How to Afford Fulltime Travel:
Income Ideas & Money-Saving Tips
Living a life of fulltime travel can be as expensive as you let it be. Just like living in a house. Think about it, when you live in a house and you have a job, you work to pay the bills. If you get a higher-paying job, you acquire more bills - a newer car, more expensive clothes, etc. If you get laid off, you learn to cut back. It's no different when you travel. You learn to live on what you make. Some traveling families live on $2K per month, while some couples live on $10K per month. There are tons of jobs that can be done while traveling and there are tons of ways to save money while traveling. We've been traveling fulltime since June 2014, so we've learned a lot along the way. Here are some ideas to help you get started and reduce the learning curve a bit. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

What kind of jobs are good for fulltime traveling?

Fulltime RVers were once made up of fun-loving, wealthy seniors who were retired, had raised their children, and followed the sun year-round. Not anymore. These days, with the internet at our fingertips and wifi available almost anywhere, people are no longer forced to commute and sit at a desk job all day. More and more jobs are going mobile, so employees can work from home or the road. Someone with a gypsy spirit had a great idea – hey, if I can work from home, I can work from the road and travel to wherever I want! And that was the beginning of an awakening. It’s becoming more and more common to see young families with children and pets saying goodbye to their homes, their material belongings, their 9-to-5 jobs or their night shifts, and a traditional school system and saying hello to a life of freedom, flexibility, purpose, adventure, where the scenery changes and the bond between parent and child are secured by love, time, and attention to what really matters.
If you already have an internet-based job that you can take on the road with you, then what’s holding you back? If you’re not so lucky yet, then start researching what type of job you’d like to do while on the road and go for it. All of these are legitimate employments can provide anywhere from extra spending money to fully replacing a full-time income. Another option that generally doesn’t involve a salary but does trade part-time work for a free campsite with hookups is called workamping, where a campground owner ‘hires’ staff to do tasks such as minor maintenance, grounds, work a front desk, or guard a gate – usually for an entire season up to 6 months – in exchange for a full-hookups site for free. More information on any of these options can be found in abundance online.

Here's some ideas...

Travel Nurse
Uber Driver
Oilfield Worker
Web Designer
MLM Business
Pipeline Worker
Graphic Designer
Virtual Assistant
How to Travel on a Budget

A travelling lifestyle for a family can mean big bucks. Problem is, most campsites don't have a money tree growing outside for us. So we have to get creative to make our money stretch as far as possible. We want to be able to do things, to learn about the area we're in, to explore fun things to do, to supplement our kids' homeschooling - after all, that is the point of travelling as a family, right?

One way to control expenses is to eat in and establish somewhat of a rotating menu, which will keep your grocery bill fairly static while making your nightly cooking chore more predictable and easy. I've got some recipe ideas in my  Recipes  page.

Fuel is a big expense, especially if you want to get out and see the area. There's not much you can do to control this cost other than stay home if your fuel budget is running on empty. I use the Fuel Finder app on my iPhone to find the best fuel prices around, so I'll at least know I'm getting the best fuel prices in the area.

Probably the biggest expense is lodging. It's so nice to have your own home, with your own bed and belongings with you everywhere you go. If you're travelling a long distance and just need to stop somewhere for a night or two, look into  Passport America to see if there are PA-approved campgrounds in your area. An annual membership is around $44 and could save you hundreds. Most PA campgrounds give a 50% discount to members. This is for short-term only, usually up to 3 days. If you signup, please use Referral Member #C-642828.

If you're actually staying in an area to see the sights, I would strongly suggest staying at least one week. Why? We've learned that you can find things to do to fill up a week ANYWHERE you are, even if you're in "the middle of nowhere". And, you'll be able to get a weekly rate from your campground, which can save you $50 or more. My recommendation is to stay in weekly increments - 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks - to get the weekly rate for each week. If you stay longer than 3 weeks, then stay at least 1 month and get a monthly rate, which will save you hundreds! When you ask for a weekly or monthly rate, you will not be able to use any other discounts (Good Sam, Passport America, military, AAA, etc) because you're already getting a deeply discounted rate. Even if the campground doesn't advertise an extended-stay rate on their website, call them and ask because we've never been told there isn't one. As a matter of fact, we avoided KOA Kampgrounds all together, even though we have a KOA Kard, because they're so expensive. Then we found out that even they have extended-stay rates! We ended up staying at a KOA for a MONTH - normally $50 per day but the monthly rate was $25 per day! All I did was call and ask for the monthly rate!

So, those are your main expenses and those are the ones that you will have every single month. I hope those tips will help you create a budget you can manage and will give you some extra spending money to do fun things.

Now, on to the fun things. These expenses can vary greatly, so we fulltime families have learned some creative tips and tricks along the way to try to keep these expenses as minimal and under control as possible. This is where I'll be sharing these tips with you. I'll add tips as we learn new ways to save money, and I'd love for you to share tips and tricks you've learned in the comments below or at our  Life Riding Shotgun facebook page.

Money Saving Tips & Tricks




Finding free things to do is not as hard as you would think. All it takes is some quick online research to find out what's in the area. Some great resources we use are Factory Tours USA , The History Place , Roadside America , Geocaching , and Letterboxing . On Saturdays, the local Lowe's or Home Depot may offer free kids crafts.
Buy a membership to your favorite local museum after you verify that they have reciprocal membership with other museums. One that has ASTC , AZA , and ACM reciprocity will get you discounted or free entry to most nature and science centers, zoos and aquariums, and children's museums in the USA.
If you're going to be visiting more than two National Parks, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges, Historic Sites, or National Recreation Areas in the next year, buy an annual National Parks Pass for $80. Active duty get a FREE annual pass and disabled veterans and citizens get a FREE lifetime pass that also offers a 50% discount on camping in the parks.  




When you're in a metro area with lots of attractions, find out if there's a Go City Card . These usually cost a nominal fee to purchase, but will save you lots of money. They may also be called an Attractions Passport or a City Pass. Ask any Visitor Center or campground front desk and they should have information, and maybe even sell these passes.
Feeding a family while out and about enjoying your day can definitely put a big dent in that budget. Packing meals and snacks is an option for sure, but everyone deserves to eat out every now and then. There are mystery shopping companies that will pay you to do a variety of tasks: eating out, test driving a car, giving the latest cell phone a try, or retail shopping. I like Gigspot because they have a phone app that I can check on-the-go. It takes a couple of weeks to receive payment, but if you follow the task, do a thorough job, and complete the survey within the time limit, you won't have any problem getting paid. 
Most big attractions will offer discounts. Check their webpages for discounts, coupons, or special offers. Also, always check discount websites such as  Groupon  and Living Social to get big discounts on the most popular attractions in an area, even spa services and restaurants.