The Van Life: Making a Living While Traveling


You’re probably not aware of it, but more and more people are getting into the Van Life Movement. If you have an Instagram account, you’ve probably already seen a few #vanlife posts and thought to yourself that it sure does look like loads of fun.

And it is. Any van lifer, RVer, and pretty much any traveler will say the experience is unlike any other. It’s similar to the Tiny House Movement, but it’s not. Sure, you make a dwelling out of a small space and try to live a simple life, but there’s more to life on the road than what you see on social media.

It’s not like Instagram

While Instagram may show you the glamorous side of living on the road, what it fails to show you is how hard travelers hustle and grind to support their lifestyle. Not all of them are influencers that have hundreds of thousands of followers. A huge majority of them are just like us regular ol’ folks trying to navigate life the best way we can.

A lot of questions come to mind involving living on the road like:

  • Where do I go if I need to use the bathroom? 
  • How do I shower?
  • What about my laundry?

Among all the questions about life on the road, one of the main concerns people bring up is how they support that kind of lifestyle? Hopefully, this article can help enlighten you about on-the-road living.

8 Ways to Survive Financially while Living the Traveler’s Life

van life

If you want to hit the road and live on the go, here are some tips to help you make a living and survive.

  1. Save up

Before you even remotely consider transitioning to a traveler’s life, you should have enough money saved up on top of your emergency funds. It’s always good to be prepared for those rainy days, especially since living on the road can bring many unexpected things along.

  1. Commit to a simple lifestyle

The idea of constantly being on the move means you will have to leave your comfortable life behind. It is fun, yes, but it can also be challenging unless you learn to live. This means living within — or below — your means and not having as many personal belongings.

  1. Pack right

If you’re taking a weekend trip or are going backpacking, it’s important to always have the right stuff with you to minimize any inconveniences or unnecessary spending on the road. The stakes are raised when you choose to travel as a way of life. Do your research, find out as much as you can about your trip, and prepare for it.

  1. Look for remote work opportunities

The internet has opened a myriad of possibilities for us. There are hundreds of thousands of available jobs online. Some of these will not only allow you to travel but also make you earn probably more than what you are making with your 9-to-5 job.

  1. Keep an eye out for jobs wherever you are

Another simple way of earning money as a traveler is to look for jobs in the place you’re going. Some of these can be one-off work, such as helping out at a farm for a day or cleaning out garages. If you plan to stay in town longer, you can probably take up a part-time job at one of the local coffee shops, restaurants, or stores. Keep your eyes peeled, for they’re out there.

  1. Become a traveling seller

The great thing about living life on the road is going through different towns and locales that offer different interesting things. Scope out what each place has to offer and see if their items have a good market. Go through gift stores, bazaars, flea markets, thrift stores, and peddler’s posts to score some great items to sell.

  1. Look for good deals for accommodations and meals

Sometimes, the best way to earn money is to save money. Look for great deals on hotel rooms and meals. A lot of hostels offer free breakfast, so you might want to look for those first. If you can strike a deal for free accommodations and meals, then you’ve got a good thing going for you.

  1. Learn how to cook

So what should you do if you fail to find deals on free meals? This is where cooking skills come in handy. It might be tempting to eat out most of the time, but we all know how expensive that lifestyle can be. Unless you’re okay with spending that much money on eating out monthly, the best way to save money is to cook your meals. Even if your van is not rigged for heavy-duty cooking, there are plenty of other options for you.

If you’re really interested in living life on the go, whether you decide to do it domestically or become a world traveler, you need to put in some serious thought to it as it is not for everyone. However, if you do decide to embrace it, you’re in for an amazing ride.

About Faye Gonzales 1650 Articles
Meet our chief explorer, Faye Gonzales. With over a decade of travel experience, Faye is not only a passionate globetrotter but also a loving mom who understands the unique needs of family travelers. Her insights into family-friendly destinations and travel tips make her a trusted guide for parents seeking memorable adventures with their children.