how to make money on the road

Before you begin your new life on the road, regardless if you’re full-time RV living, living on a boat or something else, you’ve no doubt got a ton of questions and concerns.  One of the most pressing, and maybe even the most important is how to make money on the road? 

It’s a brilliant idea to travel, but if you can’t support yourself as you do so, then your trip may be a bigger drain on your savings and causer of stress than it should be. 

However, there are ways to make money on the road, some of which can support you indefinitely as you make your way around the country.

We’ve put together over 50 methods for making money when on the road.  Some are more effective than others and may require specific skills and expertise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to do them before you head off. 

Business around the world and now more than ever looking to utilize people with digital skills, which is a great opportunity for digital nomads.  As long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can theoretically work from anywhere in the world. 

If you’re not sure what the difference is between the internet and a web browser, then it’s never too late to learn.  Check out some training courses from Udemy which will have you up to speed in no time at all. 

How to Make Money On The Road

1. Offer Digital Services on Fiverr

If you’ve never heard of Fiverr before, then you’re in for a treat. 

Fiverr is an online platform that allows people to sell services for very reasonable prices, most often around $5, but it’s becoming increasingly popular to charge more.  You can buy and sell almost anything, from graphic design and logo creation to nonfiction and fiction writing. 

You decide what you want to sell, set your price, upload some examples of your work, and write a blurb to explain your service. 

There is a small caveat, competition is fierce.  However, if you’re able to produce excellent work at a reasonable price, then you should be able to garner good reviews and slowly increase your visibility. 

There are plenty of people that make 6 figure salaries using Fiverr, which makes it a great way to make money on the road.

You can check out Fiverr here.

2. Freelance writing

If you have a way with words or you just like to write, then becoming a freelance writer is a great option with the possibility to earn consistently.  Many websites, including this one, hire freelancers to write some of their content.  

Writing is a great way to learn about new things, so if you have a curious mind, then freelance writing might be a great fit and allow you to make a healthy income while on the road.

You can get started on a number of websites including iWriter, Upwork and even Fiverr

3. Create a Niche Blog

If you need to start earning money quickly, then creating a blog is probably not for you. But, if you’re willing to put the time in, learn about keyword research, digital marketing, and willing to spend countless hours writing content, then blogging might just be the ticket to earning money while on the road. 

It can take between 12 and 36 months for a blog to earn the equivalent of a full-time income, and even then there is a guarantee of success.  Plenty of people fail for several reasons. But plenty of people also succeed.

Believe in a Budget was started in 2015 and earned just over $60 in its first month (which is great for a new blog), more recently it’s earning as much as $100,000 a month, which is incredible. 

For something a bit closer to home, this blog, the one you’re reading right now is earning roughly $9,000 a month at the time of writing this. So, as you can see, it’s perfectly possible to make money on the road with a blog.

If you want to learn how to start a blog, I would suggest starting by looking at the video series from Income School and even enrolling in their Project 24 course.

4. Proofread and Edit

If you’ve ever spent time writing articles, then you’ll know how easy it is to miss your own spelling and grammatical mistakes.  It often takes a fresh pair of eyes to spot the mistakes. This is where a proof-reader comes into play, and it’s a job you can perform from anywhere. 

You’ll need to have a strong grasp of grammar and have a keen eye for details but being a proof-reader can really pay off.  

If you know nothing about being a proof-reader, then I suggest taking a look at this website which provides a wealth of information on proofreading and how to get started and you’ll be making money on the road in no time. 

5. Become a VA – Virtual Assistant

The virtual assistant marketplace is booming as it allows small businesses to expand their operations without committing to employing someone part-time or full time. 

As a virtual assistant, you might find yourself formatting blog posts, arranging meetings, sourcing contact information, entering data, or even buying presents for someone.  It helps to be flexible in the work you’re willing to do and to be highly organized and will to try your hand at anything. 

You can find out more about becoming a virtual assistant by reading this blog post.

6. Becoming a Transcription Expert

If you’re a fast and accurate typer with a strong tolerance for what can sometimes be tedious work, then a transaction gig might be exactly what you’re looking for. 

You don’t even need an internet connection; you just need to be able to listen to audio and accurately write down what you hear.

Transcription services are broken down into two types, general and legal.  Legal transcribers will often earn more, but prior experience is often required.  

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a transcriptionist (yes it’s a real word), then you can check out this blog post for all the gory details and how to get started. 

7. Use Swagbucks

Swagbucks is something I debated about adding, it’s not going to make you a lot of money, but it can put a couple of extra dollars into your wallet. 

You’ll be paid to watch videos, shop, and complete surveys. The amount of money you’re paid for these activities is pretty small, but if you have a few minutes spare a couple of times a day you’ll be able to earn a bit of pocket change.  

Just be warned, even if you spend all day completing tasks on Swagbucks, you’re unlikely to earn enough money for a meal out.  It’s best to relegate this one to something to do when you have nothing else on your plate, you’ll not be able to support yourself on the road with this. 

8. Use Ebates Whenever You Shop Online

Okay, this isn’t a way to make money, but it is a way you can save money whenever you shop online. I do most of my shopping online these days, so it’s a no-brainer and has saved me a ton of money of the years.

All you need to do it sign up for Ebates, install an extension in your favorite browser and then shop as normal.  Whenever you begin the checkout process on a website, Ebates will automatically apply a coupon and more often than not, you’ll also get cashback.  It’s that simple. 

You can read more about Ebates and sign up at their website here

9. Test Websites

As you’re someone that is already familiar with using the internet, and you obviously have impeccable taste as you’re reading this article, you can put those skills to use and make some extra income. 

As a website tester, you’ll be paid to carry out certain tasks on a website and record your activity as well as your opinions on the user experience.  Each website can take between 10 and 20 minutes to test and you’ll earn an average of $10 for doing so. 

There probably aren’t enough gigs to keep you employed full time, but it’s a great way of making some extra money while on the road.

10. Open Up An Online Store

If you possess an artistic flair, or maybe you just enjoy making things with your hands.  Whatever it is you can put together; chances are there’s a market out there looking to buy it.  You can either open up your own online store using a platform such as Shopify, or you can sell on a well-established platform such as Etsy. 

There are a ton of people already doing this and are able to make money to keep them on the road indefinitely. From selling t-shirts and wallets through to lotions and perfumes, there’s no end of options available for making money on the road. 

11. Become a Rep for an Essential Oil Company

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll have no doubt heard about essential oils, and in particular, doTerra who are the leaders in the industry.  Become a rep for doTerra is a straightforward enough process and you can begin making money straight away. As with most MLM companies, the best way of making serious money is to recruit others to sell for doTerra as well, allowing you to take a cut of whatever they make.

If you’re able to recruit enough people you can easily increase your revenue by over 1000% without any additional work.

We’ll leave the debates about the effectiveness of essential oils and the ethicality of MLM to others to discuss, but it’s definitely possible to make money as you travel with this.

You can read more about doTerra and sign up here

12. Become an Online English Teacher

In the not too distant past, the only way to teach English to children in another country was to hop on a plane and take several months out of your life.  This is no longer the case. 

Companies such as VIPKID recruit people from all over the US and Canada to provide one to one English lessons with children in China.  If you choose to do so, you’ll be joining the ranks of 30,000 teachers that have already done exactly that. Training is provided, so you won’t just be left to your own devices. 

Depending on experience and other factors, you can expect to earn as much as $22 an hour teaching English online.  It’s more than enough to bring in a few extra dollars every day. 

If you want to learn more, you can check out the VIPKID website here

13. Complete Surveys for Some Extra Money

This is another one of those tips that’s unlikely to early you a ton of money, but it can earn you a bit of extra cash to spend on your travels and is great to do when you have nothing else on.

There are a ton of companies that allow you to complete online surveys for money, One Opinion, VIP voice, I-Say and many more.  The amount you make for each survey can vary and will range from a few cents all the way up to $5 – $10, depending on your demographic and how long the survey will take to complete.

You probably won’t make enough money to completely support you while you’re on the road, but you’ll probably earn enough to eat out a couple of times a month, depending on how much time you commit.

14. Begin an FBA Business

In case you don’t know what FBA stands for, it’s Fulfilled By Amazon.  This basically means you buy some products, send it to Amazon and they’ll handle the fulfillment of anything you sell on Amazon.

There’s a lot of competition in the FBA world and it can become a money sink if you get it wrong.  The key to success is significant research on products, profit margins and what your competitors are selling.

If you get it right, you can make significant amounts of money.  It’s not unheard of for FBA businesses to make over six figures a month, which is plenty enough money to support you while on the road.

I would suggest doing your research and becoming very familiar with the FBA process before diving in.  Look at this blog post to get started. 

15. Work on a Campground

There are literally thousands of campgrounds dotted around the country, and often, not enough people to run them.  If you can turn your hand to anything, from a spot of gardening to answering the phone, then you’re in with a great chance of securing a job. 

Check out this blog post about a couple that has managed to travel around the country while working on campgrounds to support themselves.

16. Check Online for Oddjobs

We’ve all seen the adverts on Craigslist from people looking for help with all sorts of weird and wonderful things.  These jobs can range from moving furniture to knocking down a wall or helping organize a wardrobe. You can normally spot the jobs that are a scam from a mile away, anything which seems too good to be true probably is. 

Once you’ve sorted through the rubbish, you’re left with all sorts of potential moneymakers, some of which might pay really well for what turns out to be very little work. 

To get started jump onto Craigslist and check out the gigs section, just make sure you’re on the city you’re in or intending to be in.

17. Rent Your RV

Peer to peer RV lending has shaken the RV rental industry to its very core.  The dominant forces in the industry are now RVShare and Outdoorsy, each boasting thousands of RV rentals throughout the country.

While I appreciate that if you’re traveling in your RV full time renting out your RV might not seem like the best way of making money, but bear with me here. If you’re able to get a gig house sitting or pet sitting, then it’s the perfect time to rent out your RV.

You might be surprised at how much you can earn.  $100 + a day is quite easily obtainable.

18. Pet sit or dog walk

If you have a love of animals, then what better way of making some extra money than pet sitting or dog walking. You might be surprised at some of the posh houses you’ll get to stay in.

There are two ways to go about this, either start your own website and business or use an existing website such as Rover.  Rover is probably the easier one to pull off, you’ll just need to make a profile, making sure it’s appealing to pet owners. 

You might not be able to make a full time living to do this, but you can certainly earn a decent amount of money.  Check out this blog for some hints, tips, and earning potentials. 

19. Work in a Seasonal Position

Lots of retailers take on extra staff during the traditionally busy periods such as Christmas. The jobs available are diverse enough to suit a wide variety of skills and preferences.  So, if serving customers isn’t your thing, then stocking shelves might be perfect, or even being a delivery driver for Amazon.

If you would prefer something away from the retail industry, consider working on a ski resort in the winter or in a campground during the summer. It’s a cracking way to make a bit of extra money when you’re traveling on the road.

20. Become an AirBnB Property Manager

Airbnb is crazy successful and is proving to be a massive wake up call for the hotel industry, it’s also impacting the property market with plenty of people buying properties in prime locations in order to turn a profit by listing them on Airbnb.  

The rise of Airbnb has also created a market for property managers who deal with the tasks that property owners don’t want to.  This can include arranging repairs, cleaners and being the point of contact for renters. The beauty of it is you don’t necessarily need to be present to do all of it, which makes it a great way of making money on the road. 

21. Donate Plasma

This entry deserves a disclaimer, it’s not a way to make a full time living while on the road, but it can pocket you a few extra dollars. 

Plasma makes up around 50% of your blood and can be used for a range of treatments, from immune disorders to cancer. So, it’s a worthwhile cause even without the money you can earn. 

During a plasma donation, you’re hooked up to a machine that draws your blood out, separates the plasma, and then injects the blood back into you. This is repeated until enough plasma has been gathered, expect the whole process to take around 45 mins. For your troubles, you’ll be awarded between $20 and $50, and you can donate plasma every couple of weeks. 

You can read more about plasma donations here

22. Work at a Guest Ranch

If you have a genuine love for the great outdoors and animals, then working at a Guest Ranch (dude ranch) can be a great opportunity to both indulge your passions and ear a bit of money.

There are well over 100 guest ranches located across America and a ton of jobs available.  Even if wrangling some cattle isn’t your thing, you might find that office administrator is better suited to your skillset.  

If you’d like to learn more then take a look at the Dude Ranchers Association Website which represents many guest ranches across America. 

23. Work in one of the national parks

Most National Parks around the United States look to hire staff for the winter and summer seasons. There’s a role for everyone, from gardeners and landscapers to IT help and data analytics.  If you have a skill, chances are there is a job you can do. Most of these roles are temporary and will only be available for the duration of the season, which is probably a good thing when you’re looking to make the most of your time on the road. 

I can’t imagine anything better than getting paid to spend time in a national park for 12 weeks out of the year.  If you manage to secure one of these jobs, consider yourself lucky.

24. Sign Up to Task Rabbit

At any one time, there can be dozens if not hundreds of tasks on Task Rabbit in your local area just waiting for someone to take them on. Tasks can include everything from knocking down a wall, carrying a couch out of a house, putting flat pack together, helping someone move to a new house or viewing a rental property on behalf of someone. There are a ton of jobs available for people with a variety of skills. 

25. Delivery with Postmates

If you fancy yourself as a delivery driver, then Postmates will probably be right up your street.

Once you’ve signed up with Postmates you’ll have the opportunity to deliver a range of items from restaurant good to groceries to presents.  The biggest advantage is Postmates is that it allows you to work to your own schedule, you can pick which jobs you want and the times you want to work.  Postmates is available in every major city across the United States, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to able to work wherever you go. 

If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to be a Postmates delivery driver you can read this article

26. Tutor for a Term

If you’re planning to park up for a while near a city, then it’s the perfect time to consider becoming a tutor.  Tutors that have a solid education in languages, sciences, maths, and English are very much in demand, especially if you’re educated to University level. 

Finding a tutoring gig could be as easy as looking on Craigslist, or even posting your own advert.  You might even consider contacting some schools to see if they know of anyone that’s looking for a tutor.

Pay rates vary from state to state but expect to earn between $60 and $100 an hour. 

27. Work in a Bar

This is another one that you might want to consider if you’re planning to stop somewhere for a season.

What better way to spend a summer than by parking your RV up near a beach resort and then making mojitos for the rest of the summer.  OK, this one might not be for everyone, but you can probably make a decent income and earn a fair amount through tips. 

If you can see yourself as Tom Cruise in Cocktail, then why not give it a shot.

28. Buy Used Items to Flip on eBay

The golden days of being able to buy flea market items and then posting them on eBay for significant profits are passed.  Most secondhand markets are now fairly savvy and even run their own eBay stores, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal if you look hard enough.

If you know how to spot a good deal or you can see the potential in an item if it gets just a bit of TLC, then you can still make money flipping items on eBay.

It’s also worthwhile checking out the free sections on Craigslist to see if you can get yourself a bargain which you can then sell. 

You can check out this article on getting started flipping items on eBay.

29. Sign up to Be A Campground Host

If you want somewhere free to park your RV and you love interacting with people as well as being highly organized, then you might want to think about becoming a campground host. 

You’re not going to become rich doing this job, but it will pay you enough to live off for the duration of the season and you’ll get to park your RV for free. 

If this sounds like something that would interest, you then you should check out this article which discusses the perks of being a campground host as well as how best to secure a job.

30. Do harvesting and farm work

There are more than a few seasonal harvesting and farm jobs available across all of the US.  

One of the most popular is the Sugar Beet Harvest where workers can expect pocket thousands of dollars for a couple of weeks’ worth of work.  Competition for these high paying placements is high, so it’s worth throwing your hat into the ring early. 

If the Sugar Beet Harvest doesn’t work out for you there are plenty of other opportunities for fruit picking as well as manual labor.  

Check out this website for a range of seasonal farm positions. 

31. Trim Marijuana in California 

In a few short years Marijuana has quite literally blossomed into a billion-dollar legal industry, so why not get yourself a cut of the proceeds.

The easiest and most readily available job is trimming marijuana.  You can earn hundreds of dollars a day doing this, and you don’t need to have any prior experience.

Most of the positions are available in Mendocino County during the fall months.  If this is something that interests you, then check out Weed Hire, 420Careers or CannaRecruiter for more information. 

32. Put Your Mechanics Skills to Good Use

If you’re especially handy with a spanner and you know the difference between a piston and spark plug, then you might want to consider becoming a traveling mechanic.

You’ve probably come across plenty of RV travelers that haven’t got a clue about how their RV actually works, which shows there’s a market available for even the most basic types of maintenance. 

There are plenty of colleges and part-time courses available to brush up your mechanic skills.  Once trained setting up a website or Facebook page could open a world of opportunity allowing you to travel full-time while making money. 

33. Learn a Trade

Can you learn how to be a metalworker, electrician or woodworker?  Perhaps you already are? 

There’s a huge market out there for qualified tradespeople which means no matter where you go, you should be able to find some work.  If you can use social media, networking, or services websites such as craigslist, then you can drum up a business no matter where you go.

I know from speaking to plenty of people in RV parks, they would love to have someone come to them to help fix any number of issues they are having with their RV.

34. Get Into Van Conversions

Once you’ve converted one van into a camper you already have more experience than 99% of the population.  Why not put that experience to good use and help others with the van conversion process? As you do more your expertise will grow and you can quickly make a name for yourself.  

Working full time, a van conversion should only take a few weeks, which means it’s unlikely to impact your travels too much.  Social media and word of mouth would be an excellent way of drumming up business.

35. Become a Restaurant Worker For a Season

You’ll find as you travel that many employers need extra staff during busy periods and restaurants are no exception to this. 

The actual work you might be doing could be washing up, hosting, serving or cleaning.  So, while the work is unlikely to be glamorous, you’ll still be earning a living wage.  

Short terms positions are unlikely to last long so its a great way to get work for a while before heading off again on your next adventure. 

36. Work at Amazon Camperforce

Amazon Camperforce is another seasonal position working at Amazon’s warehouses.  The job can entail receiving goods, picking, storing or packing.

Expect to work hard long hours, which you will either love or absolutely hate.  

If you’d like to learn more about working for Amazon to try and make money on the road then you can read this article

37. Sign Up to Instacart

Instacart allows busy people to outsource their grocery shop to others.  I can appreciate the appeal of such a service if you’re working throughout the week, you might want to leave your weekends free. 

When you sign up to be an Instacart shopper you’re going to be tasked with completing other people’s grocery shops at places like Whole Foods or Safeway.  Once you’ve bought everything, you’ll need to deliver the items and maybe even help unpack. 

38. Demonstrate your Musical Talents

If your musically inclined and you don’t mind performing in public, then why not try and bring in some extra money is a busker.  Location and dates are extremely important to buskers, you’ll need to make sure you’re in a good spot with plenty of foot traffic to make any money. 

You can also expect to earn exponentially more if your busking on a public holiday or you know your crowd and you’re performing to please them.

Think Irish fiddle music on St Patrick’s day!

39. Become a roadside assistance salesman

If you’re a natural salesman, then consider selling roadside assistance as a full-time income as you travel on the road. 

Your biggest market will probably be fellow travelers who are looking to make sure they’re not going to end up stranded at the side of the road. 

Incomes from this type of work vary, but you can earn as much as $3,000 a week, depending on how many policies you sell.

If this is something that interests you then be sure to check out TVC marketing for more information. 

40. Perform Manual Labor

We’ve all seen the workers that hang around Home Depot and you might have wondered what they were doing.  Some of them will be day laborers that are waiting to be picked for a job. If have previous construction experience, then there’s no shortage of jobs available if you’re willing to put the work in.  It’s hard labor but it also pays well. 

41. Sponsorships

Before you dismiss this idea because everyone knows that sponsors are only interested in influencers with millions of followers, realize that there are plenty of companies looking for exposure from people that are doing something different or unique. 

For example, Cees and Madison had zero followers, no blog and just a run of the mill Facebook page.  However, they had a plan to visit every national park over the course of a year. They pitched this idea to several outdoor gear and fashion brands and more than a few agreed to sponsor their trip for the exposure.

You can read more about that story here

42. Promote Affiliate Products

In case you don’t know, affiliate products are items that you can promote and whenever someone makes a purchase you will receive a commission for that sale. There a hundred’s of affiliate programs, from Amazon and eBay through to RV Parks and Rentals. 

There are several ways of promoting affiliate products, perhaps some of the easiest is with a blog or on a social media platform.  But if you get creative you can promote affiliate products in a range of different ways.

To get started with affiliate marketing look at this blog post

43. Online Courses

Platforms that allow users to generate their own courses are absolutely booming right now.  There are a number of websites that offer this functionality such as Teachable and Udemy. 

One of the biggest advantages of such a platform is they allow you to set your own price for the course and for the customers they are often far cheaper than attending a course from a dedicated website.  

So, if you’re an expert on something, whether its origami or computer forensics, consider creating an online course which will create monthly passive income without any additional work.

44. Self-Published Books

While writing and publishing a book is a lot of work, once it’s published it can provide a steady income for months and years without any extra work required. 

You can write about a range of topics covering both fiction and non-fiction.

If you’d like to learn more, check out this blog post about getting started with Kindle Self-Publishing. 

45. Start Shooting

Before you call the police, we mean shooting with your camera.  Even if you’re not an expert photographer there are plenty of places you can upload your photos and receive a commission whenever they are used.

Check out this blog post for a huge list of websites where you can sell your photos for profit. 

46. Start a Youtube Channel

Youtube has made it possible for everyone to become a video star and the demand is continuing to grow.  

If you’re traveling full time then documenting your time, high points, low points, struggles and what you’ve learned could be an invaluable resourced for many people considering doing something similar. 

Once you’ve received enough views and subscribers you can monetize your videos with ads. 

47. Gamble Professionally 

Are you as cool as a cucumber when the stakes are high?  Do you take an analytical approach to everything you do? If this sounds like you, you might be the perfect candidate for a professional poker player. 

If you’re playing against human opponents’ poker can be a game of science and art and less so gambling.  However, make sure you know what you’re doing before you blow all your savings.

48. Become a Masseuses 

Do you have fingers that can relax even the most knotted of shoulders?  If you do, then perhaps you can turn your skills into a full-time occupation. 

You can complete a massage course in under a day and then once you’re armed with some carrier oils and some towels you can get out into the world to make some money. 

49. Create Works of Art

You don’t need to be a gifted artist to be able to sell your works of art.  Create a few pieces for fun and see if you can flog them on Etsy or at the local market, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it and how much you can sell things for. 

50. Become a Human Guinea Pig

If you’re braver than me and don’t mind trying new things with potentially unknown side effects then being a Human Guinea Pig might be very appealing. You can be paid to take part in clinical trials in located all across the US, some pay very little while others pay a lot.  Does the amount of money equal the risk? 

51. Model

Use your natural good looks or ‘interesting’ face to earn yourself some extra money.  

You’ll often find gigs in craigslist that are looking for models for print or commercial modeling.  This isn’t high-end fashion or exotic locations, but you may be required to pose with a stapler while looking interested in a piece of paper. 

The amount earned can vary greatly from gig to gig.

52. Act as a Film Extra

If the sitcom Extras has taught us anything it’s that being a film extra is often the gateway to international stardom…

Anyway, if you fancy being a scared pedestrian in the back of a superhero movie or you’d prefer to be “office worker 22” in the latest series on Netflix, being a film extra can be an interesting way to spend a couple of days. 

Gigs can be found through agencies for the more mainstream stuff while craigslist is home to the indie filmmaker.

53. Use Your Green Fingers

Getting out onto the streets and knocking on a few doors can bag you some work such as cleaning, cutting grass or sweeping up leaves. If you’d prefer, you can also check craigslist for anyone looking for some help around the garden, especially during the fall months.

If you liked this article, you might our other RV how-to articles.