There are numerous ways to fund full-time travel ranging from more traditional employment to entrepreneurship. The key is identifying your goals, strengths and weakness. Then choose the one that best fits you. In this article, I explain how my husband and I fund our full-time travel. I also share the methods of several other full-time travelers.
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1. Keep your Current Job
I realize this sounds counter intuitive. You want to travel, not continue with the same old nine to five. Unfortunately, that is not financially feasible for some of us. However, there is good news! You may be able to keep your current job to fund your full-time travel. Many more companies these days are utilizing telecommuting and other alternate work arrangements. FlexJobs, a site for those seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs, released a list of 125 companies that embrace remote work. You can see it here. The company estimates that telecommuting in the United States has grown 103% over the last decade and projects that 50% of people will work remotely by 2020.
Don’t despair if you are not currently in a teleworking position. I was with my company for 6 years before we moved. My original position was not suited to remote work and I had to be in the office every day. After an internal promotion, I started a position that was more flexible. When we had to move due to my husband’s work, my company allowed me to take my job with me and work remotely. Later, we decided to full-time travel and my husband was also approved to work remotely.
The pros of this arrangement are that we maintain our current salaries and benefits. The cons are we still have to work traditional hours and stay in areas where we can get Internet service. Otherwise, we have to take vacation time off.
2. Consider a Travel Job
Travels jobs are an especially good fit to fund full-time travel. The medical field is especially popular for these types of jobs. Travel nursing is the most popular, but the concept is used in a variety of healthcare positions, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory, and even doctors and dentists.
Travelers typically work under a short-term contract. In the United States, these contracts typically range from 4 to 13 weeks, although 26-week assignments are also possible, and some travel nurses will accept back-to-back assignments from the same facility. The Gypsy Nurse website is an online community dedicated to traveling medical professionals. The operator of this website is a former traveling nurse and her contributing authors include either former or current travelers as well as some specialty nurses.
Some pros are that assignments are chosen and in addition to the salary, some travel and housing expenses are often reimbursed. Cons include being tied to a regular work schedule (not typically 9-5), reduced benefits from a standard position, and having to constantly deal with an unfamiliar work environment
3. Try Seasonal Work / Workamping®
Another method to fund full-time travel is seasonal work. There are many seasonal work opportunities that provide a wide range of housing including dorms, bunkhouses or RV sites with electric/water/sewer hookups.
- Work for housing/site – National/state parks and the Corps of Engineers advertise on volunteer.gov for campground hosts, visitor center hosts, and gate attendants in exchange for housing or a free full hook up site. These type of positions typically only require 24 hours per week. You can find advertisements for them at Volunteer.gov. Be sure to check the drop down box for the type of housing you require.
- Work for combination pay/site – Many commercial RV parks, theme parks, and private concessionaires at national parks like Aramark will provide housing/RV site as well as pay an hourly wage.
- Seasonal – Two of the most popular seasonal opportunities to bank some money are the Sugar Beet Harvest and Amazon CamperForce. The Henley’s of Henly’s Happy Trails worked both events last year and provided their experience here:
- Sugar Beet Harvest in Western Minnesota – This opportunity occurs every fall and consists of 12-hour shifts for about 2 weeks. According to Levi, it is a race against Mother Nature to collect and deliver beets in just the right conditions. The receiving stations are a hustle and bustle of activity: trucks rushing in and away from their drops, beets roaring up the conveyor belt into the ever growing pile, ground crew rushing to check grower tickets and fill beet sample bags, operators whirling around vehicles and workers to complete a task.
- Amazon CamperForce Associates at Amazon Fulfillment Center in Campbellsville, Kentucky – This was the Henley’s second year with Amazon. Natalie said they went back despite the epic shift schedules (at least ten hours a day for four typically consecutive days) and working conditions (standing the entirety of your work shift in often noisy, quick-paced surroundings for the compensation. It comes in the form of a full hook-up site, hourly pay starting at $10.75 with opportunities for overtime, and a completion bonus (one dollar for each hour worked in a seaon). given season).
Workamper® News is a terrific resource for preparing for and finding workamping positions to fund full-time travel. In addition to job listings, they provide Resume Tools, employer reviews, and industry education resources. Another great web site for finding seasonal work is CoolWorks.
Henley’s Happy Trails wrote a terrific article answering the question, “Can you Finance Your Full-Time RVing Lifestyle with Workamping Alone?”
Some pros of these positions are that they are temporary and allow you to spend more time enjoying an area without worrying about housing costs. The cons are that they are usually lower pay and don’t typically provide any benefits. In addition, the seasonal jobs like the Sugar Beet Harvest and Amazon include long hours and can be physically taxing.
4. Start a Business
Becoming an entrepreneur is a great way to fund full-time travel. Some of the most successful full-time traveling entrepreneurs have taken their experience in a particular aspect of RVing and created a business. Chris and Cherie at Technomadia founded the RV Mobile Internet Resource Center. Tom and Cait of Mortons on the Move founded Morton Trailer Supply after learning the importance of the hitch while towing a fifth wheel. Many full-time travelers are distributors for different sales companies such as Lisa from Always on Liberty, who is a distributor of Young Living Essential Oils. A good resource is the RV Entrepreneur Handbook by Heath and Alyssa. They also have a wonderful podcast that includes interviews with many location independent full-time travelers.
Bryanna Royale of Crazy Family Adventure founded Virtual Powerhouse which provides a host of virtual assistant services including graphic and web design, SEO, social media, and Pinterest support. Her background is in Information Technology and Marketing. As Bryanna and her family were preparing for full-time travel, she started looking for location independent business ideas and came across the Virtual Assistant idea. She completed online training to learn how to become a VA as well as how to run a business. Then she got her first client by offering a free month and then at the end of it he could decide if he wanted to continue as a paying client. Bryanna did so well that her first client is still with her business today. With a reference under her belt, she worked very hard to grow the business so her husband could quit his 9 to 5 remote job and join her team. He specializes in website design and SEO work so it was a perfect fit. Now they both strive to work just 20 hours a week each.
Today, in addition to running the Virtual Powerhouse, Bryanna has created online courses to help others create and succeed in their own service/solution based business:
- How to Start a Virtual Business – Includes 6 Modules with over 30 lessons that you can read at your own pace on your own time. They cover topics such as setting up a website, avoiding common tax pitfalls, and building your brand. Use the code: chickery25 to get $25 off the course.
- 3 Blockers That Can Stop Your Business from Becoming a Reality and What to Do About Them – Learn about 3 Business Blockers that can totally derail your business from even starting and what to do about them!
5. Become a Blogger
One great way to become a successful writer, is to carve out a niche. Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean you have to blog about travel! Write about what you know and are passionate about. Write about personal finance, babies, homeschool, restoring old cars, you get the idea!
If you’d like to learn more, read our article on How to Start a Profitable Blog. We’ll walk you through the steps to quickly set up our own blog, and explain some income generating strategies for it.
These are just a few of the ways that you can fund full-time travel. Find the one that suits your strengths and go for it!
If we missed any, please feel free to share your story in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Want to learn more about how to work remotely, budget, and save money while traveling full time? Check out this collaborative effort among several full-time RVers, the Full-Time Freedom Holiday Bundle. Use coupon code 20percent at check out for additional savings!
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