(This is a guest post from Sharee at LiveCampWork.com.)
Back in 2013, we hit the road with 4 kids in tow to live a life of RV travel. If you’ve been a Fulltime Family for a while, you know that there weren’t nearly as many folks traveling or workamping with kids on the road!
In fact, we were one of just a few families traveling full-time in an RV with sights set on Workamping. Back then this segment of RV life was still thought of as something for retirees or folks who just wanted to Camp Host in exchange for a free site… but this wasn’t really what we had in mind.
Our Ticket To Travel
Our adventure started with a desire to explore and big intentions on seeing and doing things that were outside the box from what we considered the norm. We wanted to take our kids on a great road trip and since we didn’t have a business with reliable income to keep our adventure afloat, we knew early on we would have to work along the way!
Workamping was our ticket to travel. It allowed us to go now rather than later, and even though we didn’t have a big fancy rig to travel in… we chose to go for it and see where the road would lead us.
The first stop was Camperforce, a program designed for RVers to work the holiday season at Amazon, helping them deliver holiday orders in record time. Not only was this totally outside of the box for us, but it was also crazy hard work and tested our determination on if our RV adventure was meant to be. We pulled through more tales to tell than we would have imagined- but it taught us that we could do anything we set out to do, and we needed that vote of confidence!
Over the past 4 years, my family visited about 30 states, as we slowly worked our way up and down the east coast and then eventually out west. We help positions ranging from campground managers to park rangers and just about everything in between- which we soon found out was just the tip of the iceberg. Workamping can be literally anything and everything you want!
The adventures are unlimited and the number of employers who hire RVers is not that far behind.
Workamping even led to writing my first printed book, Live.Camp.Work: How to Make Money & RV Full-Time.
A Best Selling Book
Live.Camp.Work. was released earlier this year in October and it was truly a labor of love. Stressful love… but love still the same!
I decided to write the book on July 4th weekend when I was talking with a few friends about upcoming projects and what I wanted to accomplish this year. I accidentally set the deadline for my birthday (just 3 months away) which led to hard work, sleepless nights, and maybe even some dramatic breakdowns as the final product was being proofed by a team of 300 fellow Workampers who volunteered to be on my Book Launch Team and help me bring the final product to print.
In the end, it all came together, and the book hit #1 on Amazon in more than 5 categories in just 2 days, with over 7,000 downloads!
I set out to write a book about Workamping to give information to people who needed it. What I ended up doing was writing a reference guide to Workamping complete with 1000+ employers who hire RVes.
Workamping With Kids
If you plan on working traditional Workamping jobs like we did, there are some things you’ll need to know before you set out to find that perfect job. After all, Workaming with kids in tow is slightly different than just going as a couple or a single for that matter, and it’ll be easier if you know the answers to the most commonly asked questions up front. It’s also a very different experience to workamp while RV living with kids, then working other digital remote jobs.
While there are almost no two situations that are alike, here are the top 4:
1. Can Both Parents Work?
Regardless of whether you need child care for younger children or not, both parents are able to work while traveling. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways and all revolve around what you find comfortable. For my husband and I, we choose to work opposite shifts, so we could easily work for the same employers. We would line up employment at various places and ask if one of us could work in the morning and then the other would work at night. We weren’t particular about having the same off days, as we knew this would only be temporary, and to our surprise and enjoyment, it turned out to be a welcome change to those who wanted the same shifts. It always worked out for us!
A Few Things to Note:
- A normal schedule included about 20-30 hours per person. We only worked 40 hours (or more) while working for Amazon Camperforce.
- We made the most of our hours work, by only accepting jobs where the campsite was offered for FREE.
- Working opposite shifts gets old quickly. Not having the same off days as your partner in addition to starting your shift when they are ending their shift means you will not see each other very often.
- Scheduling our stays at 4 months or less for these job locations made it more manageable.
2. How Much Will I Make?
I like to be very upfront and honest about this topic and may have said it before, but you will not get rich Workamping. You will make a decent wage and sometimes be provided a FREE site if you snagged a great position, but you will not be adding to your savings account or retirement fund by any means. If Workamping is your only means of income and you have kids in tow, money will be unreasonably tight, and the adventure will be overshadowed by financial woes. Do yourself a favor and find ways to earn extra income through a well-planned small business or income-producing hobby, also known as a side hustle.
3. Is It Harder Finding Jobs?
I can’t say it’s harder, because I never actually had a hard time. I can’t say it’s easy because it took a lot of well-crafted emails to get the jobs we wanted along with a great interview. Workamping with kids is different from those who do it without. So, you have to attack it differently and master how to pitch yourself to be successful.
For instance, when you see a job posted for a campground position you need to react a little quicker than usual. You don’t have time to think about every detail. Give the employer a quick look, decide if it’s something doable and then apply. You can do more research later, after your application or resume has been submitted.
In your email to the employer you’ll need to craft a very polite and cheerful introduction including how you are excited about the possibility to join the team at a family friendly establishment, some details about the adults looking for work, maybe a recent accomplishment, and then mention you are part of a traveling family with x number of kids.
Let the employer know about your experience and why you’ll be a great addition to the team. I usually added a sentence about how we did not need the same days off, but alternating shifts were preferable. Include pictures of yourself and the family as well as your RV or insert a link to your blog where they are welcome to go ‘meet’ your family.
Attach your resume with relevant work experience or just the previous positions that would highlight your skills. When it comes to family Workampers, I find it’s better to show a severe over qualification than to send too little information and hope they will ask the right questions.
4. Can Kids Come To Work?
This is such a tricky question and one that I think cannot just be left to common sense and good judgment. Bringing small kids or even younger teens into the workplace requires many things, but at least three to integrate seamlessly, which is usually just not the case.
- You are assuming they will behave, be helpful and stay content throughout your shift without needing constant supervision or for you to hover over them.
- Your employer, if they are okay with this, is assuming your children are well behaved (according to the employer’s standards) and that they will not interfere with your work and in some cases may be able to help.
- Everyone is assuming that the kids are aware of how to behave in the work environment, understand their role and the expectations set by you and your employer.
So I guess it just really depends on what you’re doing, where you’re employed, and what the rules of the property are. Keep in mind it could also be doable on one day and then a totally unrealistic request on another.
I advise going into the situation with an open slate. If having the kids come to work with you is the only way to make it work, be upfront and honest with the employer from the beginning. You never want to travel any distance with the looming possibility that you may be turned away or asked to leave earlier than expected.
Workamping With Kids – Summed Up
I hope these 4 FAQs helped answer some of the questions you have regarding Workamping with kids! This is just a small snippet of the information I provide in my book Live.Camp.Work. so make sure you grab the PDF download while its available. It’s packed with ideas, information and contact information for employers you might consider positions with later down the road!
It’s only available for a limited time, before going back exclusively on Amazon.com- so make sure you grab the PDf while it’s available!