By Kay Fitz on Apr 05 2019
Category: The Lighter Side

Van Life: Job Options for Digital Nomads

Finding work while traveling is a centuries old tradition that attracted migrant farmers, writers, poets, and explorers alike- but now if you mix this tradition with modern technology, it opens up doors for almost anyone.

Are you ready for a life on the road, but worried about how to make ends meet? I’ll break down a variety of job options and tips for success to help you decide if Van Life is the life for you!

Van Life Series

  1. Before you Make the Lifestyle Change
  2. What is the Best Vehicle to Live in?
  3. Job Options for Digital Nomads (this article)
  4. Van Life: Where Can I Overnight Park?
  5. Van Life: #LifeHacks on the Road

Budgeting

Before you take the leap, make sure this is the right choice for you. If you're in serious debt, you'll find it hard to become a Digital Nomad, as they are typically on the road for 6+ months at a time- which could mean you wouldn’t have a steady flow of income to rely on during those times. This would put a heavy burden on you if you have to worry about paying off debt and making ends meet on the road- probably a risk you don’t want to take. You would need to handle your debt first.

BUT, if you’re in a financial position to move forward with Van Life, budgets will vary depending on the person. Check out some helpful resources I found to provide a general understanding of budgets on the road:

OutboundLiving.com surveyed 725 vandwellers, and came up with some good insight. Check their site for more info, but some things that stood out to me:

Far Out Ride is a couple that started living on the road in 2017, and has broken down their total monthly budgets each year publicly. Their breakdowns are super specific covering Auto insurance, Groceries, Campgrounds, Showers, Laundry, Craft beers/Wines, Cell phone bills, Netflix, Van maintenance, and more- which makes this is a very helpful resource. Big thanks to Isabelle and Antoine on sharing their personal budgets publicly!

Always the Road's friends Matt & Ali- of Owen Your Future- is another couple that broke down their first (2) months of budgeting on the road in their personal blog. Thanks for the info Ali & Matt!

The Dirty Darlings broke down their average costs in their personal blog, but excluded fixed bills such as cell phone bill, Netflix, and Insurance. Costs are all split between 2 people. Special thanks to Matt and Megan for the budget breakdown.

There are many other resources out there. Some vandwellers spend as little as $1k/month budget, others $3k+, which means there’s a Van Life budget that could fit almost anyone’s needs!

Life on the road can be much cheaper than owning or renting a house, but you will likely still need a steady income to make ends meet- unless maybe you are a ‘part-timer’ that saved up plenty to make it through your time on the road. Knowing how much money you are bringing in vs how much you’ll be spending is an important piece to the budgeting puzzle. I gave you the resources to help answer how much you’ll be spending, but the question is- do you know how you’ll bring in revenue on the road?

Job Opportunities

First off, I want to say that living out of a van does not mean you need to quit your 9-5 job if you don’t want to. Maybe your boss will allow you to work remote? Or maybe you park your van nearby your office and just venture out on the weekends? But for the people that are interested in more freedom to travel, I’ve compiled a variety of road-friendly job options for you:

These aren’t the only options for work on-the-road, but as you can see, it covers a wide range of skill sets, making the Digital Nomadic lifestyle accessible to almost anyone.

WiFi

I just showed you a variety of on-the-road job options, and the majority of them require WiFi- so how do you stay connected on the road? Sometimes vandwellers will need to escape to dark hotel rooms or coffee shops just to find a good free WI-FI connection, but I’ll break down some other options:

Paid

Free

Keep in mind, some of the free options can get noisy and crowded, which can be distracting while trying to work. If you need to be able to concentrate, you may want to prioritize WiFi costs into your budget.

The Truth

As good as it sounds to travel the world and live in amazing places, also keep in mind that this lifestyle is not going to last forever. Some people work and travel for 6 months, others for 10+ years, but very few will keep up this lifestyle forever. It’s important to keep this in mind before you spend time and money on making the lifestyle transition. Is it worth it? That’s only for you to decide. The good thing about most of these jobs is that you’ll be able to continue them in a permanent home if you want to. Are you ready to be a Digital Nomad?

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