Easy Ways To Make Money On The Go While Living The "Van Life" (Nomad Lifestyle)

by Zara Mohammed, Lifestyle Columnist


Published in Lifestyle and Money on 10th April, 2019


A life of carefree travel is the dream of many an adventurous free spirit - and I think that we all have a secret niggling desire for adventure in our souls.

Many of us fall short of fulfilling our dreams though, because of the universal fear that being a traveller isn't a realistic lifestyle option for most of us. And perhaps for many of us it isn't.

vanlife

We enjoy feeling safe and financially secure, living in static homes, and being on full-time salaries that we know will cover all of our expenses each month.

Some of us have more responsibilities than other or health conditions that would make a traveling lifestyle unsuitable or too stressful.

But for those of you who want more freedom to live life on your own terms, I have found some starting points and ideas for easy ways to make money on the road, so that you can embrace your #vanlife or #onebagliving ambitions and start making plans to live your dream!

The 4 Main Ways to Make Money On The Go

  • Remote Work
  • Passive Income
  • Selling Online (Products/Services)
  • Seasonal/Short Term Work

Remote Work

Remote work is essentially any work that can be done "from home" or from a van, boat, hotel room, coffee shop, or wherever else you find yourself to be. It usually involves having a laptop, an Internet connection, and somewhere to sit.

You can be employed by a company to work outside of the office (many companies don't even have physical offices and require communication via email and video conferencing). Or you can be hired as a Freelancer, usually to create content that is delivered or published online.

The great thing about remote work is that it comes in many different forms, so you are bound to find something out there to suit your skills and interests. The downside is that a lot of it can be monotonous and not very well paid.

You can't be too fussy though when you are looking for work while living on the road, because remote job opportunities are ten a penny. They come and go, and there is fierce competition. You might find yourself scouring lower paying job boards like Upwork, or creating gigs on Fiverr for some extra cash flow.

Alternatively if you already work for a great company in your current static life, you might want to consider thinking outside of the box and try convincing them that you can continue working for the company remotely.

Then you can be in control not only of your working location but also your own time management, which free up time when you want or need it to enjoy the freedom of travelling. Assess your current job. Is most of the work conducted at a computer? If so, then there is a strong possibility that you could take your work with you.

Types of remote work to consider:

  • Data Entry/Research
  • Personal Online Assistant
  • Online Teacher
  • Freelance Writer/Artist/illustrator/Editor etc.
  • Social Media Manager
  • Website Manager/Designer
  • YouTube Influencer
  • Online Customer Service/Chat Support
  • Translation Jobs

Create Passive Income

There are plenty of ways to create a passive income, and once you have put in the hard work to actually do the creating part, all you have to do is market your work, and watch the money roll in.

create ebooks

It can be comforting to know that you have a regular stream of revenue coming in each month as a supplement to your main income, even if it is small or irregular. Every little helps when your income is unpredictable.

Types of Passive Income to Think About:

  • Ebooks - Become an expert in something and write an Ebook to promote and sell to a niche audience.
  • Create a Patreon account - Get fans to pay a small monthly subscription in exchange for special treatment and incentives, to support your creative work or lifestyle.
  • Affiliate Marketing - Choose a profitable niche and create a blog so that you can post affiliate links within your content and earn revenue for every click or sale you refer.
  • Stock Photography - Make money while you travel by creating great stock photography (or illustration if you're good at that) and post your images to stock imagery websites to earn small revenue every time someone uses your images.
  • Print On Demand - Create awesome designs and make a passive income from Print on Demand sites like Zazzle or Society6. People can choose to purchase your designs printed on a variety of blank products such as T Shirts, mugs and cloth tote bags and you get a share of the profits.

Sell Your Products/Services On The Go Or Online

If you are creative or skilled in something, then you have something to offer people who are not, or who don't consider themselves to be. You also have the ability to produce things that other people want, and sell to them.

Depending on what you do you can sell your products or services online, or as a mobile business to people you pass on your travels.

Here are some great ideas:

  • Mobile Food/Coffee Vendor
  • Mobile Hair Stylist
  • Mobile Nail Artist
  • Face Painter
  • Make and Sell Crafts
  • Make and Sell Art
  • Pet Portrait Artist
  • Digital Artist/Illustrator

Seasonal Work

Finding short term or seasonal work is one of the most popular ways that travellers choose to support themselves, because it provides a sense of stability, and they know exactly where their income will be generated from for a set amount of time.

seasonal work

This means that you can plan ahead and set up your next job before your current one comes to an end, giving you peace of mind and freeing up more time to enjoy your travels.

Types of seasonal work to think about:

  • Working on a Farm - Work like this often involves some kind of harvesting, like fruit picking, but may also involve you working with animals or just helping out on the land in general. Some jobs will even offer free accommodation or provide free or reduced rate camping sites, and can often be dog friendly if you are travelling with a pet. There are tree-planting jobs too, but I have heard these can be quite physically demanding.
  • Camping jobs - Campsites have a variety of positions to fill when the holiday season sets in, and you'll probably get a free camping pitch as a bonus! Jobs might include bar tending, reception work, cleaning and handymen.
  • Hotel Work - If you are travelling to or through a high tourist area there are bound to be plenty of seasonal hotel jobs available, like waitressing, receptionists, and kitchen work.

The best way to design a working lifestyle that suits you while you travel is to think outside of the box, be super-flexible and consider any and all opportunities.

Think about work in the short term so that you don't end up feeling fed up or bored with what you are doing. And don't forget to check if you need special licences or permits to work while traveling in certain countries.

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