Over the years we have come up with ways to work in location independent ways so that we can make money as we travel and ultimately stay on the road longer.
Everything listed DOES NOT require –
a) special skills
b) commitment to an employer
c) the need to stay in one place
d) can be profitable after only one day of work
Everything listed is also something we HAVE DONE and made money with, not some theoretical way that one may be able to make money.
For a long time we thought that the only way to have mobile income was by learning a technical skill, finding ways to work online, freelance, all the things that come up when you Google how to make money remotely or some similar phrase. Not true.
There are in person, very practical ways to make some money while you travel. This list will focus on those types of tasks which require no previous experience—tasks anyone can do, that are quick to accomplish and have little to no barrier to entry.
Make Money with Apps!
Postmates – Delivery App
Use our referral link (Join Postmates!) and sign up to be guaranteed $250 if you make 30 deliveries in your first month! This isn’t hard–we did 21 our first Saturday in Phoenix and really got to know the city and its food culture!
This is an app for delivering food. You may have heard of GrubHub or Uber Eats, but this one allows you to work in any market, any major city, whenever you like. It takes a bit of time to set up, as you need to sign up, get a background check done (which is free) and wait 1-2 weeks for them to mail you a welcome packet that includes a prepaid Visa for purchasing the food for the customers. Once you have that card, you can link your bank account and begin delivering in any city in America that the platform exists in.
You can go online any time of the day on any day of the week, completely your choice. You can do it for a half hour or for 12 hours straight. A good day of 10 hour work with tips will equal $125-150 for us. You can make even more if you work Friday and Saturday in an area where your customers will be purchasing expensive dinners and thus tipping accordingly.
This is a great gig if you are able to navigate big city streets, find apartments and offices efficiently and just overall have a great hustle work ethic. In a very dense area like NYC or SF, you can even do this on foot or bicycle. We can’t be happy enough to have found a company like this that allows a traveler to move from city to city on your own travel whims!
There are apps out there, for any smartphone, that will link to your PayPal or bank account and pay you for doing simple tasks in various grocery and retail stores all throughout America. You take a few photos and answer a few questions for a few dollars. It can add up if you are living the kind of life where you are in many different places and always on the move.
Sign up for OBSERVA with our referral! This company is up and coming and has been a HUGE resource for us.
These jobs go live and it really is first come first serve. You will only have 2 hours to complete the job once you accept it (but most jobs do not take more than 10-20 minutes).
After signing up, you can search the map of the entire country, which is hugely helpful when traveling. Observa will pay you normally within minutes of completion of a task. You’ll get an email notifying you, and voila!—it’s in your PayPal. The jobs are REALLY simple, most only taking 5 – 10 minutes of your time and an average payout of $4-$10.
An example of what you’d do is to find the mixer product called Q Drinks, take a photo of the section and list which types of the product that store carries.
When starting out, make sure to sign up for Observa with the same email that is linked to your PayPal already, as it is an automatic linking when you sign up.
This one is a standard in this industry and has been around for years. There are probably more gigs available nationwide on this platform than any of the others. The downside, this company is basically a robot and it’s up to you to follow all the rules in order to get paid, as the customer service has no idea what the right hand is saying to the left type of thing.
A few MUSTS: always pick the option “complete in 3 hours” when applying for the gig. If you pick any of the others, it won’t let you access the gig (it also locks you out if you get stuck here and have to not complete the gig and want to start over, and has a “reputation” feature that is affected for not completing the gig). Pick the 3 hour option, and you will automatically be granted access into the gig by the system.
Payment timeframes will be based on who the client is that you are working for through Gigwalk. Some are same day or next, but most can be around 3 days to a week, sometimes longer. If you follow the directions and explain anything in words in the extra comments section that doesn’t make sense within the form’s requirements, you should invariably be paid eventually. We’ve never had a submission rejected.
Lowest paying, but usually really simple retail audit app. They will pay a few days after completion of the gig, and put it into your bank account via direct deposit. You’ll have to set this up with your account and routing and wait to confirm a small penny they send you before you can initiate your first transfer.
They are also the pickiest of these apps and make you use a camera app built into their app, rather than accessing your phone’s camera app like the other auditing apps. They will reject for simple things like minimal blurring or cutting off a tiny bit of a shelf. Be precise, and read directions very carefully.
It’s worth it to check the app whenever you are in Walmart, as that is a common store their clients wish to audit.
The competition is fierce in major cities and payouts are low, but in rural areas gigs could have been left undone for long periods of time, thus raising the payout. Always check small town Walmarts, Walgreens, etc. along your traveling route and you can easily find your next tank of gas!
Get $10 free just for signing up by using our referral code (iiueuwd) or by clicking this link– IBOTTA
This one is a rebate app and not actually income per se. You buy an item at a store and then scan its bar code and a picture of your receipt into the app. Once you accumulate $20 in rebate money, you can transfer it to your PayPal.
You can’t have any list of side income without this greatest resource. Knowing the ins and outs of it could turn you a substantial sum. —View our other article for more in depth ways to make money on craigslist while at home!
This section is in the community area, often filled with people who want to split the gas to head to a destination, but also filled with people who truly need a ride service.
If you have a good vehicle, or better yet a cool and reliable one, you can help people who don’t have transportation or have some kind of extenuating circumstance that prevents them from using the bus, Uber, or any other form of transit they could just buy from an existing service. They might have a pet, there might be several people needing to go somewhere, or there might be an emergency. This is your chance to offer a professional pitch and take care of it for them.
Don’t undersell yourself. Ubers and taxis make as much $1 per mile and don’t like to go very far from their base. To go a couple hours away can easily make you $100 or more for the right circumstance.
Create an ad and interact with your clients professionally. Ignore the cheapskates who will solicit you and not consider what you are offering (time and resources) as valuable. Treat this like a business and don’t get rattled if the guy who wants to go half a state away for a $20 gas pitch berates you for wanting to make a profit. You are putting wear and tear on your vehicle, gas, oil changes, tires, etc. Keep track of all expenses and make sure you are making this worth your while. You will have to turn down too low of paying opportunities often, but when the right one hits, you can make enough for the week in a day!
Taking all night driving jobs or those that begin in the late or wee hours is a great way to increase your value, as your competition is asleep!
Some states require you to have a special license for this—so make sure you are not in violation of any local laws.
Only transport people you trust, as anything that may happen to them would need to be on your insurance as they are your passenger. Agree to meet up and screen people in person before fully committing, search their bags for drugs or weapons, interact with their animals to make sure they are fit to enter your vehicle, and just get a sense of who you will be traveling with.
Also found in the rideshare section. Sometimes people want you to haul their stuff across great distances. Stuff doesn’t talk, so maybe this is more up your alley than a rideshare. Make sure you handle it professionally, inspect to make sure nothing illegal is included, and get paid upfront or at least mostly upfront. If any amount is not paid to you before you set out, get a picture of your client’s ID, and offer them one of yours to help put their mind at ease too.
Pretty much the same as the item above. Make sure you protect your vehicle from pet hair and excrement (regardless of if it will be traveling in a crate or not). Put a sheet or tent fly or some other protective barrier on your seats or where they will ride and tuck it well.
Make sure to stop and walk a dog and let it do its business at rest areas. Cats should be good to go for a long trip, but always ask many questions of the pet owner to make sure you are caring for the animal in the proper manner they wish you to.
Do not UNDERSELL this service. Professional pet transport costs thousands of dollars. If someone is willing to take a risk on you through CL, they expect to pay a little less but not too much less. You are providing a caring and compassionate service and should be compensated at or above what it would cost to ship the pet on a plane, an often very involved process that is very stressful on the pet. You are sparing the owner and the pet a lot of trouble. Value this!
Other Great Transport Apps
Sign up on your phone!
This is a great way for travelers to make money transporting pets or hauling something for someone across long distances. These gigs are meant for people already headed that way and have a fixed price, but if you are planning a trip take a look at this app. Best for those with large vehicles, vans, trailers, etc., but you can find the occasional bit of side income just for throwing an item on for your journey. It will usually pay for the gas and then some!
Sign up for USHIP to get started transporting pets and items.
We use this the same way we use Roadie, usually to transport pets. The business model for this company though is mostly focused on large loads that you would need a box truck or larger rig to haul. But for the traveler there are a few niches possible to explore for good side income profit here. Pets, boat transport, and occasionally small moves are possible to haul with your rig whether it be a Van, RV, Subaru, or car! We always like to check here and Roadie to see if anything we are capable of transporting needs to go to our next major destination.
Another very unique way to earn-
This option is solely up to you if it is worth it or not. For us sitting through a presentation is worth the gift they promise you will receive at the end whether you buy or not. (and we know going into it we aren’t buying)
If you visit or pass through Las Vegas and are prepared to show excessive restraint, there is an opportunity to make $100 – $200 several times over—but this one is only for couples who have out of state IDs proving they live at the same address.
There are timeshare companies in Vegas that would love to have you sit in on one of their presentations, and are prepared to offer you prepaid Visas totaling various amounts depending on the company, but never less than $100 for a few hours of your time.
This is a convoluted process, and you have to be very sure of yourself before going in. If you thought a used car lot was frightening, you haven’t seen the timeshare industry yet.
Basically, these companies want you to buy a deed for a piece of vacation property. IT IS ALWAYS SOMETHING YOU DO NOT WANT TO SIGN AND BUY! That’s the thing, they will give you the prepaid visas, but only after they try to essentially dupe you into a horrible financial mistake. People who have bought into these timeshares are trying to give them away for free every day—and they can’t.
So, the process – You will be bussed from the Strip to the hotel which sells the shares, then brought into a room and briefed on what a timeshare is. Take advantage of free food, and don’t for a second think what they are offering could be interesting and something you should do. After the first presentation, deny them and say you are not prepared to buy. Just tell them you don’t like to travel. Ironic, huh? Another perfect way out of the conversation is you are saving up to buy a house or pay off student loans. Make it seem as if you have very important uses for your money completely unrelated to what they are selling.
After you deny the first person the manager will come and offer you even more perks and a way lower price. He may even offer free vacations, free airfare to fantastic destinations like Hawaii immediately, and even cash, all for buying in. NEVER BUY IN! Can’t state this enough.
After quite a time of haggling and them really not wanting to let you go, a lot of guilt, like them saying a homeless person could afford this for example, they will finally say that they’ll send you down for the prepaid cards. You think you are done? Nope. The people who look like their job is simply to give you your hard earned prepaid cards will again try to sell an even cheaper timeshare; it could be in Wisconsin, Kansas, or even the moon. Yes, that’s possible. Say “no, thank you” firmly again and just make it clear you want out of there and would like to return to your vacation.
They have long since stopped playing Mr. Nice Guy and now just want to make you feel guilty. All part of the strategy. They will then pry for more information by making you fill out a form about why you did not purchase. Do it briefly, hand it back, and take the prepaid cards from their scowling, disapproving faces and leave. And don’t use these cards for gas at the pump or the financial institution that issued them will put holds on them, and you can’t use them again for several days. They are great for food and other small purchases.
With each company that offers the presentation, each couple can usually only participate once every 6 months. Important note: when you are initially recruited, which can be done by finding a broker on the Strip or by searching for them on Craigslist, make sure to indicate your combined income is above $50,000 annually (others have specific combined income restrictions). Don’t worry if that’s not true, they will not verify and will only glance to see you have a credit card and they will not run it. If you mess up this first step, they will disqualify you though and you will not be able to participate. Also, do not tell them you are self-employed or run your own business in any way—this can disqualify you.
What you need: Matching IDs (not from Nevada!) that say you live at same address and a credit card that will not be run, as well as a few hours of time.
Would you like to know more about an individual side hustle or have you tried any before? Have something else to add to the list? Leave a comment below! We love hearing about how our followers are finding ways to stay on the road.
To travel is to live.
Nathaniel & Lenara
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