How to make money on the road: Do it with a laptop

How to make money on the road: Do it with a laptop

Living in the French Alps I see lots of people that live in camper vans. These guys drive to different locations to ski, snowboard, surf, mountain bike or just plain do what they want. Some make money working as builders, musicians, chefs, bar staff or just pick up what work they can when they turn up. Some make their money with online businesses. Here is my guide on how to make money on the road.

Advantages of an Online Business For Making Money on The Road

The biggest advantage of having an online business, is that you can do it from anywhere. As long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you are good to go. When you are living in a camper van, you are doing it to be as free as possible. That freedom is hindered somewhat, when you have to go to someone else’s place of work and stick to their working hours. With an online business (depending on which one you choose), you can put the work in at anytime of the night or day. There will be sacrifices, but this flexibility is what makes an online business a great way to make money on the road.

Disdvantages of an Online Business For Making Money on The Road

Obviously, you will need an internet connection and a laptop. If you can’t find an internet connection your productivity is going to be pretty limited. Also, if your van gets broken in to and your laptop is stolen, you are going to be in a mess.

The main problem with this flexibility though, is self discipline. Heading out to get the best surf or snow conditions in the morning is fine. However, the temptation to go for a few post ride beers is very real. You really need to be careful of this. Also, there will be times when you have to forego epic conditions in favour of being productive with your business, no matter how persuasive your buddies are. But, there will be other times!

Ways of Making Money on The Road

Start Your Own Online Business

how to make money on the road

You may want to start your own online business to make money on the road. This takes a lot of work, but ultimately you are your own boss and have total flexibility. You will need to get to a certain level of success before you can be totally free, but this is the best way of making money on the road.

Affilaite Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the line of business I chose. It is the process of promoting other people’s products and services. In return you get a small commission for any sales that you generate. The great thing about affiliate marketing, is that you don’t need to buy, hold or post items that you sell. You literally, create content in order to help people in their purchasing decisions.

If you are doing this while on the road, you can start a niche website for camping accessories, surf boards, cooking equipment or anything that you are interested in. This is something you will probably want to start doing before you set off on your travels. This is because it takes a long time to start earning money. You could of course, intersperse the launch of you business with filling surveys, blog writing etc.

Blog Writing

While you are sitting in the van you can write blogs for local companies. Holiday companies may want blogs writing about certain things to do locally for example. Or you can approach larger organisations offering your services. For example I still occasionally write blogs for a chalet company, providing information to its guests. I have also written for a large adventure travel company. You will need to do a lot of research or have a lot of knowledge about the topics. How much money you earn blog writing depends on who you are writing for and the type of blogs you write. But, if you get a good reputation, you can get some good work from it.

Drop Shipping

Dropshipping is a where a store doesn’t physically hold the stock that it sells. When a drop shipper sells a product, they buy it from a third party who sends directly to the customer. As a result, the drop shipper never sees or handles the product. Drop shipping is something I was considering as an alternative to affiliate marketing. It has potential to earn money quicker, but you don need to deal with customer service problems that are not your fault. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to drop shipping, but it may suit you more than other online business options.


Copywriting is writing adverts or creating marketing material. Copywriting is essentially the process of creating content to order to sell products, services or to persuade the people to take action. It can even be used to change someones perception about a company, brand or person. You can expect to be writing material for magazines, adverts and mail shots amongst other things.

There is quite a lot of demand for copywriters and the demand is growing. How much money you earn depends on a few factors. Your client, the type of client, how good you are and how much you put yourself out there to get more work. You can make a really good living from copywriting, but you need to put the effort in to marketing yourself.

Skilled Jobs

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If you have a particular set of skills, you can make great money while being on the road. Learning something new or using existing skills means that you can start or continue a career.


There is a big demand for teaching for the right people. You can do this face to face if you decide to spend a decent amount of time in one place. Languages, maths etc are very sought after. Alternatively, you can do this online. You can apply to many online schools to offer your skills, your time won’t be as flexible, but it is a great way to use your skills.


Experienced programmers will be able to make a fantastic living from anywhere in the world. Learning how to write code is not a simple thing to do and you really need to enjoy that kind of thing to be successful.


If you have worked in a particular field for a while, you may have the skills and qualifications to be a consultant. Sometimes this can be done online, but there may be times when you need to jump on a plane for certain tasks.

Translation Services

Those people that are proficient in more than one language can make a good living translating. There is big demand for this kind of work and as long as you hit deadlines, you can work whenever you want to.

Make a Quick Buck

how to make money on the road

You may not be the type of person that wants to learn a new profession or want to continue one. Therefore, you may just want to put some money in the bank to fill up your van and feed yourself. There are a few ways you can do this.


This might not be the most exciting way to make money on the road, but it sure is easy. One of the great things about filling in surveys, is that you don’t need to spend any money to get going. If you are requested to pay money, it is a scam! Surveys take about half an hour to complete and companies use the information for marketing purposes or to get feedback from customers.

Data Entry

Another super easy way of making a little money is data entry. Don’t expect to make lots of money or be too excited by it, but it is something you can do while you are waiting fo the perfect surf conditions. Data entry jobs consist of filling in spreadsheets and processing data. If you have certain skills, such as medical experience, you can make more money in higher end data entry jobs.

The biggest problem with data entry jobs, is that it is the most popular way scammers target people. If a data entry organisation try to get you to buy a “data entry kit” to get started, it is a scam. In fact, if anyone demands money upfront in order to work for them, stay well clear of them.

Managing Social Media

Managing social media accounts for other people is a nice way to earn some cash. Approach local surf shops, bike shops, bars, holiday companies etc. Agree a fee for posting a certain number of times per week and responding to visitor to the accounts. It is pretty easy to do, just make sure you create engaging posts with good photos. You can prepare lots of posts in one go and schedule them in. You just have to be honest with how much time you spend on it for your customers.

That's How To Make Money On The Road

Although I don’t travel around too much, I enjoy the freedom working online gives me. It is hard work and I probably work more than I did when I had a job. But I can work at any time, meaning I can enjoy my life much more.

For more information on how people make money living the van life, check out There is  some great stories of how people make ends meet while on the road, including affiliate marketers.

2 thoughts on “How to make money on the road: Do it with a laptop

  • 18/07/2019 at 9:22 pm

    This is educative. I travel Alot and I needed a job where I wouldn’t get fired for doing what I loved doing best, so I took to freelance writing and for a while, it was great because I was really zealous. Eventually, I got tired of trying to reach short deadlines. Therefore, I took to learning what affiliate marketing is all about, this is tol gain the true freedom I want and still earn something reasonable. For now, I do surveys and make some cash from it.

    • 18/07/2019 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Jackson,

      Thanks for your comment. You still need to set yourself deadlines for creating content, to make sure you are as productive as you can be. Good luck in you business.


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