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How I’m Earning an Income While Traveling Full-Time (+ Tips For YOU!)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase any products or resources we recommend through the links we provide, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. However, we will never recommend a service or product that we don’t 100% believe in and love/use ourselves. 

Shortly after launching our blog, I shared my story about quitting my “dream” job to follow my detour and travel full-time. It has now officially been a year since my last day at said dream job. Since my story seemed to resonate with so many people, I wanted to update everyone on how its going now, a year after “following my detour”, and how I am now making money while traveling full-time in an RV.

Quitting my job was not at all easy and I had no clue what I was going to do for work when I quit. But, I knew I needed to listen to my heart and I can hardly express how proud I am of myself.

Here are a few personal benefits I have gained from quitting my job:

  • I wake up every single day so incredibly grateful. I don’t hate Sunday nights, knowing the work week is about to begin again.
  • I have the flexible schedule I once dreamed of. I set my own deadlines and hours. This means if I want to explore a destination during the day, I can get my work done at night instead. I can schedule appointments and errands any time of day, too!
  • I have never felt healthier (mind, body, and soul).
  • My confidence is at an all time high. I’ve learned new skills and am so proud of how much I’ve grown and opportunities I’ve received through my hard work.
  • I feel like I’m finally living and not just getting through life.

woman doing tree pose yoga in front of a reflective lake in glacier national park

But, while all those benefits are great, it didn’t take long before I became concerned about how I was going to earn money while on the road. I gave myself a few months to relax and transition into RV life, while discovering strengths and skills I had outside from teaching.

Six months later, I set a pretty big goal for myself.

My goal is to bring in $3,000 (or more) per month, which is the same amount I was making (after taxes and benefits) as a teacher with a Master’s degree. I specifically wanted to reach this goal within a year.

It started out really slow, and the first month I only made around $140. But 5 months later (January 2018), I brought in $2,500. It fluctuates each month but looking forward, I am confident that I’ll reach my goal with the continued work I am doing and some other exciting opportunities that have come my way!

So, why am I sharing my income? Because, if I can do it, I know you can too! I never would have believed that I could find ways to make an actual income while traveling! I hope my story and my transparency gives you the encouragement to go for it yourself, especially if finding remote work is the biggest thing holding you back from chasing your travel dreams. 

Here’s How I Am Earning an Income While Full-Time RVing

Blogging

Building our blog was my very first step. I knew it would take a long time to start making any money from a blog, but it was a great way to learn new skills, discover new interests, and share our journey. We immediately started running our blog like a business, not a hobby. We wanted it to serve as a resume or business card for us. If someone stumbled across our blog, we wanted them to sense our passion and professionalism right away.

We’ve slowly been able to earn a little money from our blog, along with some other perks. But the opportunities we’ve gained as a result of our blog makes it more valuable than anything. I truly believe that without our blog, I would not have gotten any of the following work opportunities that I share in this post.

If you are thinking of starting a blog for the same reasons, or already have a blog and want to know specific ways I used blogging to help me find work, I’d love to share! In fact, I wrote a post about how blogging changed my life and as dramatic as that sounds, its true. I’d encourage anyone to go for it! I recently helped to host a workshop called “Blogging for Business” for about 80 bloggers at The RV Entrepreneur Summit. After receiving such great feedback from that workshop, we launched Blogging CAMP. We have frequent webinars and offer virtual, group coaching packages. So, if you’re interested in learning more about how to run YOUR blog like a business, how to turn the overwhelm into action, and finally start making money from your blog, click here.

Speaker at workshop for blogging for business

Freelance Writing

I never even liked writing…until I found something I was passionate about, which is our “detour”, travel, and the RV lifestyle. I immediately started putting my writing out there. I shared it all over social media and really made it known that I was now considering myself a “writer” and “blogger”. So, I was thrilled when I was asked to do my first guest post for a popular RV blog.

This was not only great exposure for me, but also led directly to my first paid freelance writing gig with Outdoorsy. I didn’t even have to go looking for this opportunity. Which goes to show how sometimes, one thing will lead to another, if you’re putting yourself out there and doing your best work.

I continued to do guest posts as often as I could. I reached out to anyone or any blog I felt I would be a good contributor for. Every guest post I did was unpaid, but I knew it could possibly pay off in the long run, just as it did with my first guest post.

Once I landed my first paid writing opportunity, this gave me some leverage for finding more. I reached out to the editor of Winnebago’s blog, who I had connected with at an event. Then I got connected to Camping World through one of the articles I wrote for Outdoorsy. So before I knew it, I had three steady, paid freelance writing jobs.

Various Paid Opportunities

The more exposure I got through my writing, the more of an audience we gained, and the more opportunities came rolling in. We’ve also been interviewed on several podcasts and have collaborated with other bloggers for various projects. This exposure, I believe, has directly contributed to a variety of opportunities that have come our way recently, including a couple paid film gigs and sponsored posts.

Couple being filmed in RV with camera crew
We had an exciting and paid opportunity to be a part of a documentary with Vice Media!

I’ve also expressed my desire to be a part of higher level projects for companies and their responses have been encouraging. Again, I’m always having to “sell” my skills, talents and passion. Little by little, with hard work, I started to build a “portfolio” of work to show my value.

Side Projects

I’m always seeking out and willing to do projects here and there for a little extra money. Dan and I recently connected with another RV blogger who wanted us to redesign her website. This isn’t our line of work, but we had the experience in building our own site, so we took it on. Now, we can use it as a “work sample” if we wanted to continue doing website design for an additional source of income.

Consulting

Now that we have started to see success on our blog, I’ve been approached by other bloggers asking for help with their blogs. So I was very proud when we launched Blogging CAMP, and I realized this was another way I could combine my new skills with my passion for helping others and my natural teaching abilities.

Woman and dog working with laptop shaking hands
My consulting clients are super cute too! Ha ha, this is only a joke, although I do wish I could have dogs with blogs as clients!

Virtual Assistant Work

I connected with another full-time RVer (also at the RV Entrepreneur Summit) who runs her own virtual assistant business. I heard she was looking to hire some help and I jumped on the opportunity. This has been great work because she trained me in a variety of areas and offered her own advice to me as an entrepreneur and successful blogger. I was literally getting paid to learn new blogging skills, like email marketing, Tailwind and Pinterest strategy, SEO, and more. At the same time though, it wasn’t a full-time position and only a few hours a week. This allowed me the time and freedom to continue growing Follow Your Detour, maintain my other work commitments, and keep exploring other opportunities.

Creating and Launching an Online Product

A great way to earn money remotely is by creating a digital product. Some examples of digital products  are ebooks, photography, music, videos, courses, software, graphic design, etc. When we decided we wanted to create a digital product, we spent a lot of time thinking about our audience and the things they struggle with. The most common questions we get asked are “how do you afford to travel full-time” and “what do you do for work?”. We realized that the theme was money and it just so happened that money management is an area we feel very confident in.

We’ve had a lot of success with our budgeting process with paying off debt and saving an emergency fund. Since, it was through this budgeting process that we gained the peace of mind for me to quit my job and chase our dream lifestyle of traveling full-time, we knew we should share it with others.That’s when we decided to create our budgeting program, Finance Your Detour.The thought of helping others eliminate money as a barrier excites us. If you want to know more about our budgeting program, you can check it out here. If you want to purchase the program, email us and mention this post for a coupon code!

Tips & Resources for Finding Remote Work

laptop computer and sunglasses and cell phone overlooking the ocean in Thailand

NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!

The very first thing I focused on was networking with people. I networked both with other people who were living the same lifestyle and were building their own businesses, as well as company’s who were interested in the RV travel content I could create. I highly recommend attending conferences (the biggest one for me was the RV Entrepreneur Summit) and events or connect virtually with as many people as you can.

Find an accountability group, or “mastermind” 

Join forces with people w are in the same boat as you. Whether you’re a new blogger, entrepreneur, or just wanting to start finding ways to make money while you travel, having an accountability group is priceless. You can help build each other up, share resources and tips with each other, set goals (personal and professional), and who knows, you may even end up starting a business together! I had no idea how powerful my mastermind group would be. Social media and attending events is a great way to connect with people to join a group.

Think about your skills

Everyone is an expert at something. That doesn’t mean you are the best at it in the whole world. It just means that you’ve invested time and energy into a specific skill, have had proven results, and could, therefore, teach somebody about it.

Is there something people often ask you for help with or want your advice on? Do people often compliment you on something you do really well? Take those skills and explore ways of creating a product or service around them in order to help others and make money!

Invest in yourself!

Sometimes it may require you to spend a little money in order to start making money. Purchasing courses, ebooks and other people’s online products can help you learn new skills that may be critical to finding work. For example, Dan and I purchased a photography course and a few blogging courses early on in order to learn the skills we lacked. There are A LOT of digital products out there! Here are a few we recommend:

Remote Work 101: Work, Live, and Travel Where You Want

My good friend and fellow RVer Camille from More Than a Wheelin, created a course designed to help guide people in where to look for remote work opportunities, find companies with remote positions, build more confidence, expand your skills and qualifications, etc. She has  20+ years of experience helping hundreds of people find jobs, develop skills, and advance in their careers. Camille has helped me in my remote work journey in SO many ways and I can’t recommend her course enough! You can click here to read more about her course.

Udemy

Udemy is another online course marketplace. With 65,000 online courses, you can literally find a self-paced course for anything. We’ve bought courses on photography, and using the Adobe Creative Cloud products to learn how to edit photos, create videos, etc. They occasionally have flash sales where you can get courses for as low as $10. Lynda.com is another great resource for online learning. We haven’t tried it yet, but know people who really love it! They have a monthly membership that allows you to take as many courses as you want each month!

Inspirational Books

We wrote a list of our 6 favorite books that inspired us to change our lives and our work goals. They also boosted our confidence and helped us truly believe we could achieve our dream lifestyle. Investing your time in reading books that motivate you and give practical strategies for taking risks, setting goals, and improving your self awareness is so important. We can’t recommend these books enough.

Large group of people at summit
This is the group of 250 people at the RV Entrepreneur Summit who are finding ways to make money while traveling! It was through this event 2 years in a row that I made nearly all the connections necessary for finding work. I can’t stress the importance of networking enough! Photo by JoeHendricksPhotography.com

The goal of this post was truly to help inspire others to know that it IS possible to make money remotely in order to travel full-time. If you’re trying to decide if quitting your job to travel is a possibility, I can’t encourage you enough to go for it. As always, I would love to connect with you and continue to help you in any way I can. Feel free to reach out!

To read more posts about how we afford to travel full-time, click here.

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girl walking down road with mountain views

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Michael CarlsonLindsay McKenziePatty harrisonAmy Hass Recent comment authors
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Michael Carlson
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Michael Carlson

Well written Lindsey, I like the variety you touched on within this post. Multi channels of income seem to be the typical way to create income, when traveling.
You mentioned you participate in a mastermind. Can you explain how you “found” this group of people? Must be through effective networking, but, I am interested in how mastermind groups form and if you joined an existing group. Maybe a post on the process of finding and/starting a mastermind group.
Thanks, Michael

Patty harrison
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Patty harrison

Hi Lindsey, this was a great post! My husband and I started full timing 6 months ago, he talks about doing a blog but doesn’t. So I’m thinking I’ll do it instead! Would really appreciate seeing your blogging class, if you could email it, that be Great! Hope to reach your experience level soon! Thank you!

Amy Hass
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Hi Lindsay, This was a great post, thank you for sharing and for the inspiration. I would love the link to the class you gave at the RV Entrepreneur Summit. Can you email that to me?