforce is a group of seasonal workers who take positions in Amazon’s warehouse, doing anything from picking, packing, stowing and receiving.
Camperforce has gotten some mixed reviews, but might be good for some people. You can read all about it in the book Nomadland, which followed RV dwelling retirees to their jobs in Amazon warehouses.
Grocery shop with Instacart
Instacart is a service that lets people farm out their grocery shopping to personal shoppers. I’ve seen this growing in popularity in San Francisco, where people think its too much of a pain to navigate driving and parking to get their own groceries.
Becoming an Instacart shopper means you fulfill orders by shopping at stores like Safeway and Whole Foods, then deliver those goods.
Try busking on the side of the road
If you’re a good musician, you may want to try busking to bring in some money. It may not sound glamorous, but if you’re good, and in the right town, it could be a good way to bring in extra cash while you’re living on the road and have fun while you’re at it!
Work as a day laborer
Have you ever been to Home Depot or a similar store and seen all those workers milling around on the corner? They are day laborers, waiting to get picked up to work on a job.
If you have any construction skills, you could easily work as a day laborer in any city, and in some places, they are paid well.