In 2020, as many office jobs went remote due to the pandemic, I decided to take my work on the road. My family RVed through more than 30 states as I fielded conference calls and contributed to corporate projects from campsites in Nevada, South Dakota, Kentucky, and beyond. After logging out of my computer for the day, I’d head out for evening hikes, explore unique attractions, or simply enjoy local craft brews by the campfire.
This work/life balance offered the best of both worlds and when return to work edicts began being issued in 2021, I feared I’d lose the freedom and traveling lifestyle I’d grown to love. But, with a few adjustments and the right tools in place, I’ve been able to continue working a hybrid schedule that allows me to work from my home in Florida most of the year, while still maintaining the flexibility to work from the road when my family gets the itch to take a road trip.
Whether you’re looking for freelance jobs that allow you to work from your rig whenever you desire or crave a corporate gig that provides the flexibility to be remote when vacationing, choosing the right gear, career opportunities, and working conditions are essential to your success.
5 Things to Think About When Planning to Work from the Road
Before embarking on an RV trip where you plan to work, there are several things to keep in mind to be as effective as possible.
- Internet Connectivity: Reliable internet access is crucial for remote work and it can prove challenging to find quality service at many campgrounds. Be sure to research mobile Wi-Fi hotspot options to help you stay online even when campground access is weak, and look for local coffee shops, libraries, and other businesses that offer free Wi-Fi to customers to use as a backup as needed.
- Power Supply: Ensure you have a reliable power source for your devices, especially if you plan to work for extended periods. Choose campsites that include power, and always keep your electronics plugged into a surge protector. Carry portable chargers, power banks, and any necessary cords and cables, and consider investing in a solar charger for added flexibility.
- Workspace Setup: Be sure to create a comfortable and ergonomic workspace within your RV or at your campsite. A stable surface, comfortable seating, and proper lighting are essential. Consider purchasing a laptop stand and an ergonomic keyboard and mouse for improved comfort. If you’re planning to work from a spot outdoors, be sure to arrange a backup location inside your camper in case of inclement weather.
- Time Management: Plan your work schedule carefully, considering your travel itinerary and the hours you can dedicate to work. Be realistic about your productivity on the road and set achievable goals for each workday. Avoid planning conference calls for times when your internet or cell service may be interrupted and check that you’re operating in the correct time zone for any meetings.
- Security and Safety: Keeping your work devices and important documents secure is vital. Install security software on your electronics, be cautious when using public Wi-Fi networks, and consider using a VPN for added security. When working in a public space, use noise-canceling headphones and be aware of what sensitive information others may be able to see on your computer screen.
Also, remember to regularly back up your work files to a secure cloud storage service or an external hard drive. This will protect your data in case of device loss or damage.
Careers That Allow You to Travel While Working
Many office jobs can be done online from time to time with a little creative planning and support from your leadership. But when it comes to choosing jobs that allow you to travel often, these fields offer some of the best flexibility.
Travel Planning: Having a love of travel and a thirst for adventure lends itself well to the world of travel planning. Many travel agents already work remotely, helping to secure flights, hotel reservations, and attraction tickets for clients all over the world. Visit the American Association of Travel Advisors website to find tips for those looking to begin their career in travel planning.
Software Development and Information Technology: Software engineers, web developers, and IT specialists are jobs that are perfectly suited for remote work thanks to their extensive use of collaborative technology tools. Those looking to break into these fields will find that some IT certificates can be completed in just a few months, allowing you to get started on your career quickly.
Project Management: Project managers coordinate tasks, timelines, and resources to help ensure an initiative with multiple stakeholders runs smoothly. While this role requires steady communication and the ability to stay on track throughout normal office hours, many of the tasks can be done remotely using project management software and virtual communication tools.
Graphic Design: Graphic design is another field that’s technology focus lends itself well to online work. Artists can work on creative projects remotely, sharing their work and ideas digitally with clients and colleagues. Work in graphic design requires a mix of natural artistic talent combined with an up-to-date knowledge of current design software, and online courses in this subject are easy to find.
Digital Marketing and Social Media: Marketing jobs generally require a specialized college degree, but those interested in this work can leverage digital platforms and analytics tools to manage campaigns, analyze data, and strategize from just about anywhere. Many social media platforms allow for pre-scheduled posts, making it even easier for workers to manage these platforms from afar.
Online Education: Online educators are increasingly in demand in today’s virtual world. Qualified trainers can teach courses and facilitate learning experiences through virtual classrooms and e-learning platforms from any locale that offers a reliable internet connection. Newer educators can find opportunities with well-established international companies such as VIPKid and Preply.
Consulting and Freelancing: Management consultants, financial advisors, telehealth professionals, freelance writers, and other self-employed entrepreneurs can build and run their businesses from campsites across the nation. Think about your skills and experience and how you can turn your ideas into a stand-alone business to achieve the ultimate flexibility to travel whenever you desire.
Tips for Getting Started
There are many great jobs for RVers, but no matter what career path you choose, you’ll want to look beyond businesses in your home city and seek out companies with a corporate environment that embraces technology and flexible work schedules. For those looking to dip their toes into the remote work lifestyle, explore sites such as Upwork, which allows you to search for part-time and full-time project-based work.
Successfully working from the road requires excellent time management, communication skills, and digital proficiency. It also takes a fair amount of self-discipline as alluring mountain hiking trails and the idyllic waters of a nearby lake offer tempting excuses to leave your day job behind. To keep yourself on track, be sure to set clear boundaries between work and play time and allow yourself ample vacation days to explore the world beyond your computer screen.