How to Make Money Living in a Van: 50 Best Jobs in 2024

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Embracing van life doesn’t mean you have to give up financial stability. If you’re exploring how to make money living in a van, then welcome, you have come to the right place!

In fact, life on the road can offer unique income opportunities that you might not have considered.

One great tip for monetizing your van life experience right away is to leverage your unique lifestyle through content creation, such as starting a YouTube channel or a blog.

So, how do I start living the van life? Well, grab your bags, put on your driving shoes, and join us in this comprehensive guide on how to make money living in a van!

Quick Takeaways:

  • Freelance Writing Flexibility: Emphasize the versatility and freedom of freelance writing, which allows you to earn from anywhere with just a laptop and internet, offering endless opportunities in various writing styles.
  • Graphic Design’s Scalability: Highlight how graphic design can be a mobile and scalable business, with the potential for niche specialization and stable income through subscription services.
  • Virtual Assistant’s Diverse Skill Set: Point out the diverse skill set required for virtual assistants, offering time flexibility and client stability, which is ideal for the mobile lifestyle of van living.
  • Global Reach of Online Tutoring: Mention the global reach and flexible scheduling of online tutoring, allowing you to impart knowledge in various subjects while traveling.
  • E-commerce Passive Income: Stress the benefits of running an e-commerce business from a van, such as the potential for passive income, scalability, and reaching a global audience, which makes it a lucrative option for van lifers.

50 On-the-Road Jobs To Make Money Living In a Van

1. Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a flexible and versatile way to make money from almost anywhere, including living in a van. All you really need is a laptop and a stable internet connection. There are numerous platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr where you can offer your writing services, or you can reach out directly to blogs and publications that pay for articles. Whether your skills lie in writing blog posts, long-form articles, or even technical documents, there’s a market for you.

Benefits:

  • Diverse Opportunities: The variety in freelance writing is endless — from technical writing and SEO articles to storytelling and creative writing. Specializing in a particular type or subject matter can also allow you to charge higher rates.
  • Recurring Clients: Once you’ve established a solid portfolio and reputation, clients will often come back for more, providing a more stable income.
  • Passive Income: Some platforms and clients offer revenue-sharing or royalties for articles, allowing you to continue earning money from a single piece of content.
screenshot of sample writing job at upwork - How to Make Money Living in a Van

2. Graphic Design

Graphic design services are always in demand as businesses and individuals constantly need visual content like logos, brochures, and web designs. With just a computer and some specialized software like Adobe Creative Cloud, you can create a mobile studio right in your van. You can advertise your services on freelance websites, through social media, or via networking.

Benefits:

  • Scale Your Business: As you build your portfolio and clientele, you can gradually increase your rates. You can also upsell by offering package deals that include various types of designs or revisions.
  • Niche Markets: Specializing in a certain area of design like branding, UX/UI, or social media graphics can help you stand out and attract specific clients.
  • Subscription Services: Offering monthly retainer packages can provide a stable and consistent income, which is particularly helpful for the unpredictability of van life.

3. Virtual Assistant

Being a virtual assistant (VA) involves offering administrative services to businesses and entrepreneurs who need help managing their operations. This can include tasks like email management, data entry, scheduling, and customer service. With a laptop and good internet connectivity, your van can easily become your mobile VA office. Websites like Time Etc, Belay, and VA Networking can help you get started.

Benefits:

  • Diverse Skill Set: The more skills you have, like bookkeeping, social media management, or even content creation, the more services you can offer, and the higher rates you can charge.
  • Time Flexibility: Many VA tasks can be done at any time, allowing you to work during off-hours or when it’s most convenient for you.
  • Client Stability: Long-term relationships are common in the VA world, offering a stable income and the possibility of referrals, which can be a boon for the ever-mobile van life.

4. Online Tutoring

Online tutoring is another avenue to make money while living in a van, thanks to the digital age. With a stable internet connection, a laptop, and a webcam, you can offer lessons in subjects you are proficient in, such as math, languages, or even musical instruments. Platforms like Chegg Tutors, VIPKid, or Tutor.com make it easy to connect with students in need.

Benefits:

  • Flexible Scheduling: Many tutoring platforms or private clients offer the flexibility to choose your own hours, making it easier to balance work and the van life.
  • Specialization: Offering tutoring in specialized or high-demand subjects can allow you to charge higher rates.
  • Global Reach: Online tutoring enables you to connect with students from all over the world, broadening your client base and offering the opportunity for cultural exchange.

5. E-commerce

Operating an e-commerce business from your van is entirely feasible with today’s technology. Whether you’re dropshipping products or selling your own handmade items, all you need is a reliable internet connection for managing your online store and communicating with customers. Platforms like Shopify, Etsy, or eBay are great places to start and offer various tools to help manage your business while making money living in a van.

Benefits:

  • Passive Income: Once set up, an e-commerce store can generate passive income. Utilizing automated systems for customer service, order fulfillment, and even marketing can free up your time.
  • Scalability: Start small and grow your inventory and services as you go. You can experiment with different products and pivot easily based on what sells best.
  • Global Audience: An online store can reach customers around the world, unlike a physical storefront. This can lead to increased sales and greater brand recognition.
Screenshot of Shopify Homepage

6. Video Editing

Video content is more popular than ever, making video editing a valuable skill. If you have a laptop with decent processing power and editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, you can offer your services to content creators, companies, or digital marketers. Freelance websites and social media platforms can serve as excellent mediums to advertise your skills.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • High Demand: Video is a dominant medium across various industries, including advertising, entertainment, and education. This provides a broad marketplace for your skills.
  • Creative Outlet: Video editing allows you to fuse technical skills with creativity, making it a fulfilling job that can be done from the confines of your van.
  • Project-Based Work: Many video editing gigs are project-based, allowing for a more flexible work schedule that can be easily adapted to your van life adventures.

7. Social Media Management

As a social media manager, you can handle a business’s or individual’s social media platforms, creating content, scheduling posts, and engaging with the audience. All you need is a good understanding of social media trends, a laptop, and a reliable internet connection. You can offer your services on freelance platforms or reach out to potential clients directly and make money living in a van.

Benefits:

  • Multiple Clients: You can manage social media for multiple clients at the same time, diversifying your income sources.
  • Remote Work: This job is entirely doable remotely, making it perfect for a life on the road.
  • Staying Current: Being a social media manager keeps you updated on the latest trends and technologies, which can be advantageous both personally and professionally.

8. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of online marketing activities, including SEO (Search Engine Optimization), content marketing, and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising. With just a laptop and internet connectivity, you can offer specialized services from the comfort of your van. Online courses and certifications can help you gain the skills you need.

Benefits:

  • High ROI: Businesses are willing to pay well for digital marketing services that can offer them a high return on investment.
  • Diverse Skill Application: Digital marketing involves a range of skills, from analytical thinking to creativity, making it an exciting and varied field.
  • Ongoing Work: Digital marketing usually requires ongoing efforts, leading to longer contracts and stable income.

9. Web Development

Web development is a high-demand skill that involves building and maintaining websites. Whether you specialize in front-end design, back-end development, or full-stack capabilities, you can turn your van into a mobile web development studio. To get started, you’ll need a powerful laptop, a reliable internet connection, and proficiency in languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Benefits:

  • Highly Marketable Skill: Web development is in high demand, giving you a wide range of potential clients across various industries.
  • Project Versatility: From small personal websites to large e-commerce platforms, the scope of projects can vary, keeping the work interesting.
  • Remote Collaboration: Many web development projects involve working with a team, which can easily be coordinated online, allowing you to be part of a community even while on the road.

10. Stock Photography

If you have a talent for photography, selling your photos on stock photography websites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, or Getty Images can be a profitable venture. Living in a van gives you the advantage of easily traveling to diverse locations for unique shots. You’ll need a good-quality camera, editing software, and an eye for detail.

Benefits:

  • Passive Income: Once your photos are uploaded and approved, they can be sold to multiple clients without additional effort, providing a source of passive income.
  • Creative Freedom: Stock photography allows you to explore various themes and styles, offering a great creative outlet.
  • Travel Incentive: This business model can serve as an incentive to travel to new locations for fresh and unique content, enriching your van life experience.
how to make money with photography - shutterstock

11. Print on Demand Supplier (Redbubble, Zazzle, etc.)

Utilizing platforms like Redbubble or Zazzle allows you to enter the world of e-commerce with minimal hassle. You can create custom designs for T-shirts, mugs, posters, and a variety of other products, which the platform will manufacture and ship whenever an order comes in.

All you need is a laptop, some design software, and creativity to design eye-catching products. So, you can make money while living in a van.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • Low Initial Investment: The beauty of print-on-demand is that you don’t need to stock inventory or invest in manufacturing. You only pay for what you sell.
  • Flexibility: This business model is incredibly flexible, allowing you to work from anywhere, making it an excellent fit for van life.
  • Creative Outlet: This business also serves as a creative outlet, letting you experiment with different designs and merchandise.

12. Amazon Influencer

Amazon’s Influencer Program allows individuals with a strong social media following to earn commissions by promoting Amazon products. You’ll get a personalized storefront, which you can fill with products you genuinely recommend.

Every time someone makes a purchase through your storefront, you earn a commission. This can be an extension of your existing brand or blog.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • Streamlined Affiliate Marketing: Amazon handles shipping, customer service, and returns, making your job simply to promote products effectively.
  • Trust Factor: Amazon is a well-known and trusted retailer, making it easier to convert your audience into buyers.
  • Multiple Revenue Streams: You can combine this with other income-generating activities, like blogging or vlogging, for a more robust income portfolio.

13. Amazon FBA Entrepreneur

Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) involves sourcing products to sell on Amazon, but letting Amazon handle the inventory and shipping. This business model will require some upfront investment and more ongoing attention than the other options.

However, it allows you to tap into Amazon’s vast customer base and logistics network.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • Broad Market Access: With Amazon FBA, you’re leveraging Amazon’s enormous customer base for your products.
  • Outsourced Logistics: Amazon handles the packing, shipping, and customer service, freeing you to focus on product selection and marketing.
  • Scale Quickly: Because Amazon handles many operational aspects, it’s easier to scale this business compared to running a self-fulfilled operation.

14. Personal Coaching

If you have expertise in a specific area such as fitness, nutrition, life coaching, or even business, you can offer personal coaching services. Virtual sessions can be conducted via video conferencing software and digital resources can be distributed via email or a personal website. Your van can serve as both your office and private consultation space.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • Niche Specialization: The more specialized your coaching services, the higher the rates you can command.
  • Recurring Revenue: Coaching usually involves multiple sessions, leading to a more stable and predictable income.
  • Personal Branding: Offering coaching services can help build your personal brand, opening doors for other opportunities like public speaking or book deals.

15. Street Performer/Musician

If you have a musical talent, performing in public spaces can earn you some cash and enrich your van life journey. Before you set up, make sure to check local laws regarding street performance. You’d need your instrument and perhaps a portable amplifier and open case for tips.

Benefits:

  • Cash Income: Street performing often results in immediate cash earnings.
  • Networking: Public performances can lead to other opportunities such as gigs at local venues or events.
  • Creative Outlet: It’s a chance to do what you love and share it with others, enhancing your own well-being.

16. Art & Craft Sales

If you have a knack for creating handmade goods like jewelry, paintings, or knitted items, you can sell them online or at local markets while you make money living in a van. Etsy is a great platform for crafters, or you can opt to sell at local fairs or seasonal events.

Benefits:

  • Creative Expression: Crafting not only lets you earn money but also serves as an outlet for creativity.
  • Unique Products: Handmade goods have a unique appeal that can command higher prices.
  • Community Engagement: Selling at local fairs or markets allows you to engage with a community and could lead to repeat customers.

17. Affiliate Marketing

If you have a blog, YouTube channel, or significant social media following, you can make money through affiliate marketing. This involves promoting products and earning a commission for any sales made through your unique affiliate link.

Benefits:

  • Passive Income: Once your content is live and attracting traffic, it can generate income without additional effort.
  • Low Overhead: No need for inventory or customer service. All you need is a platform to share your content.
  • Credibility: Offering genuine recommendations can boost your credibility and deepen the trust your audience has in you.
Screenshot of shopify affiliate program page - how to make money living in a van

18. Remote Customer Service

Many companies outsource their customer service departments and allow agents to work remotely. With a decent internet connection and a quiet space in your van, you can answer customer queries via email, live chat, or phone.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • Steady Pay: Customer service roles often come with hourly wages and set schedules, providing a steady income.
  • Skill Development: You can develop valuable skills in problem-solving and customer relations.
  • Company Benefits: Some companies offer benefits like healthcare, even for remote employees.

19. House Sitting

House sitting often involves taking care of someone’s home and possibly their pets while they are away. Websites like TrustedHousesitters can connect you with people in need of these services. This also gives you a break from van life if you wish.

Benefits:

  • Free Accommodation: You get a place to stay, often with amenities like Wi-Fi, kitchen, and laundry.
  • Additional Services: You can offer added services like pet care, gardening, or pool maintenance for extra income.
  • Local Experience: Spending an extended period in one location lets you explore and appreciate it more deeply.

20. eBook Writing and Publishing

If you have knowledge or expertise in a specific field or just a knack for storytelling, writing an eBook can be a fruitful endeavor. Self-publishing platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing make it easy to publish your work. With some digital marketing, your book can become a source of passive income.

Benefits:

  • Royalties: Once your book is published, you’ll earn royalties for every sale or read-through via subscription services like Kindle Unlimited.
  • Authority: Publishing a book can establish you as an authority in your field, leading to more opportunities like consulting or speaking engagements.
  • Creative Fulfillment: Writing a book is a long-term project that can provide immense personal satisfaction.
sample kindle e-book about Van life

21. Translation Services

If you’re fluent in more than one language, offering translation services can be a lucrative option. Websites like Upwork or Freelancer allow you to bid on translation jobs that you can do from anywhere with an internet connection.

Benefits:

  • High Demand for Specialized Skills: Technical, medical, or legal translations often require specialized knowledge and command higher rates.
  • Flexibility: The nature of freelance translation work allows for a flexible schedule.
  • Networking: Building a portfolio and good relationships with clients can lead to consistent work and referrals.

22. Drone Photography/Videography

If you’re trained and certified to operate a drone, offering drone photography and videography services can be lucrative. This is especially true in industries like real estate, tourism, and event coverage. You’d need to invest in a high-quality drone and relevant software.

Benefits:

  • Unique Perspective: Drone photography provides a unique viewpoint that can command higher prices.
  • Wide Range of Applications: From real estate to weddings to environmental surveys, the applications are vast.
  • Travel-Friendly: Drones are portable and can be easily incorporated into a van lifestyle, offering new angles to your nomadic journey.

23. Teaching Online Courses

If you have expertise in the subject matter, creating and selling courses on platforms like Udemy or Teachable can generate income. This could range from teaching a skill like photography, cooking, or programming to offering courses in academic subjects.

Benefits:

  • Scalability: Once the course is created, there’s no limit to how many students can enroll, making this a scalable option.
  • Passive Income: Similar to eBooks, online courses can provide a source of passive income once they’re up and running.
  • Credibility: Providing a well-received course can establish you as an expert in your field, opening doors to further opportunities.

24. Selling Printables

Creating and selling digital printables—like planners, journals, or decorative prints—is another way to make money online while living in a van. Websites like Etsy or your own e-commerce platform can be used to sell these products.

Benefits:

  • Low Production Cost: Once the digital file is created, there are no production or shipping costs, maximizing profit.
  • Quick Transactions: Customers receive the product immediately upon purchase, requiring less customer service effort on your part.
  • Unlimited Inventory: Being digital products, printables never run out of stock, providing a sustainable source of income.

25. Voiceover Work

With a good-quality microphone and some audio editing software, you can offer voiceover services right from your van. Websites like Voices.com or Fiverr can connect you with clients looking for voiceover talent for commercials, audiobooks, or educational videos.

Benefits:

  • Wide Range of Opportunities: From animated characters to corporate training materials, the range of voiceover work is broad, keeping your job interesting.
  • Skill Development: This work can help you develop vocal skills and also give you a basic understanding of sound editing.
  • Quick Turnaround: Many voiceover jobs are short projects, allowing for quick work and fast payments.
screenshot of voices log in page - how to make money living in a van

26. Vehicle Advertising

You can turn your van into a moving billboard by collaborating with companies that pay for vehicle advertising. This involves wrapping your van in advertisements and simply driving around as you normally would.

Benefits:

  • Passive Earnings: Once your vehicle is wrapped, you earn money passively, without additional effort on your part.
  • Customization: You can often choose campaigns that align with your lifestyle or beliefs.
  • No Special Skills Required: Unlike other money-making strategies, this one doesn’t require any special skills or time commitment.

27. Home Organizing Consultant

With the popularity of tidying up and minimalist living, offering services as a home organizing consultant can be rewarding. You can consult virtually, or offer in-person services when you’re in a specific location.

Benefits:

  • High Demand: The demand for home organization services has surged, especially since more people are spending time at home.
  • Value-Added Service: You can offer follow-up consultations or maintenance tips as part of a package.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Helping people declutter and organize their living spaces can be personally fulfilling.

28. Music Lessons

If you’re proficient in a musical instrument, offering lessons—either in person or virtually—can be a lucrative venture. Websites like TakeLessons can connect you with students, or you can advertise your services on social media and local community boards.

Benefits:

  • Skill Sharing: Teaching is a rewarding way to share your passion and skills with others.
  • Flexible Schedule: Most lessons can be scheduled according to your availability, offering flexibility.
  • Recurring Revenue: Students usually sign up for multiple lessons, providing a consistent income stream.

29. Rent Out Your Van

When you’re not using it, or if you have an extra van, consider renting it out to other aspiring van lifers or travelers. Platforms like Outdoorsy make it easy to list your vehicle and rent it safely.

Benefits:

  • Additional Income: Renting out your van can provide a substantial extra income, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Networking: This can be a way to connect with other van lifers and share experiences and tips.
  • Utilize Idle Time: If you have a stable place to stay for a while, your van can still generate income during this period.

30. Food or Drink Vendor

If you enjoy cooking and local laws permit, you could turn your van into a small food or drink vendor. Coffee, lemonade, sandwiches, or baked goods could be good starting points. Be sure to adhere to health and safety regulations.

Benefits:

  • High Margins: Food and drink typically have high profit margins, especially if you keep overhead low.
  • Local Engagement: Enables you to engage with local communities and partake in local events or festivals.
  • Creative Outlet: Allows you to experiment with recipes and flavors, offering a creative outlet along with the potential for income.

31. Subscription Box Service

Create and sell subscription boxes around a specific theme or interest. For example, if you frequently travel to new places, you could offer a “Local Delights” box filled with goods from your most recent location.

Benefits:

  • Recurring Revenue: Subscription models provide consistent and recurring revenue.
  • Customer Engagement: Allows you to engage deeply with your customer base, creating brand loyalty.
  • Cross-Promotion: You can use the subscription service to cross-promote other products or services you offer.
Sample Nomadik Subscription boxes

32. Farm Work or Seasonal Harvesting

While parked in rural areas, seasonal farm work can be a way to make money while living in a van nearby. This could range from fruit picking to helping with a harvest.

Benefits:

  • Physical Exercise: Farm work can be physically demanding, which can serve as good exercise.
  • Learn New Skills: This can be an opportunity to learn about agriculture and farming techniques.
  • Temporary Commitment: Most farm work is seasonal, allowing you to earn money without a long-term commitment.

33. Event Planning and Coordination

If you have a knack for organizing and coordinating, offering virtual event planning services for things like webinars, parties, or corporate events can be lucrative.

Benefits:

  • Diverse Clientele: From corporate clients to family events, the range of clients can keep the work interesting.
  • High-Profit Margins: Event planning can command high fees, especially for corporate events.
  • Networking Opportunities: Each successful event can lead to referrals and a growing network.

34. Become a Travel Blogger/Vlogger

Leveraging your adventures by becoming a travel blogger or vlogger can not only document your journey but also make money. Writing blogs shooting videos about the places you visit, reviewing campsites, or offering “van life” tips can attract an audience. Monetize your content through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or ad revenue. It can take time to build a significant following, but consistency and quality are key.

Benefits:

  • Passive Income: Once you have a substantial number of articles or videos, you can generate passive income through ad revenue and affiliate marketing.
  • Personal Branding: Successfully blogging or vlogging can help build your personal brand, making you more attractive for sponsorships and other partnership opportunities.
  • Creative Expression: Blogging and vlogging are outlets for creativity, allowing you to experiment with writing styles, video angles, and storytelling techniques.
Screenshot of yourlifestylebusiness homepage

35. Remote IT Support

For those with a background in Information Technology, providing remote IT support can be an excellent way to make money while living in a van. Companies often need assistance with setting up networks, troubleshooting servers, and managing cloud-based resources. While some IT jobs require physical presence, many tasks can be handled remotely. All you need is a reliable internet connection, and you can serve clients from anywhere.

Benefits:

  • Flexible Timing: Many IT support roles do not require strict 9-5 hours, allowing for a more flexible lifestyle.
  • Retainers and Contracts: Once you establish credibility, clients may put you on a retainer, ensuring a steady income.
  • Evergreen Skills: IT is a sector that will always need skilled professionals, making this a future-proof option.

36. Write E-books or Guides

If you possess expertise in a particular subject or have a unique set of experiences, writing e-books or guides can be an excellent way to monetize your knowledge. These can range from how-to guides to cookbooks, or travel diaries. Digital publishing platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing make it easy to publish your work. You have control over the pricing and can earn up to 70% in royalties. Plus, e-books have the benefit of being evergreen content; once written and published, they can continue to generate income indefinitely as long as there’s demand.

Benefits:

  • Royalty Income: E-books can provide a consistent stream of royalty income long after the initial work of writing is done.
  • Credibility: Having a published book can establish you as an expert in your field, making you more appealing for other opportunities like speaking engagements or consultancies.
  • Creative Freedom: Unlike traditional publishing, self-publishing e-books gives you complete creative control over the content, design, and marketing.

37. Ghostwriting Services

If you have strong writing skills but aren’t interested in the limelight, ghostwriting can be a lucrative field. This involves writing articles, blog posts, or even entire books for other people, who then publish the content under their own names. Ghostwriting can be an ideal job for van life due to its remote nature; all you need is a computer and a stable internet connection. Depending on your skill and the client’s needs, ghostwriting can pay very well. You could write for busy professionals, content marketers, or aspiring authors who have a story to tell but lack the writing skills to do so.

Benefits:

  • Anonymity: If you prefer staying behind the scenes while still making a good income, ghostwriting allows for that.
  • Networking: High-quality work can lead to long-term relationships and potentially more lucrative projects.
  • Skill Development: Writing in various styles and for different audiences can broaden your skills as a writer.

38. Sell Digital Products

In a world that increasingly values digital goods, selling digital products can be a great way to make money while living in a van. These could range from templates for business documents, designs for 3D printing, or even digital artwork. With websites like Gumroad or Etsy’s digital section, you can reach a broad audience without the hassle of shipping physical goods. The key to success is identifying a niche market that values what you offer. The upfront time investment could be significant, but once the product is developed, it can be sold an unlimited number of times with little to no additional effort.

Benefits:

  • No Inventory Worries: Since the products are digital, there’s no need to worry about inventory, shipping, or storage.
  • Passive Income: After the initial effort to create and list the product, the income generated is largely passive.
  • Global Market: Digital products are easy to distribute globally, expanding your potential customer base enormously.

39. Podcasting

Podcasting is a medium that has gained immense popularity and can be lucrative if done well. Living in a van offers unique experiences and insights that could make for compelling content. Your podcast could focus on van life, travel, interviews with interesting people you meet along the way, or any other subject you’re passionate about. Monetization can be achieved through sponsorships, listener donations, or affiliate marketing. While the initial setup might require some investment in good-quality microphones and editing software, the long-term potential is significant.

Benefits:

  • Intellectual Engagement: Podcasting is a medium that allows for deep dives into topics, providing intellectual stimulation and the chance to engage with experts in various fields.
  • Long-Term Revenue: A successful podcast can continue to earn money through back episodes as new listeners discover your content.
  • Community Building: Regular episodes with compelling content can help build a loyal community, opening doors to other opportunities like speaking engagements or partnerships.

40. Online Surveys

Taking online surveys may not make you rich, but it can offer a consistent source of supplemental income. Many companies pay for consumer opinions, and you can sign up with various survey platforms to participate. Each survey usually takes between 5 to 30 minutes, and you’ll be compensated either with money or gift cards. The advantage of conducting surveys is that you can do them at any time and from anywhere, making it a perfect fit for van life. However, it’s crucial to do your due diligence and sign up only with reputable platforms to avoid scams.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • Low Effort: This job requires very little intellectual or physical effort, making it a good way to earn money while multitasking or during downtime.
  • No Special Skills Required: Anyone can fill out surveys; you don’t need any specialized training or skills.
  • Flexibility: With no set hours or quotas, you can fill out surveys at your own convenience, making it an ideal side hustle.
image of a woman in front of a desktop computer doing Online Survey - how to make money living in a van

41. Develop Mobile Apps

If you have coding skills, developing mobile apps can be a very profitable venture. The scope of app development is enormous, covering everything from games and productivity tools to specialized applications for various industries. You can either work for clients or create your own app and monetize it through in-app purchases or advertisements. The initial development can be time-consuming, but once the app is up and running, it can generate income with relatively low ongoing maintenance, provided you’re responsive to user feedback and update it as needed.

Benefits:

  • High Revenue Potential: Successful apps can generate significant income, either from sales, in-app purchases, or advertising.
  • Creative Fulfillment: Building an app from scratch offers immense creative satisfaction and the opportunity to solve real-world problems.
  • Scalability: Once the app is developed, it can be downloaded an infinite number of times, scaling your income exponentially with increased popularity.

42. Remote Sales Jobs

Sales positions are among those that often don’t require you to be tied to a particular location. Companies in industries like software, pharmaceuticals, and services are increasingly open to remote sales roles, especially for salespeople who can manage virtual relationships well. If you have a knack for persuasion and are good at building relationships, a remote sales job could be perfect for you. All you would need is a reliable Internet connection for conducting calls and virtual meetings, and a phone to keep in touch with potential and existing clients.

Benefits:

  • High Earning Potential: Many sales roles come with a base salary plus commission, giving you a direct incentive to close deals.
  • Skill Development: Sales skills are highly transferable and can benefit you in almost any career, as well as in your personal life.
  • Client Relationship Building: In sales, you often build long-term relationships with clients, which can lead to recurring revenue and excellent job stability.

43. Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is an e-commerce model where you sell products directly from suppliers to consumers without holding inventory. When a customer places an order, the item is shipped directly from the supplier. Shopify and other e-commerce platforms offer easy ways to start a dropshipping store. The success of this business depends on your ability to market products effectively and provide excellent customer service. It’s a highly competitive space, but with the right niche and marketing strategy, you can make money while living in a van.

Benefits:

  • Low Start-Up Costs: No need for a physical store or inventory, making it accessible for people with limited capital.
  • Flexibility: You can manage your online store from anywhere with an internet connection, perfect for van life.
  • Endless Possibilities: The variety of products you can sell is almost limitless, allowing you to pivot or specialize as market demands change.

44. Airbnb Hosting

While living in a van, you might still own a property that could be rented out through Airbnb. This is a way to earn passive income while traveling. If you’re concerned about the logistics of managing a property remotely, property management services are available that can handle everything from check-in to cleaning. It’s crucial to understand the regulations in your area about short-term rentals and ensure your property offers a clean, comfortable, and unique experience for guests.

Benefits:

  • Passive Income: Once your property is listed and operational, the income is mostly passive, allowing you to focus on other projects or enjoy your travels.
  • Property Appreciation: Besides earning from short-term rentals, your property can also appreciate in value over time, offering a double financial benefit.
  • Networking: Hosting people from different backgrounds can offer not just income but also networking opportunities and potentially valuable connections.
Host an Airbnb experience

45. Flipping Products

The concept of flipping involves buying products at a lower price and then selling them for a profit. This can be done with a variety of items—from vintage clothes and furniture to tech gadgets. With mobile apps like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace, you can engage in flipping almost anywhere you go. The van life lifestyle puts you in a unique position to find items in one location and sell them in another where they might be in higher demand. Success in flipping requires a good eye for value, negotiation skills, and a knack for spotting trends or rare items.

Benefits:

  • High-Profit Margins: If done correctly, flipping can offer high-profit margins, especially for rare or in-demand items.
  • Skill Development: This venture will hone your skills in negotiation, online marketing, and trend analysis, all of which are useful in various contexts.
  • Geographic Advantage: Traveling to different places offers the advantage of sourcing items that may be cheaper or more readily available in one area but are in demand in another.

46. Renting Your Parking Space

If you own a piece of land or a parking space in a high-demand area, you can rent it out for parking or even for other van lifers to camp. Apps and websites like JustPark or SpotHero make it easy to list your parking space. To be successful, make sure your listing is accurate and transparent about the amenities and rules. Clear signage, easy access, and good communication can make the experience smooth for both parties. While this may require a bit of oversight and management, the revenue could be substantial, especially in high-demand areas.

Benefits:

  • Passive Income: Once your parking space is listed and operational, the income is mostly passive, requiring minimal time and effort on your part.
  • Low Overhead: Unlike properties, parking spaces require very little maintenance, making them a low-overhead investment.
  • Versatility: Depending on the location and size of the space, it could be rented out for a variety of purposes, from car parking to RV parking to event space.

47. Personal Chef

Offering personal chef services can be a fantastic way to make money while living in a van. Given that a van has limited space, this might involve cooking in clients’ homes, making it an interesting business for those who enjoy cooking and socializing. You can specialize in specific types of cuisine, dietary needs, or event catering. Marketing can be done through social media and word-of-mouth, and you can adjust your rates based on the complexity of the meals and the ingredients used.

Benefits:

  • High Earning Potential: Customized, in-home dining experiences are in demand, and clients are willing to pay for high-quality, personalized service.
  • Flexible Schedule: As a personal chef, you have the liberty to choose your clients and work hours, making it a flexible option for van life.
  • Network Expansion: This service allows you to meet various clients, which can expand your network and open doors to other opportunities, like cooking classes or recipe books.

48. Social Media Influencer (TikTok, Instagram, etc.)

Leveraging platforms like TikTok and Instagram can provide you with income through sponsored posts, brand collaborations, and affiliate marketing. Here, your primary asset is your follower base and the content you produce. This model allows you to make money while also sharing your van life journey, tips, and tricks with a broad audience.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • Personal Branding: Being an influencer lets you build a personal brand, which can be monetized in many different ways, from sponsored posts to selling digital products.
  • Low Startup Costs: You mostly need a smartphone and creativity to get started, making the initial costs minimal.
  • Direct Audience Engagement: Social media platforms allow you to engage directly with your audience, building a community around your lifestyle and recommendations.

49. YouTube Vlogger

YouTube vlogging can be an ideal way to make money while living your van life. Revenue can come from multiple streams like AdSense, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing.

Quality content that resonates with a specific audience can earn you a loyal following and significant income over time.

Benefits/Strategies:

  • Multiple Revenue Streams: Apart from ad revenue, you can also earn through sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and even crowdfunding through platforms like Patreon.
  • Creative Freedom: YouTube allows you the freedom to produce content on a variety of topics and styles, from daily vlogs to educational videos.
  • Global Reach: YouTube has a broad, global audience, enabling you to reach viewers from different backgrounds and cultures, which can be fulfilling both personally and financially.
Yourlifestylebusiness Youtube channel homepage

50. Franchise Ownership

Owning a franchise can be a significant investment but offers the advantage of a turnkey business model. While traditional franchises might require a static location, there are many mobile franchise opportunities available, such as mobile coffee services or pet grooming, that could suit a van lifestyle. Franchises offer branding, operational guidelines, and sometimes even customer leads, making it easier to get started.

Benefits:

  • Established Business Model: Franchises come with tried and tested business models, reducing the risks associated with starting a business from scratch.
  • Brand Recognition: Being part of a recognized brand can attract customers more easily than a lesser-known independent business.
  • Support and Training: Most franchises offer extensive training and support, helping you overcome challenges and operate efficiently.

How To Make Money Living In A Van – Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Diverse Opportunities in the Gig Economy: The gig economy means a plethora of job options for van dwellers, from freelance writing to software development. This variety allows individuals to find remote jobs that align with their skills and interests.
  2. Flexibility of Remote Positions: Many van life jobs, such as being a virtual assistant or a graphic designer, offer the flexibility to work online or in person. Remote jobs enable van dwellers to travel extensively, perhaps even to national parks or exotic destinations like South America, while maintaining a steady income.
  3. Potential for Lucrative Business Ventures: Starting an online business or developing an online course can be a lucrative business opportunity. With enough dedication, these ventures can turn into a full-time income source, providing decent money and financial stability on the road.
  4. Seasonal Work Opportunities: Seasonal jobs, like seasonal retail work or being a tour guide in national parks, offer short-term commitments (a few weeks or few months) that fit well with the nomadic lifestyle. Seasonal workers can earn extra cash and then move on to a new location.
  5. Balancing Work and Travel: The ability to work a part-time job or engage in side jobs like pet sitting for pet owners or personal shopping offers a balance between earning money and enjoying the van life experience. This balance is crucial for those who value both financial freedom and personal freedom.

Cons:

  1. Inconsistency in Income: Depending solely on gig economy jobs like odd jobs, freelance writing, or graphic design can lead to financial instability. Not every month may bring in enough money, especially when starting out or during off-peak seasons.
  2. Challenges with Remote Work: While remote jobs offer great flexibility, they also come with challenges. Issues like inconsistent cell service in remote areas or the need for strong computer skills can make remote work difficult for some van dwellers.
  3. Uncertainty in Seasonal Employment: While seasonal work can be an excellent way to earn supplemental income, it lacks the stability of a full-time job. Seasonal workers might find themselves spending a few hours every few days looking for the next gig.
  4. Difficulty in Building a Client Base: For those offering services online, such as social media management or website testing, building a client base can take time. New small business owners or freelancers might struggle for the first few months to establish themselves and secure regular clients.
  5. Competition in Lucrative Fields: Fields like software development, video editing, or becoming a well-paid proofreader are lucrative but highly competitive. Without prior experience or an established portfolio, breaking into these fields and earning good money can be challenging.

While van life jobs offer an appealing mix of freedom and potential for making money, they also come with uncertainties and challenges. It’s important for potential van dwellers to weigh these pros and cons, considering their own skills and lifestyle preferences, before embarking on this journey.

How To Make Money Living In a Van – Checklist for 2024

Making a living in a van may not be everyone’s cup of tea, so if you’re considering this lifestyle change, it’s important that you seriously consider how to manage your affairs to make the experience worthwhile and satisfying. This is where this checklist comes in, to help you make sense of your planning, goa,s and day-to-day tasks;

1. Identify Your Best Van Life Jobs

Research and list down jobs that align with your skills and interests, ensuring they are suitable for the van lifestyle.

  • Tips: Research online communities and forums where van dwellers share job ideas.
  • Strategies: Make a list of your skills and match them to potential jobs like freelance writer, graphic designer, or virtual assistant.

2. Set Up a Blog Post Schedule

Regularly write and publish blog posts related to your van life experiences or your area of expertise. This can be a great way to attract readers and potential clients.

  • Tips: Choose topics related to van life or your professional expertise to attract a specific audience.
  • Strategies: Plan a content calendar and stick to a regular posting schedule to keep your readers engaged.

3. Pursue Brand Deals

Reach out to brands for partnerships. Brand deals can be a significant source of income, especially if you have a strong presence in the van life community or a particular niche.

  • Tips: Build a strong social media presence to attract brand deals.
  • Strategies: Reach out to brands with a proposal highlighting how your van lifestyle aligns with their products or services.

4. Convert Your Current Job to Remote

If possible, negotiate with your employer to make your current job remote, allowing you to earn money on the road.

  • Tips: Prepare a proposal for your employer showing how your job can be done remotely without loss of productivity.
  • Strategies: Highlight the benefits of remote work like reduced office space costs.

5. Launch a Career as a Freelance Writer

Write articles for various platforms. Being a freelance writer can offer flexibility and the opportunity to work from anywhere, including a national park.

  • Tips: Start by writing articles for smaller publications to build your portfolio.
  • Strategies: Use platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to find writing gigs.

6. Develop Graphic Design Skills

Graphic designers can find abundant freelance opportunities online. Your own website can showcase your portfolio to potential clients.

  • Tips: Take online courses to improve your skills.
  • Strategies: Use your own website to showcase your portfolio and attract clients.

7. Search for Remote Job Opportunities

Online jobs boards are a great place to find a remote job that suits your skills and lifestyle.

  • Tips: Regularly check job portals for remote positions.
  • Strategies: Tailor your resume to highlight skills that are beneficial for remote jobs.

8. Network with Other Remote Workers

Join online communities of remote workers to share tips and find opportunities for collaboration or learning.

  • Tips: Join digital nomad and remote worker groups on social media.
  • Strategies: Attend virtual networking events to make connections in the remote working community.

9. Create a Strategy for Saving Money

Plan your finances carefully, considering the fluctuating nature of freelance income and the need to manage expenses while on the road.

  • Tips: Track all expenses to identify areas where you can cut costs.
  • Strategies: Set up a budget that accommodates the fluctuating nature of freelance income.

10. Teach English Online

If you have the necessary qualifications, teaching English online can be a rewarding and well-paying job that you can do from your van.

  • Tips: Get TEFL certification to increase your chances of getting hired.
  • Strategies: Look for platforms that allow you to teach from anywhere, even a national park.

11. Start Your Own Business

Consider starting a business that aligns with the van lifestyle. This could range from selling digital products to offering consulting services.

  • Tips: Identify a niche market that aligns with your lifestyle.
  • Strategies: Use online tools to manage your business remotely.

12. Build and Maintain Your Own Website

A personal website can serve as a portfolio, blog, or e-commerce site, helping you to market your services or products effectively.

  • Tips: Use website builders like WordPress or Squarespace for an easy start.
  • Strategies: Regularly update your website with new content and portfolio pieces.

13. Look for Part-Time or Project-Based Remote Work

Not all remote jobs need to be full-time. Look for part-time or project-based work that allows for more travel flexibility.

  • Tips: Check job boards specifically for part-time or contract work.
  • Strategies: Highlight your flexibility and ability to work independently in your applications.

14. Capitalize on Skills as a Video Editor

If you have video editing skills, offer your services to content creators or businesses. You can edit videos related to van life or other niches.

  • Tips: Build a portfolio with your best work to show potential clients.
  • Strategies: Offer your services on freelance platforms and to digital nomad communities.

15. Write Articles for Publications

Writing articles for magazines, online publications, or newspapers can be a great way to earn money and build your reputation as a writer.

  • Tips: Research publications that pay for submissions in your area of expertise.
  • Strategies: Pitch unique story ideas that align with the publication’s theme and audience.

By following these tips and strategies, you can effectively leverage the potential of each job opportunity while living in a van. Remember to consistently apply your skills and knowledge, stay adaptable, and network with others in the van life community and beyond.

How To Make Money Living In A Van – Summary

The possibilities for making money while living in a van are both varied and abundant. From digital nomad roles in fields like freelance writing and remote customer service to specialized skills like personal chef services and aquarium maintenance, there’s likely a niche that perfectly matches your skills and interests.

Even seemingly unconventional paths like vending machine operation or franchise ownership can be adapted to the mobile lifestyle, offering both flexibility and financial stability.

If you found this guide useful, you’ll likely benefit from exploring our lifestyle business and entrepreneurship posts on our blog, such as;

Each path offers its own blend of freedom, flexibility, and financial reward, allowing you to tailor your income streams to your personal preferences and skills. Happy driving!

How To Make Money Living In A Van – FAQs

How do you make money if you live in a van?

Making money living in a van is not only possible but also offers a variety of career paths. From digital nomad jobs like freelance writing to specialized services like being a personal chef, there are numerous ways to generate income while enjoying the freedom that van life provides.

Is it a good idea to live in a van?

Making money living in a van can be challenging due to space constraints, lack of amenities, and the need for careful planning around issues like electricity, water, and waste management. However, many find that the lifestyle’s benefits, such as flexibility, closer connection to nature, and lower living costs, outweigh these challenges.

Why do people quit van life?

Some people quit van life due to financial constraints, while others may find the close quarters and constant travel too demanding. In some cases, life changes like starting a family or accepting a stationary job may also influence the decision to stop living in a van.

How do I start living in the van life?

Before taking the plunge, consider the costs of the van and its maintenance, insurance, and living expenses like food and gas. Think about how you’ll manage amenities like showers, laundry, and electricity. Plan your income streams and how your chosen career will fit with your mobile lifestyle.

Is it comfortable to live in a van?

Comfort in a van depends on how well it is set up. Modern conversions can make a van as comfortable as a small apartment with facilities like a bed, kitchen, and even a bathroom. However, you’ll need to make sacrifices in terms of space and some amenities.

How to work from a van and what are the initial costs of starting a van life?

Initial costs can range from the price of the van itself, which could be anywhere from a few thousand to several tens of thousands of dollars, to the cost of converting it into a livable space. Budgeting for initial setup can vary widely based on your specific needs and taste.

How do I maintain a social life while living in a van?

Maintaining a social life is entirely possible through digital platforms and by staying in areas for extended periods to build community. Many van lifers find like-minded people on the road, forming lasting friendships and often traveling together.

Is van life safe?

Generally, van life can be as safe as any other lifestyle, but it does require taking some precautions. Always research the areas where you’ll be staying, take note of local laws, and ensure your van has a security system or lockable compartments.

How do the internet and connectivity work in van life?

You’ll need a solid plan for staying connected, especially if your income relies on it. Options range from mobile hotspots to Wi-Fi extenders, and many van lifers also utilize public Wi-Fi in cafes or libraries.

What are some unexpected challenges I might face?

Some unexpected challenges could include vehicle breakdowns, difficulty finding suitable parking or camping spots, and managing extreme weather conditions. Having a backup plan and emergency savings can help mitigate these challenges.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊

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