How can we get on the road? (i.e. How can we MAKE MONEY on the road?)

How can we get on the road? (i.e. How can we MAKE MONEY on the road?)

A friend we met camping in Idaho texted to ask if Joe was on board with living on the road full time or if I had to convince him. I laughed, because really he has been the champion of this whole lifestyle shift. We had to walk through several key issues before I was convinced.

I had four primary concerns when we got started. The order might be different for you. Top of the list: money.

Money money money

Providing for a fam on the road is not easy. But, we’ve met several people on the road who are making it work! 

Work remotely

Joe’s full time job is now 100% remote – he just needs cell service and an internet connection to work with his team. My part time job grant writing is also remote – I had been working from home since we moved to Nashville in 2011.

A couple we met in Glacier had two totally different jobs: she had built a successful peer to peer marketing business (think Arbonne, Plexus, Beauty Counter etc) and he was essentially a life coach and used Skype to consult with clients.

Another couple we met near Crater Lake relied on income from renting property they owned in their hometown that he managed remotely while she was a family and marriage coach and relied on Skype for sessions. 

Easily remote jobs:

  • coding, writing, creating anything via computers and internet
  • virtual assistant, bookkeeping
  • consultant, tutor, counselor (when sessions can be completed via skype instead of in person)
  • manage website/social media manager
  • Peer-to-peer marketing businesses
  • google “remote nomad” or “digital nomad” for more ideas

Skilled work

I met a friend on the road whose husband is a mechanic and has fixed things on the road (think cars, motorcycles, tractors, any heavy machinery).  He would visit local mechanic shops and ask if they were interested in temporary help. They would buy broken machines and flip them. They would trade services – like they stayed a few weeks in an awesome campground in Maine by fixing things for the campground owner. They definitely had some slim months, but their family of six was able to stretch their original 12 month trip into 18 months. 

Nest Egg

We met several people on the road who had saved up and planned for a short term (like 6-18 months) trip. Or maybe one partner worked and maintained his income remotely and they relied on savings instead of her also working. 

Art and Crafts

One family we met has a glassblower in the family. They base where they travel on his shows and competitions (check out their experience at the Sonoran Glass Art Show at her blog: On The Roam Again). Another friend creates beautiful abstract paintings and ships them to buyers to help supplement their income (on Instagram @brennatherese_art). 

Work local temp jobs 

We’ve met people who work camp, where they trade a few hours a week to help staff the front desk or complete maintenance projects in exchange for free or reduced rate camping fees. One of our friends picked grapes during the harvest in Oregon wine country.  Another friend works the holiday season at an Amazon warehouse which happens to be near their extended family, so everyone is happy!


Most of the people we’ve met on the road rely on a combination of income sources to fund their lifestyle. We rent our sticks & bricks home out while we travel, but after 18 months on the road, I know that we can’t count on this to do much more than pay the mortgage on that house (most months). Which leads into the second concern when contemplating full time traveling: what do you do with all your stuff? 

Stay tuned – I’ll tackle that next. In the meantime, let me know if you’ve found a clever way to fund your travels or what you would tell a friend who is wondering how they can get on the road too!

4 thoughts on “How can we get on the road? (i.e. How can we MAKE MONEY on the road?)

  1. Love this! Yes, there are so many ideas! Sometimes people are looking at an either/or situation – either you stay stationary and work the job you have, OR, you find something new. But more and more employers are open to remote work that is a lower overhead for them, or seeing it as an opportunity to cover more territory with sales/marketing.

    Plus, options like the network marketing businesses out there (ie Norwex, Usborne, DoTerra, YoungLiving…), traveling service jobs, like nursing, construction, even substitute teaching, anything online is great…

    So many great ideas – look at these three things when you’re addressing work – what are you a) Skills & Abilities, b) Values/Dreams/Passions, and c) Personality Style? What would be a fit for the type of lifestyle you want to create? Look at what you may already have that you can leverage, like renting your home or providing a traveling service.

    Was so great meeting ya’ll and I look forward to seeing you again on the road!

  2. What is grant writing and how did you get into it? I need to find a way to bring in some extra, from home

    1. Hi Amy!

      Grantwriting generally means crafting proposals for funding on behalf of a non-profit org. I fill out applications, help develop meaningful measurable objectives, create budgets, manage reporting, etc. The job I have now evolved into basically ghostwriting for the ED – doing email campaigns, social media, direct mail appeals…. Basically anything to do with fundraising and was in written form.

      I got started by writing letters for funding for a program I ran at an org in Alabama… then got a job grantwriting for the local hospital. At one point I got some on-the-job training from this org: I started working remotely when we moved to Tennessee and I got the job I have currently from an ad on craiglist! I worked from home and would occasionally go into the office. When we took off last August they were willing to let me keep working 100% remotely.

      I hope that helps! Let me know what else you’re wondering!

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