Statistics on How Full-time Nomads Make a Living While Traveling

a laptop on a pier near a beach town

Photo by Giorgio Montersino

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A few months back we asked people to tell us how they make a living on the road, and other questions about their full-time traveling lifestyle.

We only accepted answers from those currently traveling full-time, or those who’ve done it in the past. We asked questions like “How much money do you make on the road?” specifically, but also other questions like whether they were singles or a big family, what their jobs were, what kind of education they had, and lots more.

These are our findings, presented to you in a snazzy bar chart format.

How much money do you make on the road?

Less than $30k
45%
$30-50k
15%
$51-75k
12%
$75-100k
12%
$100k+
15%

The Result? Nearly half of us traveling full-time live on less than $30,000 / year.

Are you a family, couple or solo traveler?

Solo
12%
Couples
38%
Family with Kids
50%

The Result? Contrary to popular belief, it’s families, not young individuals, who are doing this whole full-time travel thing.

What ages are your kids?

<1
13%
1-4
24%
5-8
29%
8-12
17%
12+
17%

The Result? While younger kids are more prevalent, children of all ages are on the road these days.

How many hours, on average, do you work per week?

Less than 10
19%
10-35
52%
35+
30%

The Result? Most of us would be considered “part time” were we in the regular work force. All fun and no play…or something like that.

How long have you been traveling full-time?

< 1 yr
68%
1-3 years
20%
3-7 years
11%

The Result? Most folks are rather new to the road, and only about one out of ten make it to the three year mark.

Do you primarily work online or off?

Online
60%
Physical Location
40%

The Result? Surprisingly, not all of us are “digital nomads”. Hands on labor is still a reality for many travelers.

Did you have the job / income source that you use to support your traveling life before you hit the road?

No, started new career
25%
Yes, but had to adjust some things
14%
Yes, but had to go freelance
19%
Yes, easily transferred
41%

The Result? While it clearly varies, many of us were able to bring our income along with us.

Are you a freelancer / entrepreneur, or do you work for a specific company?

Primary income from employer
40%
Own a business or freelance
60%

The Result? While freelancers won out, plenty of companies seem okay with remote workers.

Do you enjoy the work you do on the road?

Ehh, I don’t know
4%
Hell yes!
54%
More or less
40%
Not really
2%

The Result? The vast majority of us either are quite happy, or at least satisfied, with the work we do.

Would you rather work for a company than be a freelancer?

Ehh, I don’t know
19%
Hell yes!
10%
More or less
10%
Not really
15%
No, no, no.
45%

The Result? Almost half of the folks traveling, regardless of their current occupation, think they’d prefer to be freelance than work for someone else. Then again, more than half are either not sure or prefer working for a steady employer.

Do you find it easy to work from the road?

Ehh, I don’t know
10%
Hell yes!
26%
More or less
54%
Not really
10%

The Result? Only 1 in 10 people found working from the road to be difficult. Imagine if the survey was given to people who didn’t already figure out a way to make it happen?

What are some actual jobs people on the road have?

We also asked participants to tell us exactly what kind of jobs allowed them to make a living on the road. The answers were a little surprising, but wonderfully varied. Here are some of the highlights.

The Most Popular

At 17%, writers and bloggers are the most common type of profession amongst travelers.

Web designers, developers and software engineers came in second at 12%.

Photographers came in third, at only .06%. The numbers start to dwindle from there.

The next most popular profession was “consultant”, an admittedly loosely worded response.

Those are all white collar jobs, perhaps all very easily translated to a nomadic, digital lifestyle.

The two next most popular gigs? Workamping and Migrant Farmers / WWOOFers. Those individuals also admitted to additional income, but indicated that those positions at least provided some amount of their income.

Other professions that got more than just a couple of responses were handyman/craftsman, social media manager, crafter, traveling nurse and customer service reps.

The Rest

Only 1 – 3 people claimed to these positions being a part of their income, but for the sake of throwing ideas around, we’ll list them.

So what does all of this data mean?

Well, in short, whatever you want it to. The goal of this magazine is simply to inspire people who want to travel like we do, like all of the people who participated in this survey do. To show that it’s indeed possible. It only takes a glance at a few full-time travelers Instagram accounts, just looking at who follows them and who they follow, to see how many of us are out there doing it. Every day some new travelers hit the road.

Life is what you want it to be, all you have to do is believe you can make it happen. Or at least give it a try. At the very least, you can always go back to a more normal life…

Questions? Hit us up on Facebook and let us know what you think! We do our best to answer every single person who gets in touch with us over there (or via any of our social media channels!)

Photo by Giorgio Montersino