You’ve finally done it; you’ve become a remote worker. Whether this means you’re working a traditional job with the flexibility to work from home as much as you like or you’ve self-employed, the ability to work remotely opens up a world of new possibilities. While having a perfectly equipped home office is great, one of the main reasons many people become remote workers is so that they can hit the road and go on adventures while still earning income.
If you’re considering working from the road but aren’t quite sure how to pull it off, here are a few ideas to consider.
More and more remote workers are fully embracing the work from the road lifestyle by joining the #vanlife movement. This often means moving into a fully outfitted van or camper trailer that has been converted into a complete living space. A similar (but typically more pricey) option is to buy an RV with its own kitchen and bathroom.
While this lifestyle is not for everyone, if you have an adventurous spirit and yearn for the open road, it’s definitely worth looking into.
Imagine this: you wake up in your van that has been converted into a simple tiny home. You open the doors and look out at the views from your camp spot. Maybe you parked your van in the desert of Joshua Tree or along the rugged Oregon coast. You plan to get a bit of work done and then go for a hike or a swim. After a few days, or whenever you grow restless, you can move on to the next beautiful spot on your bucket list.
Many people are embracing #vanlife year-round, but if that seems too extreme you could always try it out during a multi-week working road trip. You may have a hard time transitioning back to a more rooted lifestyle though after your working from the road adventures!
We recently featured Nate Smith in a Rolling Remote post, who often takes off and lives out of his camper with his wife and two dogs. For additional inspiration, follow 188sqft, an Instagram account that follows the adventures of a couple and their four (yes, four) dogs traveling the US in a remodeled camper that is downright luxurious. The account alisontravels (see below) will make you want to hit the road with your pups and turn a simple van into a home and office in one.
Try working from the road as a house sitter
Another creative way to take your office on the road while saving on accommodations is to become a pet or home sitter. House sitting websites match house sitters with homeowners who would like someone to look after their pets, plants, gardens, or simply their homes while they are on vacation. Many house sits are for weeks or even several months at a time, and the homes are often luxurious and in scenic areas. Since you’ll be staying in a home, you can have an adventure while still having the space, WiFi, and stability of living in a house. Most house sitting websites charge an annual fee to sitters and homeowners, but when you consider the money you will save by not needing to pay rent or for vacation rentals, the fees are certainly worth it.
It’s easier to snag the more desirable house sitting opportunities once you have a few references under your belt. Consider house and pet sitting in your own town or for friends and family first in order to gain experience and glowing reviews. Some of the most popular house sitting websites are Trusted Housesitters, Nomador, and Mind My House. Just remember that you will be staying in someone’s home for free. In return, you will be expected to feed, walk, love, and care for their pets, water plants, keep things tidy, and generally be responsible for everything on the home owner’s behalf. Most house sitters find that they can keep up with work, house sitting duties, and still have plenty of time left over for sightseeing.
Take a working vacation
Finally, if you just want to dip your toes into the water of working from the road, start small by taking a working vacation. This is the most expensive option and isn’t sustainable long-term for most of us, but it will teach you a few valuable lessons. How do you balance sightseeing and working? How do you navigate client phone calls and meetings as you switch time zones? How long does it take you to settle into a new place and get into a work routine? Flying or driving somewhere scenic for a couple of weeks will help you answer these questions and decide if working from the road is truly a good fit.
Instead of staying in a hotel, consider a vacation rental so you can truly live like a local. This is also an ideal way to save money, especially for longer trips. Most people find that they need to take travel days completely off from work, so plan accordingly and don’t forget to schedule your out-of-office messages.