We’d love to know how to fund a nomadic lifestyle of camping and travelling. What an adventure it would be to be living such a nomad life. Unfortunately, however, we are all constrained by the need to pay the weekly bills, so for many, this remains an elusive dream. Or perhaps not!
Have you ever wondered what you would do and where you would go if you could fund nomadic living… even just for a short time living a nomad life camping from place to place?
Well, so have we!
We’ve been thinking about nomadic living for such a long time we’ve collected loads of information and tips about how we might be able to fund life on the road. We’ve researched many things such as what we need to do before we even think of packing, and tips for making enough money to extend our adventures.
As we love to share… here are the 4 key ways we’ve identified to help fund your nomadic lifestyle.
1. Start By Paying Off Your Debts
Before you set off on your camping odyssey of a lifetime you will need to start from a level playing field. This means paying off your debts. There are many tools out there to help you and many schemes available to help take control of your finances so you can start planning how you might be able to afford your dream.
2. Investigate Ways Of Saving Money While Traveling
Camping and travelling can get quite expensive (no surprises there!).
There are lots to think about, but with extra planning, there’s always money to be saved. The best approach is to take each type of expense and look at ways of reducing them from the very start.
- Campsite fees stack up quickly but schemes like Britstops and France Passion allow you to pitch up for free or for a minimal amount around the UK and Europe, with similar schemes around the rest of the world, such as ‘boondocking’.
- Diesel isn’t getting any cheaper but you can investigate ways of making bio-diesel for half the price.
- Seasonal farm work allows you to trade a day of labour for enough vegetables, milk and bread to keep you going for a few days. It is very handy if you want to keep to a limited shopping budget. A useful website for this is Gumtree.
- If the farm schemes aren’t available to go foraging. A lot of food can be found in the hedgerows or fields but make sure you have a good book with clear pictures to guide you about safe foods to harvest.
- If you’re brave enough you can hunt and fish for your tea, so make sure you have the right gear before setting off.
- Many people go dumpster diving behind supermarkets, which often throw out perfectly good food, but there are obvious risks to this activity.
- Think about guerilla gardening when you visit towns and cities, and keep your eyes open for vegetables growing in public places.
- Before setting off think about renewable energy. Not only is it good for the environment but if invested in early it will leave you with a continuous supply of electricity and the added benefit of being able to wild camp for free.
- If you need to buy equipment for your journey or replace it while you’re on the road think about visiting recycling areas, car boot sales, charity shops and pre-loved websites that sell goods at a fraction of mainstream shop prices.
- If you need to access the Internet there are plenty of cafes, libraries and pubs you can visit with free wifi.
3. Think Of Ways To Earn A Living On The Road (Including Running A Retreat Business)
Before you leave take stock of your skills and experience. Any skill in demand can be useful but you must build an image of trust for whoever may want to use your expertise. Have professional business cards and a resume with references to hand. If you’re tight on time then there are always services such as Vistaprint, Moo and The Resume Writing Service to help you. If you think a particular skill would be useful to you, then get the training before you set off.
A nomadic life camping and travelling can be tough, and funding it can be even tougher. But the best way to stay strong is to have several fiddles to your bow and tricks packed into your camping duffel bag, to help you diversify and have a varied portfolio. In other words, it’s important to have as many income streams as possible, so that when one dips another one will hopefully take its place.
Here’s a list of potential income streams to get you started:
Organise Experience Retreats:
If you have coaching or teaching experience you could set up a business that offers that in different locations or online. Becoming a retreat leader means you can travel while you earn. A recent example of this was a yoga teacher who decided to offer unique yoga retreats in different locations. This meant she was able to travel to different locations and get funding to do so. It was a great lifestyle and resulted in her leaving her 9-to-5 job and operating around the world in amazing locations. The key to getting this right was to focus on the customer and how much you needed to offer and earn to make it possible. This is shared in a retreat profit calculator, which you can view here.
Find a temporary Job:
A temporary job or local seasonal employment may be all you need to keep your bank balance healthy. There are even websites that target people living full-time in an RV and looking for work.
Can you play music, or do you have an entertaining act up your sleeve? There are many jobs available to those who can entertain and make people happy. As you will often be working with children it is always advisable to have a certificate from the Criminal Records Bureau to hand for any potential employers. Alternatively, you can simply busk or play music or perform acts in town centres and at festivals. However, you may need to get permission from the landowner or local council to do this otherwise you may be moved on.
Here’s what musician Tom Dibb did when funding his trip from the UK to Australia…
There are several ways you can make a living if writing is your thing. Even with A.I. and ChatGPT, there are always people who want human-written content. For starters, you can:
- Become a freelance writer and sell your work as you travel.
- Set up a blog or vlog. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but if done properly it can produce a steady income. However, as there are so many elements to making money through a blog and ways it can be done the best thing to do is start from the beginning and invest in a training programme from an expert that can help you on your way quickly.
- You could write about your favourite topic, such as surfing. Globo surf has some great inspirations to get you started.
- If you become an expert at it you may even want to make your blog into a membership site, which offers premium content with a monthly fee, or asks for donations to keep the content rolling. There are simple plugins available for WordPress sites to help you do this.
- Produce and sell access to an online magazine about a subject you specialise in. Some VW Magazines that have got it right are AirMonkeys and Aircooled Classics.
- Publish and sell an instructional book or fictional story as an eBook. A brilliant independent publishing house for this is Smashwords. It’s free as they only take a small percentage of your sales so there are absolutely no upfront fees. If you don’t like the idea of just offering electronic books then you can organise paperback books, with no upfront fees at Lulu.
- Write reviews for places you visit or the products you use. These don’t earn much but if you get in the habit they can help pay the bills, but make sure you note the point below.
- Surprisingly enough you can be paid for filling out surveys too. Be warned though as a few rogue sites are doing this so be careful and make sure you do your research before handing any personal or payment details over.
Sell Your Photographs:
Are you good at taking pictures? Have you ever thought of selling them? Rather than spreading them for free all over Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (who may sell them on your behalf and not give you a percentage), you may want to sell them through a stock agency instead. The most popular are Shutterstock, Fotolia and iStock Photo.
If you have a knack for getting your point across think about teaching while you are on the road. There are many schemes such as TEFL that allow you to get paid very reasonable fees to teach while on the road.
Build An App:
With the development of mobile devices apps have never been in such high demand. However, don’t be fooled into thinking you need to be a computer programmer to do this. All you need is a great idea. Then with investment in an app developer, this could help you bring in a very nice regular income.
Sell your skills online:
If you have a skill then you can guarantee that someone, somewhere will want to pay you money for you to help them out. It may be graphic design, article writing, web design, office skills, photography, business advice, crafts, gifts, etc. The key is making a connection with the person who wants your skills or needs your expertise. This is where websites such as 99Designs, Etsy and PeoplePerHour can help out.
Sell your products online:
If you have a product that can be easily sold while you are on the road, then websites such as eBay and Amazon are perfect for bringing in a regular income. The key is to set it all up before you go on the road so you have less to think about when your Internet access isn’t as reliable as you would like.
If your road trip is interesting enough with a lot of positive outcomes, it may be an interesting concept to start a Kickstarter Project. This is where projects can request donations for funding. We interviewed Allie Bombach who successfully achieved funding for her Airstream camping project through Kickstarter.
4. Get A Plan ‘B’
Thinking of how to fund a nomadic lifestyle is only a small part of getting on the road. Being a nomad isn’t for everyone. Neither is camping full-time, even if it is in a VW campervan, RV, motorhome or luxury Airstream caravan. It’s important to be prepared for what life on the road will mean, and what your plan ‘B’ is if it doesn’t work out for you.
More about setting up a glamping business
With everything that’s been happening over the past few years in the world of hospitality, unique glamping businesses are becoming a really interesting income idea for those who want to avoid a desk job and set up a lifestyle business instead. This is a great plan B as it can be set up anywhere in the world.
To find out more about this exciting industry, click here to read these posts: Glamping worldwide, how it moved from a trend to a significant business model and How to start a glamping business
Picture Credit: 23 Feet