Figuring out how to support oneself on the road might be one of the most difficult things to do before starting ones Vanlife journey.
I’d say the trick is to ask yourself the correct questions;
– What are you interested in?
– What do you think is fun to do?
– What are you good at?
– Which things can generate an income while on the road?
– Is there something you already do that you can implement in your new lifestyle?
– Is there something you’d be interested in learning that can generate an income?
Step One: Start with making a list answering the questions above.
Step Two: Research remote jobs, and add jobs that fit you to your list.
Step Three: Discuss your list with a friend, family member or someone else who already have a remote income/someone who has the same goals as you.
Step Four: Make a decision on what to aim for.
Step Five: Set small goals towards your end goal and start working towards them.
What I used to do & What I do now
I used to work (more than) full time as a Store Manager and Project Manager, other than that I also had my own little company making illustrations, book covers & posters, aside from that I also used to work a little extra on a weekend here and there as a Sports Photographer.
I am a certified Visual Merchandiser and have taken several Interior Design courses in the US.
I guess I’ve always been drifty and aiming to evolve and be better.
Working is not the point with (my) life though, and I’m now thinking the other way around; What can I do to support the lifestyle that I want? What is the minimum of money that I need?
I chose to quit my fulltime job as a Store Manager & Project Manager, and I chose to focus my energy on doing more Sports Photography. The Sports Photography job gave me the opportunity to travel Europe which is the lifestyle that I wanted. In my spare time I continued to work on my little online shop creating more products that I thought was relevant.
I’ve also taken some online courses in Graphic illustrations & Communications. I’m now expanding my knowledge even more for future goals by taking some Travel Guide courses online. Being a Swedish citizen I actually get a little bit of money by being a student.
In this Podcast episode I’m talking about all the ways I can think of to make money while living a traveling lifestyle.
As I explained I work as a Sports Photographer covering events all over Europe.
But if you’re a Photographer you could also do Stock Photography for shutterstock.com or gettyimages.com for example.
Other than that you could do Product Photography for Companies that you like and want to collaborate with.
You could also try to find different Events to cover, I think a good source to find Events would be on Facebook – but I’ve never tried it myself.
If you’re a skilled Photographer you could also teach others the Basics wherever you are.
If you have any type of skill or just like talking about your lifestyle or interviewing people you could start a Podcast.
There’s several sources where you could have your Podcast which allows you to have ads in your Podcast to get a little income.
You could also try yourself to reach out to Companies that you like and ask them if they would be interested in Collaborating with you – You could do Live Product reviews in the Podcast for a fee for example or just have a little segment of you talking about their products.
If you like writing and want to document your traveling lifestyle or maybe share any type of skill that you have, you could start a Blog. The Blog itself won’t give you any money unless you put the effort in.
Some ways to make money on a Blog would be to put ads on it with adSense for example and/or get Affiliate links which basically means you review a product and link it with a tracking link so the readers click it, and if they buy something you’ll get a percentage of the sale without it costing any extra for your readers.
To rely on Social Media as an income is nothing I recommend.
But I think it’s a good start to try to grow your Social Media accounts to show who you are.
You could then work as a Content Creator, a Social Media Manager, do Collaborations and share Affiliate links for example.
If you want to grow your Social Media I would recommend you to try to be present on as many Platforms as possible.
YouTube is a great way to make money too through ads, but it can take a long way until you get all the statistics you need to be able to have ads in your videos. I also wouldn’t rely on that income.
What skills do you have? What stories do you have? What can help or inspire others?
Writing a E-Book is a great way to make money, it’s something you can sell wherever you are + it’s good for the environment that it’s not a physical book.
It could literally be about anything; Cooking, How to build Websites, Vanlife, Your best Photography tips etc.
If you’re great at doing Web Design or writing Code, you could try to find work online.
You could Build Websites for other companies or small businesses. I know people who contact small business and associations, and talk to them about their Website and about how they could improve the site.
Before doing that it’s good to have a little Portfolio to have something to show.
A great way to earn money would be to just do Seasonal Work.
You could go to a place where you know there’s a lot of work/people earn good money and work your butt of for a couple of months to then be able to do whatever you want for the rest of the year.
Some examples of Seasonal Work would be; Berry Picking, working in Gift Shops, Hotels, Campgrounds, Bartending, House Keeping, Fish Industry etc.
Do you have any skills or is there anything you want to learn how to do?
Many people on the road make some money doing their own Jewelry which they sell online, you could also do drawing or painting etc.
You can sell it Online either building your own Shop through WordPress or Wix etc getting all the income yourself. Or sell it through Etsy giving them a small portion of your sell.
If you have worked in a Office before and have a good relationship with your employer – try to keep that contact and convince them by showing how you could do Admin Work Online from your home instead of the Office little by little, and maybe you’ll be able to keep that job remotely.
If you’re a good writer you could try to do Freelance Writing.
Build your own Website to have something to show for yourself and to get Requests.
You can also look for jobs on Upwork and Facebook groups.
AirBnB isn’t just somewhere to sleep anymore.
You can actually sign up and offer Yoga lessons, be a Tour Guide for tourists, give Painting lessons, Surf Instructor or be a Personal Trainer for example.
You could do other Work Online and do Translations, Text Audio Files etc.
And there’s always lot of jobs to find on apps like Upwork and Fiverr.
Rent out your..
What do you live in now? Is there something you can’t rent out while traveling?
If you’re moving into a Van, do you have an Apartment or House you can rent out?
If you’re going into an apartment to work and earn money, could you rent out your Van while doing so?
Again – What skills do you have?
There’s so many things you could sell Online these days.
You can create Presets for Photos, Write an E-Book and share your skill and/or inspire others, you can offer Courses to teach others what you already know.
Your job remotely
What do you work with now? Would it be possible to do that Remotely or have Another Position in the Company and Work Remotely?
There’s many people Working Remotely as a Traveling Nurse, English Teacher, Writing Code and even being a traveling Auditor doing the Work Online.
Editor or proofreading
There’s many people who create so much they don’t have enough time to Proofread.
A great way to make money would be to Proofread other peoples stuff.
You can find these types of jobs on Upwork and/or in Facebook groups.
Everyone earns money differently, these are only some suggestions on what one can do while living on the road, but it’s up to you to figure out what’s right for you. I think the important thing is to take a step and try to make something work, it might not be the best step but it will probably help you figure out what you should/could do.
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