You Don’t Have to Wait For Retirement to Start Living Van Life Full Time
That sounds great, but how do you make money while traveling? There is a quote from a master marketer from back in 2013. We were having a conversation about our businesses. When she said this to me, the world stopped spinning.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes…
It was one of those epiphany moments.
Such a simple, raw, and yet elegant phrase. It rang as true then as it does now. It is my mantra when I feel I need to motivate myself to work and do better.
Fortunately for me, I am married to that person and she has been the driving force behind everything we do since we got married back in 2008.
Making an online income while traveling full-time can be much more profitable than a regular day job. Besides, it is much easier than most people realize!
It’s not magic and there are no “get rich quick” schemes that actually work. You do actually have to work and treat it like a “real job”.
That doesn’t mean you have to sit in front of a computer at a desk for 8 – 10 hours a day. You have to be disciplined and have the resolve to accomplish the goals you set out for yourself!
I Don’t Know Where to Start
There is a very popular cliche that can fit almost any situation. It goes a little something like this,
“The Best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today.”
All that to mean is the best time to start making, or set the steps in motion to making, online income is now.
Just start now and be consistent and the income monies will start miraculously popping into your bank account.
What are you good at?
Think about some of the skills and talents you already possess and work those into an online platform where people will pay you for your knowledge and skills.
What skills do you have that other people could benefit from?
Maybe you are really into fitness? Get your Fitness Trainer certification online and then start building a clientele. It is very popular these days to be a fitness trainer online instead of in a physical gym.
What do you enjoy doing?
Tap into your inner joy and then think outside of the box as to how you can monetize those hobbies. How dreamy would it be to make money doing the things you already love to do?
If you love what you do, then you will never work another day of your life.
What are your financial needs and goals?
We all must let go of the hardcore capitalist idea of money money money! It is true that money will not buy you happiness. Conversely, it is prudent to “plan for a rainy day”. (that is why we like multiple streams of income)
Money is a natural variable in our society. As with van life, skoolie life, or RV life. If you plan on traveling full time, you have to feed that vehicle fuel, shoes (tires), and maintenance.
You have to eat, clothe yourself, take care of yourself, and have enough cash to do things you enjoy at that cost.
Now, you may not need to budget like you would if you had a mortgage, paid rent, utilities, property taxes, and all of the other expenses that go hand in foot with being a homeowner.
Your lifestyle can be greatly improved by simplifying your life and doing things a little differently.
Our income has decreased slightly, but, our life experiences, outlook, attitude and overall quality of life are so much better than it was even just a few years ago.
How badly do you want this lifestyle?
Nothing changes if nothing changes. It resonates the more I think it or say it.
If you really want to change your daily life and routine, it has to start with you making it happen.
No one is going to build a van for you (unless you tell them to and pay them) and push you out the door to make you travel.
If you really want to experience the joy, freedom, and adventure of traveling full-time, now is the time to start that ball rolling.
SkillShare – Learn New Skills Through Courses
If you are looking for a site that teaches how to make money online for free, then Skill Share is not the right place for you. Although they do have some useful video tutorials (like on photography) which will help people with their work projects or business promotions
They provide hosted project opportunities and an active community with many mentors who give advice and guidance in the projects you’ve signed up for.
The skills they have are not related to money-making or business promotion, most of them are related to hobbies and cultural interests (such as photography, dance, and marketing) which makes it different from other online courses like Udemy on how to make money online I know there are many similarities between them but skill share is more based on giving and take.
The thing I like most about Skillshare is that the instructors have a YouTube channel, and they are easy to find and follow. You can learn how to do everything from here, unlike other online courses where you sometimes would think that your teacher disappeared because there is no news or updates after you paid for a subscription.
Anything from photography to graphic design is available to learn and then utilize into a money-making opportunity that you can do while traveling full-time.
So, how do you make money while traveling full-time in your RV, van, or skoolie?
Here are some of the ways we currently utilize as well as a few ways some of our friends are doing it to this very day.
Different Ways to Make Money Online While Traveling Full Time
Diversify Multiple Streams of Income.
This concept was first introduced to us about 8-9 years ago when we first started to dabble in network marketing. You know….pyramid schemes. Not really. There is a vast difference between legitimate network or affiliate marketing and pyramid scams.
By producing multiple streams of consistent income, you are allowing yourself the freedom of not putting all of your eggs in one basket.
Sure, I could go back to a geographical-based job making 80-100k a year. The problem for me there is that I am anchored to a set location working set hours and asking permission from someone whom I am likely more talented and more educated than if I can take a week or two off a couple of times a year.
Do you get the sense that I don’t succumb to that mindset any longer? Lol
Here Are A Few Ways to Make Money Online While Traveling Full Time in Your Van, Skoolie, or RV
Disability and semi-retirement
We have friends who are on permanent disability from sports injuries, depression, and anxiety as well as friends who are either partially or completely disabled from military service.
It’s an income that they can count on consistently every month. They either earned it, deserve it, or both.
We also have friends who have retired from their first jobs as well as friends who have a full pension from their military service. They are still young in their 40 and 50s, but still far from the stereotypical age of retirement.
Nothing wrong with utilizing what is rightfully yours to live a lifestyle that is free and joyful.
For some, this can be their sole income depending on the number of expenses.
Gig Jobs (Uber, Lyft, Roadie, Postmates, Shypt, etc…)
Gig jobs are a great way to make an immediate impact on your bank account.
There are a ton of gig types of jobs that are as simple as just signing up to start making some income.
Depending on the type of vehicle you have to use, the type of gig job may or may not be optimal for you. If you have a tow vehicle, then Uber, Lyft, or any of the other rideshare platforms may be a good option.
The thing with rideshare gigs is that you are more likely to make more money in a more populous city or area.
One of the coolest gig jobs we have heard of is Roadie. Roadie is an app you can download on your phone. Basically, people will pay you to transport and deliver various items from one destination to another. This can be as little as an envelope across town for a few dollars, to a large object from one state to another.
The larger the object and the further you transport it, the more money you will make.
The cool thing about this gig share revenue is that you do not have to significantly change your travel plans. Nor do you have to stay in one geographical location to make money doing it.
Let’s say we are traveling from Tucson, Arizona to Raleigh, North Carolina. We can look on Roadie and if there is a request to deliver an item from Tucson to Raleigh, then we can make enough money to essentially pay for our gas and then some.
We were heading in that direction anyway, so why not make a little money along the way?
VIPKids, Cambly, Magic Ears TEFL TESOL (part-time 2-3k/month)
Teaching online English classes is an easy way to make money while living a remote or nomadic lifestyle. As long as you have a stable and decently strong internet connection for both upload and download, you can make money while on the road.
There are a number of TESOL and TEFL opportunities with several different companies.
TESOL and TEFL are acronyms for Teaching English as a Secondary Online Language and Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
The requirements for a job like this are:
- Almost all companies require a 4-year college degree from an accredited college or university
- TESOL and or TEFL certification
- Stable and consistent internet connection with at least 10mbps download and 5mbps upload speeds.
- A “friendly” disposition
- Able to relate to children from 4 years old up to 16 years old
- Able to speak clear and understandable English. (the stronger your accent is, the less likely you be hired as a teacher)
As an online English teacher or tutor, you are an independent contractor. You are salaried as a W9 employee.
The better you market yourself to the parents of the children seeking tutoring, the better chances you will receive bookings.
I will speak more about VIPKid later in the post where we discuss what we do to make money online while traveling full-time.
In the meantime, if teaching online English to foreign students is something you think you may be interested in, take a look at this introduction to VIPKid here.
My referral code is: DONAL0033
By using my referral code, you will have me as your personal mentor to guide you throughout the hiring process and also when you come across questions you do not have answers to.
The average salary of a Traveling Nurse starts at $50,000 per year. If you work evenings and weekends like most Traveling Nurses, that can add up to over $75,000. Many Travelers work as many hours as their schedules allow, sometimes moonlighting in 2 or 3 different facilities. Some National Contracts pay more than $100,000 per year!
A remote consultant is someone who works at home…while traveling the world.
I don’t mean full-time remote work that keeps you confined to your RV or home. I’m talking about the true freedom of travel while still keeping a steady income stream flowing in from your online business.
Work when and where you want for as many hours and days as you wish. This is made possible by setting up automated systems that run on autopilot, meaning more free time with no slowdown in profits. Sounds like a dream right?
Well, it’s not exactly easy but it can be done. The trick is to keep expenses low so profits are higher even after paying yourself (money).
Well, what kind of services can a remote consultant offer if they are traveling the world? The sky is really the limit but I’m going to cover what most remote consultants offer. Almost all types of services can be done remotely with a few adjustments. Many freelancers, consultants, and entrepreneurs work online in this manner.
Remote position from your current job due to Covid-19
Working from home is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been around for decades. But the idea of working remotely has really exploded in recent years thanks to advances in technology and globalization.
More companies are realizing that allowing their employees to work remotely can have many benefits including increased productivity, higher retention rates, and decreased overhead costs. So if you want to work from home but your employer says no – don’t give up!
One of the many joys of traveling full-time is that you get to experience all four seasons! But what if you want to work? Seasonal jobs are perfect for those looking for a temporary gig. Here are some seasonal jobs people have done while living on the road:
A small town in Colorado was so short-staffed, that they were willing to hire someone with no experience as long as they could commit to working from mid-May through August. -A resort in Aspen is always looking for ski bums who can snowboard or ski and wants an employee starting February 2018. –
The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park hires rangers year-round but has a number of seasonal positions including interpretive specialists, campground hosts, and seasonal maintenance positions. -The seasonal staff at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan works from mid-May through Labor Day.
Depending on your seasonal gig you may be camping in a state park, working in a hotel or national park, skiing or snowboarding, or exploring a historic town and sharing those seasonal experiences with friends and family.
Seasonal jobs will almost always provide free housing and meals. Some seasonal jobs (like the ones on Mackinac Island) include a free room, while others just provide meals.
The seasonal employees at Yellowstone National Park are provided cottages that house 4-6 seasonal workers each and have access to a communal kitchen if they prefer to cook for themselves.
Amazon distribution centers across the country are another popular seasonal job option. The hours are long and the work is brisk, but the income you can generate in a relatively short time is worth it to most full-time travelers.
Websites are what can help you earn money while traveling full-time in an RV, van, or skoolie. You can build websites for others and your clients will be able to access them from anywhere in the world!
Know how to create, design, or code a website through HTML and everything else? Then this is definitely something that you should try out on your journey.
You can start this business with absolutely no money at all. I started my website-building business with the few dollars that I had left after buying a used RV and living in it while traveling full-time in the US for 6 months.
Now every single day I make between $50 and $150 and I’m never stuck with money while traveling in the US.
Here’s how to go about it: You will always need a website and content on your website, for whatever business you are in so creating websites is something that is a necessity and not an option.
This means that this business opportunity is available to you even if you are not traveling full-time in an RV at the moment. All you have to do is tell everyone around you about this website-building business and offer them the to build a website for free or at a very low cost. Once you have enough clients, you can start asking them to pay for the website that you designed for them.
You get paid by your client only after you deliver the website by uploading it or sending them the link. This means that you can finish the website and then continue traveling for a couple of weeks without getting paid, as long as you provide them with the link when you get back to your home or travel location. This gives you the flexibility to travel full-time in an RV while building your website business, without having to be tied down with any clients or a website business that will pay you once it’s done.
How to get started making money while traveling full-time in an RV with Writing Gigs.
You might be thinking to yourself, “I would love to write while traveling full-time in an RV but there has got to be a better way than blogging !”
Believe me, I have done my fair share of research on the topic. And let me tell you something there is a much easier way and that is writing for other people’s websites!
If you are like me (Which if you are reading this article then I imagine we probably are) You love our freedom and the fact that we can travel wherever we want whenever we want. But logging onto your blog every day only to see 0 views and 0 comments really gets old quickly!
I’m not saying we don’t love blogging because we do. We LOVE blogging! But if you are like me, then occasionally I just need a break from it. And this is why I started to write for other people’s sites instead of my own. It’s not that difficult to get yourself out there and start making money writing on the side! In fact, you don’t even have to write about something that wows the crowd or actually makes people think twice about it. All I did was search around different websites with ad opportunities and found one that paid pretty well, wrote some articles, and BAM! I was making money while going anywhere I wanted with my family.
How to make money with YouTube while traveling full time in a van conversion. YouTube is a viable source of making money. Producing quality videos for a niche audience has become very popular. Monetizing that video content is the key to unlocking potential income.
The possibilities for earning money are endless on YouTube with a large number of viewers (650 million per month worldwide). For example, one popular channel by Dude Perfect, which is an American sports entertainment group on YouTube has over 30 million views and their videos can generate $150,000 or more per year.
Here is how all this can happen to you:
This business plan is based on the fact that YouTube will serve ads before your video content. You will be paid by the audience that watches your ad. This process can then be repeated over and over again with new videos and viewers as they come onto your channel (endless repeatable traffic). An individual can use this strategy to make money via YouTube videos and ads.
This process is not too hard to do and works equally as well in a mobile environment.
These are the steps that you can use :
1) Produce video content.
2) Upload your videos to YouTube with an advertising account linked.
3) Monetize your videos so that when viewers watch them they’ll see ads before your videos.
4) Track how many views and clicks on those ads you receive before your video starts playing (ex.: On average if 10 people view the ad, then at least one will click it).
5) If this ratio holds over time, consider adding more videos and try different types of video content on YouTube.
6) Rinse & Repeat
Now, get your phone or digital camera set up on a tripod and start creating that content.
The more videos you produce, the better and more polished you will become at it.
Just have fun and always keep your target audience in mind when creating your videos.
Traveling across the United States in a van requires money. One of the ways people can make money while traveling full-time in an RV, van, or skoolie is by being an online personal fitness trainer.
Personal fitness trainers can use their ability to help others improve their health and appearance through dieting, strength training, and general health as a way to create a reliable income online.
There are many ways that people can become online personal fitness trainers and make money from home
Create an Online Personal Fitness Training website
In this method, the person creating the site will advertise making money as an online personal fitness trainer with this site. A brochure is given on how to choose the right personal fitness trainer for your needs.
The fee structure of personal training services is also discussed here so that customers know how much they need to expect to pay if they hire you as their personal fitness trainer.
Some of these sites will also include a welcome page where they talk about how you got into personal fitness training and why it is a good idea to hire an online personal trainer.
Another page may feature what the individual has accomplished in his career as a personal trainer through photos and testimonials from previous clients.
Create Online Personal Training Blogs for Others
There are websites that aggregate personal trainers together and allow them to create their own blogs on the site. This would be somewhat like having your own blog with multiple pages which allows people to visit your blog and read about current events related to being an online personal fitness trainer.
Some of these types of sites could include forums so that you can discuss topics related to your blog.
To advertise this type of site on social media you may want to create an ad for your blog. It will appear in the sidebar on Facebook or other social networking sites.
Create Video Content
This can be done by having videos where you give advice about how people should live their lives. Giving people wise words and tips on nutrition and exercise. This is a good way to get noticed as an online personal fitness trainer.
There is nothing wrong with creating a website with your own domain name which advertises what you offer as an online personal fitness trainer. It would also include useful tips and links that can help people improve their health and fitness.
Create an Online Personal Training Certification Certificate
As an online personal fitness trainer for a while, you may offer your clients a certification process of their own. It would be an incentive for them.
Creating tests that go over the basics such as nutrition, exercise tips, and body language are some categories. Once this is finished, you will be able to send out a certificate of completion.
Local Classes Offered Online
Similar to the idea of offering certificates to your clients, these courses are offered online. This program offers videos that you can watch over and over again.
To get involved in this type of career you may want to join a program where they have professional trainers who will give you feedback on your progress and help guide you through becoming a better Personal Fitness Trainer.
Some people say the best way to make money with an online business is by giving away free information. Then charging for certification or access to extra content.
Whatever way you choose to make money is up to you and your imagination while traveling full time.
This is more of a long-term financial investment. Not really going to benefit you for day-to-day expenses.
So, even though this is a viable way to make some good passive income, we are not going to go too deep on this subject as stocks and investments are a marathon, and you are wanting to make some money now.
This is How Nat and I Make Money while Traveling Full Time in our Converted Van
VIPKID is a great way to start making income immediately for your full-time travels and nomadic lifestyle.
The key to making decent recurring money with VIPKids is to have good solid internet at all times.
Missing too many classes due to poor internet connection, you could end up getting fired by the company.
One of the things about VIPKids is we can work as much or as little as we want.
We decide how many classes and what times of the day we want to teach.
If we decide that we don’t want to book classes for a month, we don’t. We simply shut our schedule off and can resume any time we want.
The key to making consistent money though is to have a consistent schedule and develop relationships with regularly scheduled students.
I have a friend who teaches in the middle of the night and morning only. She starts teaching at about 3:30 am and finishes around 9:00 am the same morning.
I can’t do classes that early, so I start teaching in the morning no earlier than 6:30 am till 9:00 am. I will also teach evening classes from 8:30 pm through 11:00 pm.
Here is what my schedule looks like this week:
I could teach more and completely fill my schedule making it a full-time job. I have other income-producing responsibilities, however, so I choose to only teach 20-30 hours per week right now.
Teaching online English is not a long-term goal for me at this point.
Focus more on the passive income streams. You will not be anchored to a stable internet connection daily and a consistent work schedule.
Some of the students I have been teaching since I started VIPKids back in 2019.
It takes a little bit of time to build up a good following or regular students.
Another way of making money online while traveling full-time in an RV, van, or skoolie is by using your VIPKids referral code to get other interested people to sign up to become teachers through VIPKids.
For each person to successfully sign up and teach their first course through your personal link, you will make money from VIPKids for that referral. Talk about easy passive income?
Besides, it is a great way to share the dream with others who also want to make money online while traveling full time in an RV, van, or skoolie.
If you have the desire to teach English as a second language to foreign students, VIPKids may be a good platform for you.
If you have any questions about a job like this, or about making money while traveling full time, please reach out to us. We’d love to talk to you about it.
Here is the link to find out more information about VIPKids in case you missed it above.
One of our greatest passions is sharing our stories and goals for living a lifestyle without boundaries.
We created NatnDoninthewild to share our story. Offering strategies, tips, information, anecdotes, and stories about our life traveling and living in a van full time.
Sharing our experiences and information about skoolie life as well. We spent a year and a half living in our converted school bus and learned so much. Make sure we pass that experience and knowledge onto others who want to do that as well.
We discovered that by utilizing SEO strategies with our blog posts and web traffic, we can convert the amount of traffic on our website to a passive income source.
It is another source of our strategy to make money while traveling full-time in our van.
You can do this by capitalizing on affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and third-party advertising.
It is not an immediate source of income and requires a significant amount of effort on our part.
It is possible to generate income through your own website in 6-12 months depending on how well you utilize your blog posts, sep, and marketing.
Writing blog posts for our website seems more like a hobby to me than a “job” or “task” to make money while traveling full-time in our van.
Being skilled enough to write articles, press releases, copywriting, or just web content, there are so many different avenues to utilizing those skills.
Writing and creating original content for other companies is a very viable source for making money online while traveling full-time in an RV, van, or skoolie.
You don’t even need a full-time internet connection. You receive the writing assignment or gig and create the content offline, then upload it later on when you have a solid internet connection.
With an established client base and reputation, it is reasonable to be able to make $3,000 – $5,000 per month depending on how much quality and original content you can create.
Charging .10/word (10 cents) is a reasonable rate for an established and skilled writer.
Online Merch – HappyWanderingCo
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, and the ability to either create or share someone else’s products online on an e-commerce website, then you are well on your way to making money online while traveling in an RV, van, or skoolie.
We started this online merchandise company with intention of selling custom-made, original art apparel. We also offer mugs, pillows, decals, and other special apparel.
This is a very organic and natural way of making money while traveling full-time and creating a semi-passive stream of income.
To say that Nat’s artistic skills are something special is an understatement. As good as she is with a paintbrush and a pen on the paper creating art, her graphic skills are just as impressive.
Nat has developed a solid reputation and name for herself amongst the skoolie and van life community for her skills in graphic art.
She has designed dozens of logos, stickers, decals, and even a few bus designs for paint.
As a graphic artist, you can make anywhere from $125 to $500 or more for a single graphic art design. Depending on the complexity of the job, the cost goes up.
I mentioned Nat’s skills with graphic design, but her artistic expressions and ability to transfer what is in her mind to canvas are genius. Her skills are beyond what I could imagine doing even in my most talented areas.
She creates and mails her canvases to a local art gallery in Satellite Beach Florida where she sells her art. The gallery collects a commission but she keeps most of the sales for herself.
She also creates original pieces and then digitizes them. The gallery will print them out, frame them, and put them on display for the next art lover to scoop them up.
Digitizing her art has allowed her to sell her pieces on other websites on the internet as well.
This is a perfect example of doing something you love and are skilled at and turning it into a money producer.
This was mentioned briefly up above in this blog post, so no need to go very deep on it. Being able to create and build websites is something Nat has been doing for the past 25 years.
While this is not the main focus of our income, it is something she does occasionally.
A good 3-5 page website can cost anywhere between $2,500 and $7,500. Depending on the content and complexity of the site of course.
Affiliate marketing is a very easy and passive way to make income, even while you are sleeping. We only recommend and advertise items we have used and truly believe in.
For us, affiliate marketing is more about sharing good information. It’s helping others find a product we think they would benefit from rather than making some money off of it.
If we make a few dollars on a product someone chooses to buy through our link then great!
It’s fun to get a notification that someone has purchased something off of our recommendation.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
The Wrap Up
There are so many different ways of making money while traveling full-time in an RV, van, or skoolie. You just have to be willing to think differently than what we have been programmed to think and believe.
The 9-5 job in one location, 5 days a week for 8-10 hours a day is great for some. It is not, however, going to allow you to experience a life of full-time travel.
Utilize the skills and passions you already possess and create your own income streams.
Ever heard of the Nike slogan, Just Do It!?
Well, just do it then!
Set things in motion and make it happen. Remember, nothing changes, if nothing changes!
We would love to hear how you are making money while traveling full time in an RV, van or skoolie. Leave a comment below.