Travel is among the greatest gifts a person can give themselves. As a solo traveler, I was able to accomplish many things. I saw parts of the country that I only viewed in books and on websites.
I got to know what it was like to be a stranger to the places that I went. I saw the world with fresh eyes and an explorer's heart. I kept a travel schedule that provided me with the freedom to see, hear, taste, feel, and experience things that I had never been exposed to before.
Solo Road Trips Helped Me Discover My Authentic Self
It wasn't until I embarked on solo road trips that I was able to truly find myself. I did a lot of soul searching driving from Kansas to Seattle, Washington. With every mile I put on my vehicle, I grew more confident.
It felt like the master of my own destiny because I was choosing where I was going and what I wanted to see. I did some research prior to traveling but I left most things up to chance. I had a pre-planned route but not a strict itinerary to follow which gave me greater freedom to explore my surroundings.
I loved to travel alone for many reasons. The first is that I didn't have to hurry back home anytime soon because of someone else's schedule. As a freelance writer, all the work I did was from the road.
I woke up every morning in a hostel, budget motel or Airbnb and did my work for the day before setting foot outdoors to sightsee. I did most of my driving on weekends because my clients kept a Monday through Friday schedule, and I wanted to be able to communicate with them easily during that time.
How to Work from the Road Like a Pro
There are many things you can do to make money to further your solo travels. If you're like me and don't have a lot of finances available at any given time, you may need to work while you travel alone. My years of researching a nomadic lifestyle paid off when it came time for me to travel because I knew exactly what to do to earn cash while road tripping.
Here are some of the best options you have available to you:
- Reselling items on eBay. Many solo travel destinations have wonderful thrift stores to shop at. You'll also discover many yard sales when you drive to your destination. If you have room in your vehicle for items to resell, buy them. Take photos of your finds and put them up on eBay. You can receive payments and pay for postage through PayPal. Once you have your items ready to ship, find a local post office to drop them off at.
- Freelance writing. All you need is a computer, a WiFi connection, and a few clients. You can choose to work for an agency or find clients of your own through ProBlogger, Indeed or Craigslist. Make sure that you get all negotiated terms in writing and that you have a way to receive payments automatically so that you're not forced to wait for a check to arrive in the mail.
- Selling stock photography. You're going to be traveling to some beautiful locations. Why not capitalize on the experience by taking photos wherever you go. I did this while road tripping. My solo travels put me directly in front of beautiful beaches, mountains, and architecture. I saw roadside attractions, famous monuments, and historic cemeteries. Learn to tell a story with the photos you take, and you'll have no problem selling them online.
- Setting up a shop to sell your artwork or designs. Build your own e-commerce site and sell copies of your art and designs. You don't have to do anything but set things up initially because many companies are responsible for creating the products and shipping them to the customer. They take their percentage as a cut in your profits, but you still get money at the end of the payment period. It's a win-win if you ask me because you don't have to keep inventory to sell.
- Doing Microtasks. Download apps such as Field Agent, GigSpot, and iSecretShop that allow you to search for small jobs based on the geographic location you're currently at. The tasks take just a few minutes to do and yield a specific amount of money in payout. Some of the apps allow you to deposit your earnings into PayPal once you've reached $10.
If possible, research the companies or clients you want to work for while on the road. That way you're not devoting time to projects that don't pay. If you have a computer, tablet or phone as well as a Wi-Fi connection, you can do most of the jobs listed here.
I've done mystery shopping, but making a profit took some time. I prefer doing work that has a weekly or bi-weekly payout because I want to make sure I have enough money to get to my next solo travel destination with ease. For the nights I wasn't sure I could afford lodging, I had Bureau of Land Management free campsites mapped out
I carried camping gear with me and knew that I could always sleep in my car if I needed to. Traveling by myself, I was very aware of my surroundings. Staying safe was my number one priority.
Staying Safe While Traveling Solo
There are many things you can do to travel safely while alone. The first is to download a GPS tracking app for your phone. Give the link to people you trust so that they can alert the authorities if things go mysteriously wrong.
You may also want to carry pepper spray or mace with you to thwart attackers. You should never drive into secluded areas. Stay on well-traveled roads and developed parts of the country.
I say this from experience because I once got my car stuck on a forestry road that was closed for the season. If the GPS in your vehicle takes you off the beaten path, find a place to turn around and start over again.
It could very well save your life!