Skip to Content

How To Do #Vanlife Without Remote Work

Many people when they think of full-time vanlife, their first question is how do you afford that lifestyle. While some people in vanlife are not there by choice, there are many people that have chosen to live in a tiny home on wheels and travel the world.

So how do people afford to live in a campervan and travel full time? Well, the answer is many people have a remote job or saved up enough money to travel without a job for the duration of their trip. 

Jake and Em looking at eachother in the door of the campervan telling each other what it's like living in a van
Living In A Van

While working remotely is definitely one of the best ways to afford living on the road. Remote work often requires a strong internet connection and expensive equipment. So there are a few other ways to do #vanlife without remote work so you can still enjoy life on the road. 

Obviously, living in a camper van is often cheaper than paying rent, but that is not always the case. And there is usually a large upfront cost of buying the camper van that might not be as palatable for some.

So you need to figure out your budget for vanlife to see if you can make vanlife work without a remote job. Another helpful resource we have laid out for you is, how much vanlife actually costs

There are a few options for doing #vanlife without remote work. I will discuss some other types of employment that can still support vanlife. Therefore, you don’t have to commit for too long or still get to live in a camper van and avoid the high rent prices. And you might have the freedom to work or not depending on how much money you need. 

Now, let’s dive into some alternative ways to live full-time #vanlife without remote work.

Seasonal Jobs That Allow You To Live In Your Campervan

Elkins Resort on Priest Lake is one of our favorite seasonal jobs.
Elkins Resort on Priest Lake is one of our favorite seasonal jobs.

One of the best ways to live in a camper van while still making money is to pick up a seasonal job. Especially places that allow you to live out of your camper van while you work for the season. Because then you eliminate the most expensive living expense, rent.

Some places will allow you to stay on their property for free, or for a small fee. Or you can find a place where there is BLM or public land where you can camp and maybe hop around between campsites. 

Do note, some places do specify “not for residential use”. But if you are only using the area for seasonal work, and you follow the rules, such as moving every 14 days and a specific distance away from the last campsite, I don’t see why you can’t “legally” stay there for a short duration of time. 

Our suggestion is to pick up a seasonal job in a cool location. Therefore when you aren’t working you can explore the area in your camper van and feel the freedom of what #vanlife brings!

For example, Jake and I picked up a summer job in Priest Lake, Idaho. We worked at a resort as a pizza chef and a food runner. This place was like an adult summer camp. Many other employees either lived on the premises or also lived in a camper van. So we felt it was the perfect place to pick up a seasonal job while living out of our campervan. 

Then, on the weekends we could explore the surrounding area. Glacier National Park was by far the coolest place we got to explore. But we quickly found out Northern Idaho has some awesome hidden gems. We honestly probably never would have explored this area if we didn’t live in our camper van with income from our seasonal job. 

Here is our comprehensive post about How To Work Seasonal Jobs To Sustain Vanlife Travel.

Some great websites to find seasonal jobs are,,, and You can also use other traditional sites such as Craigslist (although be careful!), indeed, LinkedIn, etc. 

Paid Volunteer:

When looking for what to do in vail besides ski, look for events going on in town, such as the U.S. Burton Open
Emily Volunteering at the U.S. Burton Open Event in Vail, CO

Sometimes events will be looking for volunteers for the week or weekend and will pay you for your help. But, paid volunteer jobs are a little harder to come by, so realistically, you probably can’t use this as your only source of income. But paired with some other methods, it can be a nice boost of income for unique experiences.

For example, we live in Vail, CO. There are events that happen throughout the year, such as the Burton U.S. Open or the GoPro Mountain Games. While volunteer jobs are not always paid, there might be businesses looking for a little extra help during these events. Maybe it’s handing out flyers, or samples of a product. Or maybe they need a bartender or wristband attendant? 

These types of jobs tend to exist in tourist towns. You can usually find these jobs either on Craigslist, local Facebook pages, the local newspaper, etc. Just type in the location you are traveling and see if there are any volunteer jobs listed. 

Live somewhere where you can legally live out of a camper van: 

Jake and Emily standing on the rear bumper of their van with the doors open with a rock wall behind them

You don’t always have to quit your job when moving into a camper van. In some areas, it may be possible to live out of a camper van and still continue your work. However, if it is a high-paying job in the city, then chances are there are already laws against sleeping in vehicles.

But there are still plenty of people who embrace stealth camping to get by in urban vanlife. Or check out our post: Can You Legally Live In A Campervan for more details on whether or not it is allowed in the area you live. 

Another idea is to check for long-term stays at campgrounds. Some campgrounds allow you to stay for months or years. And depending on the area, the cost can be much more affordable than renting an apartment or house. 

For example, KOA has many different long-term/ extended stay options. Or Office Drift is a great resource for finding long-term campgrounds or RV lots. Their guide breaks it down by state where you can find monthly rates and their amenities for campgrounds or RV lots.

Lastly, there is an option to purchase an RV lot, which can give you peace of mind that you own this land and can park here while you still physically work at your job. 

Holiday Help Employee:

Holiday Help is a great temporary vanlife job. Especially during the Christmas season, when businesses just need a little extra help. For example, ski resorts are a great place where they might just need an employee for a couple of weeks during the holidays. Such as a greeter, ticket scanner, babysitter, etc.

Although, we have found living out of a camper van in ski resort areas is a bit more challenging. Especially because campgrounds are closed, and dispersed camping areas are fully covered in snow. And of course, you might want to have a heater to stay warm! (Tips For Winter Vanlife w/o A Heater).

Some great ski resorts that could be easier to commute from lower elevations are Taos or Lake Tahoe. 

Also, holiday help could be useful during peak summer, such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc. So if you are willing to work during the holidays instead of enjoying them yourself, then these are great opportunities to pick up a little extra cash here and there!

How to find holiday help jobs? You can usually find holiday help jobs on regular job websites, such as Indeed, Zip Recruiter, Craigslist, etc. Or in the local newspaper, local Facebook pages, etc.


Emily house sitting by working on her computer which is a great way to do #vanlife without remote work

Another awesome way to get paid on the road is to house-sit. Sometimes house-sitting is in exchange for a place to stay. But oftentimes they will pay. Plus these are often very nice houses, where they just need someone to watch after their house so there are no break-ins.

Or often the case is they have a pet that needs to be looked after while they travel. 

There are often little tasks you need to take care of. For example, watering the plants, taking out trash, gardening, etc. But house sitting is a great job for a vanlifer, because they might be able to snag a shower, do laundry, or have a place to stay for the night without any trouble. 

These jobs don’t often pay too high, but it can be a nice way to make extra cash here and there while helping someone out while they are out of town. 

Websites you can use to get house-sitting jobs are:

Most of these websites require a membership fee and will need to run a background check. 

Dog-Walker or Dog-Sitter: 

Emily dogsitting & playing with a dog on the couch which is a great way to do #vanlife without remote work

Another easy job to do while living in a camper van is dog-walking or dog-sitting. There are apps/websites like Wag or Rover that make it super easy to pick up jobs.

While these jobs are mainly located in cities, it can be a great way to make a little extra cash. You can either pick up multiple dog walks around the area to fill up your day or consider overnight dog sitting.

And like mentioned above, dog sitting allows for you to stay in someone’s home and park up for the night. They often have a guest room for you to stay and you might be able to snag a shower, do laundry, wash some dishes, etc. 

Delivery Driver: 

Photo by eggbank on Unsplash

Being a delivery driver in a camper van or RV is not exactly environmentally friendly, or as easy on your wallet as maybe an economy car. But it could still be a decent option to help save up a little extra money on the road. Although, again, most of these opportunities are in cities or large towns. 

Another option is to have a bike that you can deliver the products with. Many companies will provide you with a cooler to keep the products warm or cool.

A few delivery driver jobs that quickly come to mind are Amazon Flex, DoorDash, Grubhub, UberEats, etc. 

For example, if you are just looking to pick up a little extra cash, you can drive for Amazon Flex. You can pick as many or as few delivery shifts as you would like. This is a very popular job around the holidays, because there are so many packages that need to be delivered. 

Insta-cart/ Grocery Shopping: 

emily shopping for groceries which is a great way to do #vanlife without remote work

Another great way to do #vanlife without remote work is to pick up grocery shops. This usually entails someone ordering their groceries online, and then you do the grocery shopping for that individual.

Then, you either drive the groceries to their home or they might choose to just pick the groceries up from the store. 

This can be a great way to make a little extra cash when you are traveling in cities or populated areas. Maybe stay in the area for a week and get as many as you can, and then you could be set to travel for the rest of the month!

Some popular apps for picking up grocery shops are InstaCart, Shipt, FreshDirect, etc. 

Save Up Money Before Traveling: 

One of the easiest ways to do #vanlife without remote work is to save up money before moving into your camper van. This way you get to feel the ultimate freedom of living in a campervan!

Use our guide for how much vanlife costs to see how much you should save up before traveling. Then, maybe spend 6 months saving every penny you have, so you can travel freely without having to work.

It’s not necessarily a long-term solution. But if you are only interested in traveling for a short time, then it can honestly give you the most freedom while you are on the road.

Work Exchange: 

Sometimes you can exchange temporary work for a place to live. This is especially popular at farms. While this might not be the most desirable plan for living #vanlife, this can give you life-changing experiences and connect you with other opportunities. 

Some popular websites to get set up with work exchange opportunities are Green Heart Travel or InterExchange

Campground Host:

Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef National Park

A great way to be able to live out of your camper van is to become a campground host. Many of these jobs entail a little labor with keeping the campground clean and helping any guest’s needs.

Websites like,, have lots of these positions posted, typically more in the summer.

Takeaway For How To Do #Vanlife Without Remote Work:

While I’m sure we all just wish we had endless funds to do #vanlife without work, it’s often just not possible. So these are some ways to do #vanlife without remote work. While often not as stable or high-paying as a traditional job, they can certainly help you get by and live your best life on the road. 

When Jake and I first started traveling in our camper van full time, we started this blog, but it made little to no money. So, we always relied on seasonal jobs. We work our butts off for several months to save money and then have a few months to travel and focus on our blog.

Without this “free time” we wouldn’t have the time and energy to get this blog to where it is today! But it does mean that we are constantly worried about finding internet on the road, or the best options for mobile WIFI.

Vanlife travel turns out to be quite sustainable for us, with our frugal mindset and these money-saving techniques for vanlife. I think the best piece of advice is to live within your means.

It is so easy to overspend when traveling full-time. You see a nice restaurant you want to check out or a new coffee shop. But the best way to save money is by cooking for yourself or making your own coffee.

And finding free places to camp along your journey, and not buying material things you don’t need.

If remote work sounds like something you might be interested in, here are some great options for remote work you can do from anywhere in the world

Share This Post On ‘How To Do #Vanlife Without Remote Work’ On Pinterest: