How I Run A Business While Traveling 365 Days a Year

Do you dream of learning how to become a digital nomad? Today, I’m going to share with you how I run a business while traveling 365 days a day – yes, we travel full-time! You’ll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life. Around two years…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 5, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Do you dream of learning how to become a digital nomad? Today, I’m going to share with you how I run a business while traveling 365 days a day – yes, we travel full-time! You’ll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life.

Interested in how to become a digital nomad? Today, you'll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life.Around two years ago, my husband and I bought an RV and unknowingly became digital nomads.

We thought the RV would just be a weekend thing or for short trips back home to see family.

We fell in love with the RV lifestyle as soon as we bought our first RV, and we quickly decided to get rid of our house and move into our RV full-time.

And, we were able to do this because of our business.

See, I started Making Sense of Cents in August of 2011. It was all just a hobby at the time, and I never thought that I would make money blogging, that it would turn into my full-time career, or that I would learn how to become a digital nomad.

Eventually, Making Sense of Cents was earning enough for me to quit my day job to blog full-time. I now earn around $100,000 a month through my blogging business AND I am able to travel full-time.

Life is great, and I know that being able to work and travel is a dream for many others as well.

No, you definitely do not need to make $100,000 a month in order to work and travel, but you probably do need a business or job that will allow you to work remotely.

Being a full-time blogger is absolutely amazing, and being able to travel full-time too just makes everything much more fun.

If you’re interested in learning how to become a digital nomad, check out these other blog posts on Making Sense of Cents:

How To Become A Digital Nomad – How I run a business while traveling 365 days a year:

 

I found a business that allows me to travel every single day of the year.

As I said above, I started Making Sense of Cents in August of 2011 just as a hobby, and I really had no idea that it would turn into a full-time career that allows me to travel full-time as well.

You can find all of my income reports here that detail exactly how I earn a living with my digital nomad business.

My online business allows me to travel wherever I want, and I am not bound by any in-person work.

And, if you are wondering how to become a digital nomad, the first step is to find a career that allows you to work remotely.

This factor is something that holds many potential full-time travelers back, but it shouldn’t! If you really want it, then you can find ways to make money that do allow you to travel at the same time, especially if figuring out how to be a digital nomad is part of living your dream life. This may seem like a big step, but it’s something that can be figured out.

There are many ways you can make money while traveling full-time, such as:

  • Start a website to travel and work if you want to learn how to become a digital nomad.
  • Telecommute for work travel through remote working jobs. Sometimes your employer may allow you to take your current position and make it a remote one. Other times, you may have to search for telecommute positions. These jobs do exist and are growing in numbers.
  • Check job boards in places that you’re traveling to. There are often jobs listed on bulletin boards. Someone may need help in the local area, a business may be hiring for temporary work, and so on.
  • Work where you travel. This could mean working in the local area, or even finding a job at the hostel you are staying at.
  • Become an au pair.
  • Become a WWOOFer. WWOOF is a worldwide organization that allows people to live and volunteer on a variety of organic farms. Volunteers help on the land and home for 4-6 hours a day and hosts provide food and accommodation in return.

Related blog post if you want to learn how to become a digital nomad: How To Make Money While Traveling

 

Interested in how to become a digital nomad? Today, you'll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life.

My average day as a digital nomad.

Traveling full-time means I don’t have an average day, and that’s what I love about being a digital nomad.

My husband and I have a flexible schedule that allows us to see new things and explore new places one day, or we can stay in and work if we want.

Sometimes we stay in one area for over a month, other times it’s just a few days. I’m currently writing this while in Arizona, a very popular state for RVers during the winter months. The weather is great here and there are lots of things to do outside during this time of year.

My husband does all the driving and managing of travel/home (including dumping the tanks!), and I am the one who primarily runs the business. It’s a good trade off, as both sides require a decent amount of work!

The great thing about having a blogging business is that I am my own boss and I can create my own schedule.

I had to find the best way to manage my time for work and time for travel as I was learning how to become digital nomad. For me, this means I dedicate as much of the daylight hours as I can to enjoying new places and heading outdoors. Then, I dedicate the evening and night hours towards working.

By having this balance and great schedule, I can enjoy where I am traveling to while still having plenty of time to work each day.

 

Conducting business without a traditional office.

With my business, all I really need is my laptop and internet. Due to that, I can travel nearly anywhere I want.

I communicate with others that help me run my business almost entirely through email. To create new sponsorships with companies and to diversify my business, that can be done on the phone or online as well.

By having a business that is primarily run through my laptop, I am able to be digital nomad and travel full-time.

 

Interested in how to become a digital nomad? Today, you'll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life.

Finding internet as a digital nomad.

How to get internet while traveling is one of the top questions I receive. After all, in order to learn how to become a digital nomad, you probably need the internet for either business or personal reasons.

Internet isn’t always the easiest to come across and there are many options that are both good and bad, but internet can be found nearly anywhere that you travel to.

I have a Verizon MiFi for internet. It’s the most common internet device for those that travel full-time in the United States.

With this internet device, I can access the internet from almost anywhere in the United States.

RV park or campground internet is usually quite bad. Plus, you can’t rely on free wifi at restaurants or stores 100% of the time either. So, if you plan on working online while traveling full-time, I highly recommend having an internet device such as this one.

The packages aren’t cheap, so it is something that will have to be budgeted for. The basic plan is around $50 for 5GB a month. It does get cheaper with the more GBs that you use each month, though. There are grandfathered unlimited plans as well, but those have a high upfront cost and there are rumors that Verizon plans on cutting them soon.

Related read that will help you learn how to become a digital nomad: How To Travel On A Budget And Still Have The Time Of Your Life

 

How fast I travel as a digital nomad.

Many people wonder if RVers and other full-time travelers pick a new place to live every single day. Some might, but that is not something that we do, unless we are trying to quickly get to a specific destination.

There are pros and cons to traveling slowly or quickly, and we like to have a slow travel speed.

  • Traveling slowly is what we prefer to do because it is usually more affordable, there is less fuel waste, and more time to enjoy the area that you are visiting. Our main reason is the last one – you have more time to enjoy each place that you are visiting since you will not be in a rush to move on to the next destination.
  • Traveling quickly means that you may be able to visit more places. If you are in a time crunch, then this may be what you decide to do. However, since we plan on traveling full-time for a quite a while, we are not in a rush and can travel more slowly to enjoy each place a little better.

If you are thinking about how to become a digital nomad, this is an area that you will want to think about as it can determine what kind of job that you have. For example: If you need to find work as you go (such as in local areas), then you may want to travel more slowly so that you can hold a job for longer.

 

Interested in how to become a digital nomad? Today, you'll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life.

We plan trips home, of course.

Traveling full-time and being a digital nomad is a lot of fun, but we still try to balance it with going “home” and seeing those that we love when we can.

We try to visit family and friends for about one month at a time. Thankfully, our friends and family are mostly located in one kind of close area – Chicago, St. Louis, and Memphis, so it doesn’t make traveling home to see everyone too difficult.

For 2017, we don’t plan on going back home until the fall, which will make it our longest stretch without visiting friends and family.

The first few months of being digital nomads were tough as we weren’t able to see our friends and family like we were use to, but it gets much easier. Now, we stay up to date with our friends and family through texts, phone calls, and social media. This is a great thing about traveling full-time in today’s world – it’s easy to stay in touch which makes being a digital nomad even more enjoyable!

 

Managing a good work-life balance is key.

Running a business and being able to travel probably sounds great to the average person, and trust me, it is.

But, like I mentioned earlier, managing a good work-life balance is important if you want to learn how to become a digital nomad. It can be easy to let your business or job take over, which may lead to stress rather than the ability to enjoy where you are traveling to.

The toughest thing I deal with while traveling full-time is unplugging from my work.

Being location independent means you are able to bring your work wherever you go, which means it may be hard to separate your work from the rest of your life.

Both planning and working ahead are what keeps me sane and helps me manage a good work-life balance. So, if I come across an area with no internet, if I really love an area I’m visiting, or if I am unable to work for some other reason, then I can still have fun and not feel as stressed out.

I try to always be a few months ahead when it comes to content for my blog so that I am not frantically trying to get writing work done. This helps me enjoy where I am even more because I am not working on a strict deadline.

If you want to learn how to become a digital nomad, then finding ways to manage a good work-life balance is extremely important.

 

Interested in how to become a digital nomad? Today, you'll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life.

Passive income sources are ideal for those learning how to become a digital nomad.

For me, passive income goes along with managing a good work-life balance while being a digital nomad, so I am always looking to improve my sources of passive income.

One of my sources of income that makes traveling more enjoyable is affiliate income.

Affiliate income is great because you can create a post, review, etc., and that post may earn you money years down the line with minimal work needed to maintain it.

But, It’s not entirely passive. You will need to build a following, publish content consistently, build trust, and more. You can earn income from one affiliate link or one blog post for a long time, with little work needed to maintain it.

In case you don’t know what it is, affiliate marketing is when you try to earn money by placing an affiliate link on your website, social media account, etc. and have people purchase a product through your link. This can be ideal for those wanting to find ways to make money as they learn how to become a digital nomad.

An affiliate is a person or business who promotes a product or service offered by other businesses, and you become an affiliate when you promote an affiliate product.

An example would be Amazon book sales, where you link to a specific book on your website and try to get people to purchase the book through your affiliate link. Amazon and other companies want quality affiliates under their belt, because they want all the help they can get to promote the products and services they are selling.

If you get someone to sign up through your affiliate link, you are then rewarded by the company for promoting their product.

This is what is known as a conversion. A conversion is when a person completes a specific action designated by the affiliate program. It may be when someone enters their email address on a company’s website, when they make a purchase, fill out a form, or some other action through your affiliate link.

You can share an affiliate link with your audience in many different ways, such as:

  • Adding an affiliate link to your blog (you can do this by inserting a link within a blog post, page, email, etc.).
  • Promoting it on social media.
  • Sharing it in a podcast or webinar.
  • And more!

One of the best benefits of affiliate marketing is that you can do it from anywhere, which makes it perfect for those wanting to learn how to become a digital nomad. As long as you have a loyal following (even if it’s just a few people), a laptop, and an internet connection, you can grow your affiliate income well into the future. If you want to learn how to become a digital nomad, then affiliate marketing may be an income source to add to your business.

Due to my blog and affiliate marketing I am able to travel full-time. It’s really a great thing!

I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you need this course.

Learn more at Why You Need To Grow Your Affiliate Income.

 

Keep yourself motivated when working remotely.

Whether you are working for someone else or you are your own boss, you will need to find ways to motivate yourself. As a digital nomad, you won’t have anyone hovering over your shoulder telling you to get work done, and while that probably sounds great to most people, you may find it difficult to stay on task.

If you’re having a hard time staying motivated and completing work, then you may want to set a designated work schedule for yourself. This can help you stay on track just like if you were going into an office.

Another thing you will want to do, like I mentioned above, is to work ahead. This can prevent you from feeling stressed about a close deadline.

 

Interested in how to become a digital nomad? Today, you'll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life.

Learning how to become a digital nomad has changed my life.

I’m extremely happy that I learned how to become a digital nomad.

I am able to travel full-time, see new places, go on new adventures, and more, all while working on building a successful business.

Plus, you cannot beat the amazing views that we’ve had out of our RV window.

We’ve seen beautiful national parks, amazing mountain ranges, all different kinds of landscapes, and more.

In the end, being a digital nomad means that you should enjoy yourself. Traveling all over the world yet only seeing the inside of a hotel room wouldn’t be any fun.

Get out there, become a digital nomad, and see the world!

 

The next step if you want to learn how to become a digital nomad.

Many of you are probably really interested in learning how to become a digital nomad and the location independent lifestyle.

I know it’s a dream for many, but there are things to think about. Being location independent still means that you have to work and earn money!

Here are the things you will need to think about if you want to become a digital nomad:

  1. Figure out how you will support yourself. There are many ways to support yourself and travel at the same time. Whatever you decide to do, figuring it out ahead of time is a good idea. You may find an employer who allows you to work from your laptop and phone, you may decide to run your own business, or you may decide to find work as you go.
  2. Have a plan. Having a plan is important if you want to travel and work at the same time. Part of learning how to become a digital nomad is planning for traveling and working at the same time. To come up with a plan that works for you, you should think about: How much will you need to earn in order to survive? Will you need to save money before you leave? How long do you plan on traveling for? What will you do for health insurance? Will you have a home base? How will you receive mail? What will you do for internet? Will you need a visa in order to work?
  3. Determine your pace. This can help you determine where you will work, if you need internet and from where, and so on.

Do you want to learn how to become a digital nomad? Where do you want to travel to?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Your lifestyle is so inspiring! I want to build an online business so I can have the freedom to decide what I want to do with my days. I think I would definitely fall in love with travelling and that would be a top priority!

  2. I couldn’t imagine how many GBs I’d run through working remotely! โ˜บ You’ve definitely created a great system for the two of you, how exciting!

    1. There are unlimited plans and cafes, I just like to work from home! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Go Finance Yourself!

    Very cool. One question for you. When you travel internationally, what do you do with your RV? I’m assuming you can’t just park that sucker at the airport?

    1. When we travel, we usually just leave the RV at an RV park.

  4. Thanks for this informative post, Michelle. I would much prefer making money off of web properties, but the au pair and WWOOFer options are really intriguing as well.

    Question for you — does the Verizon MiFi create a hotspot? Is it pretty reliable?

    Thanks for sharing,

    Dave

    1. The Verizon MiFi is a hotspot and yes it’s pretty reliable.

  5. The Giving Budget

    Love the post! I would love to be someday able to travel full time as well! I think it would be awesome not to have to grind work every day!

    Questions, just out of curiosity how much data do you use working like that? I have created a hot spot on my phone for when I travel, but I seem to burn through data quickly. Even just blogging.

    1. I don’t use much – around 10 GBs a month. I rely mainly on campground wifi. It’s not the greatest but it’s free!

  6. Linda C

    Take ME!!! I wanna go!! I want to start a blog and hope to get it going so I can at least travel part time!! Trouble is I still work a 40 hrs job and commute time is 2 1/2 hrs daily! That doesn’t leave much time to work on getting my blog going! What I am working on right now is getting my “Pintable’s” ready and accumulating my recipes that I want to post as soon as I start.

  7. Lindsey Mozgai

    Love this post! I’d love to be able to travel as often as you guys get to!

  8. Great post, Michelle! We start our digital nomad journey June 25th. We’ve been getting all of our ducks in a row, including putting our house on the market this weekend + selling just about everything. I am so ready for this journey and your posts are always such an inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Julie! Where are you going first?

  9. Michael

    Digital nomad does sound very interesting. If I am able to do it, I may just stay at the beach, but it wouldn’t be nomadic ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Everyone’s idea of traveling and living is different ๐Ÿ™‚ The beach is great!

  10. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES! This post is so exciting. You are truly an inspiration and motivation to so many. We are working hard to live as frugal as possible and save up enough money to do the same. Our online business is starting to gain a little traction and it is so exciting.

    Definitely looking forward to taking your Affiliate Course in the NEAR future.

    PS. just followed you on Instagram =)

  11. ReachingTheCrest

    great post. what a life you are leading. I would imagine not having high-speed internet access at all times would be one of my struggles. I love the idea of being in new places and spending several weeks there just kind of hanging out.

    Best of luck to you guys…keep your eyes on the road with all that travel.

  12. What a fun post reading a bit about your day-to-day life! As a new blogger I find this very inspirational. Thank you and have fun on your travels!

  13. I would love to slow travel the U.S. It’s one of my goals after I retire early. What are some of your favorite State Parks so far?

    1. We just went to a great state park – Deadhorse Ranch State Park in Arizona. Oddly enough, our other favorite one is Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah. They’re very different from each other!

  14. Being ahead is about the best advice I have ever heard! With that, a day without internet is just another day of freedom. No worries since everything can go on autopilot for awhile, and you can enjoy the journey.

    I am trying to get ahead as I start out on becoming a digital nomad. Currently, I have 2 years left on my contract at my “real job”, but then we hope to strike out on our own.

    Thanks for the inspiration and advice.

    1. Yes, being ahead is something I always make sure to do!

  15. I absolutely love the fact that you are building a business that allows you this type of flexibility! That’s exactly what I believe and what I strive for with my online business as well. We love to travel and not having a 9-5 has freed me up to be able to do that. Thanks for the encouragement!

  16. Very inspiring. ‘Love this post!

    I’m not your usual financial blog follower, but I’ve been following you, as I like the journey to your success. You’ve done brilliantly. Keep up the good work!

  17. Hi Michelle, I am a wordpress blogger and it was not easy for me to follow your blog hence I subscribed, I love your posts, especially because they are about making money. in this comment, I wanted to kindly ask you to provide a picture of you and your RV I’ve always wanted to see it and how it is to live inside one if I ever get to travel. I’m a South African, never travelled. it is my dream to become a successful blogger like you. enjoy your day!

    1. Check out my Instagram for tons of pictures ๐Ÿ™‚ http://www.instagram.com/michelleschro/

  18. This is a fun look inside your day-to-day life, which us non-travel bloggers appreciate! It’s so fun! And Super cool!!

  19. I almost stopped reading at the beginning. You wrote, “Around two years ago, me and my husband bought an RV….” Read that again – It should be written as, “….my husband and I bought an RV….”

    I like your information and follow you, but gesh, it’s a little hard to take you seriously when in the first 2 paragraphs you made this glaring grammar error….which you repeated later by writing, “Me and my husband have a flexible schedule….” which should be, again, my husband and I.

    Seriously, check out Grammerly; maybe that will help your grammer.

    Not to be too harsh, this was good information. I like what you’re doing (although I could never EVER live in an RV by choice). I’ve even purchased your affililate marketing course, which is very good.

    I aspire to be a 100% full time digital nomad by the end of 2017. I’m about 30% there. Keep inspiring.

    1. Thanks Sherri. I do have an editor but things can slip.

  20. I like the idea of RVing because you basically have your home with you and I’m a big “home” person. I’m hoping to get my blog to full-time income this year. My husband is a programmer, so there’s definitely potential to be nomads someday. He has to be on-site for his job and he really likes his job, but it could be a possibility in a few years. I’d love to see more beautiful places and less bad weather! West Michigan weather is not my favorite!

    1. Yes, exactly! We love bringing out home with us.

  21. The power of digital marketing! I love it! You’re incredibly inspiring, Michelle. You’ve created a freedom lifestyle and you’re showing others how to do it too – that’s so awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I’m slowly getting there. My income is growing and I’m learning more about different streams of income every week. I just have to start implementing more.

  23. So inspiring that you get to travel and still run a highly successful business! Do you put in time for work every day, or do you ever take periods of time completely “off”? I find it hard when working from home to separate the balance of work and home since they are so completely intertwined!
    xo

    1. I do have a hard time completely taking off from work. That is my goal for 2017! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Durga

    Hi Michelle,
    I just want to appreciate for what you are doing. You are running your business online without leaving your traveling fantasies to the air. That gives a great inspiration to many readers like me.

  25. Matt

    Love the story of your travels, Michelle. Such a unique lifestyle to which many of us aspire.

    Many large companies are becoming more flexible with work arrangements these days. Working from home is becoming the norm for several companies. I know personally I have worked from several different locations, even while on vacation, despite working for a company. So being self-employed isn’t the only way to do it, thankfully!

    Some careers will never offer that type of flexibility of course, but it’s great to know the options are expanding.

  26. Cameron

    Always great motivation to seeing posts like this! I just got back from a week long vacation and really could get used to that life. Relaxing on a beach and writing blog posts sounds fantastic!

    I will get there one day but for now I do enjoy my ‘day job’. I am hopeful they allow for remote work in the future or risk losing talented people to this nomad lifestyle. It will be interesting to see the future of the workplace change.

    Safe travels!

  27. Add a couple kids to the mix, and I expect to have a similar lifestyle in a couple years. These tips will come in handy, especially the internet aspect — reliable online access is obviously crucial to the blogging business!

    Once you’ve explored the US in depth, do you anticipate slow travel in other nations? That’s a dream of ours — to show our boys the world as international digital nomads.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    1. Yes, we have plans to sail full-time, backpack and cycle in other countries, and more!

  28. “Digital nomad” is such an awesome phase — I think I want to steal it! I’m working towards becoming a digital nomad as well and appreciate your inspiration.

  29. I have been following you for awhile and appreciate all your information that you share. We have sold part of our business and seriously thinking about traveling for at least 1 year.
    My question is – how do you handle it with your dogs? Do they stay in the RV by themselves?
    Is it difficult to always have them on a leash?
    We have a 70 pound husky and a 50 pound german shepherd mix. So I’m concerned about how they will do.
    Thanks!

    1. 1) They occasionally stay in the RV by themselves, just like they would in a house. It’s no different.
      2) No. They go to dog parks and run off leash a good amount too.

  30. Adeline

    Doing what we want to do instead of what we have to do is more worthwhile. Life is too short and if we don’t enjoy it, then it’s all vanity. There are several way to find a living and if we do what we really want to do and make it a living, then our lives will surely be happy.

    Being a digital nomad is some kind of living with no boundaries. Hence you can do want you want wherever you want without someone telling you to do what they want.

  31. DNN

    Sharing a link to this priceless blog is good for DNN and the readers. I’m always striving like you to help people be their best through side hustles with the goal of becoming a future “side hustle millionaire.”

    The digital nomad lifestyle is a totally different ballgame of thinking and a world of uncertainty. It has to be in a person to want to do this because it’s a rocky road to internet riches. But if you can withstand the test of time and continue creating quality content like Michelle, anyone can be a [side hustle millionaire], and a full time digital nomad on the go. It’s all about how you see youself and continue the journey in the side hustle affiliate marketing and blogging lifestyle.

  32. Joao

    Inspiring as always, you did start some years ago, 2011 right? Do you think that’s important for your current results? I mean, would you be able to do things much faster? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Do you mean if I started another blog today?

  33. Joao Reis

    Yes!! If you started in 2020! ๐Ÿ˜€ (Happy new Year btw)