The term workamper represents a growing trend amid folks who enjoy the benefits of RV travel. As the term implies, a workamper looks for short-term jobs as part of a larger strategy for long-term travel. These trips frequently are measured in months rather than days or weeks.
Let's say you pull into a region, find a great place to park, and settle in for a stay of several weeks. A workamper will find employment nearby on a part-time basis. Although that employment could be in the campground or park of temporary residence, it does not have to be so. Workampers find ways to make money locally and finance their extended stays.
Debunking Workamper Misconceptions
Not all workampers are retired, and some don't travel in RVs. Not every workamper wants extra income to finance a trip. In fact, some simply want to get better acquainted with the locals, and pay is a bonus. Some collect no money and simply trade work for a place to park.
You'll be fine if you throw away your common perceptions and acknowledge that there are many ways to achieve the workamper lifestyle.
Although the word is not in the dictionary, there is a website dedicated to this approach: workamper.com. It operates with free memberships and a more comprehensive menu of services for an annual fee of $47. Membership opens you to a series of job listings, organized geographically.
But you need look no further than local want-ads or a resource such as the manager of the campground. Many times, one can find jobs after just a few inquiries.
These are not high-paying jobs with benefits packages and profit-sharing privileges. You might be asked to clean a chicken coop or mow a lawn.
Workamper Jobs You Might Accept
Need some examples of workamper jobs? You'll find them across the Internet. One, titled 10 jobs for seniors with RVs, provides a good starting point for examining the types of jobs that could pop up in your travels.
Take inventory of your own talents. Are you a gifted public speaker or musician? There might be work for you as a tour guide or a performer at venues catering to local tourists. Those who are handy with repairs or in the kitchen could find short-term jobs quickly performing such services.
But many of the workamper jobs require little or no specialized skills. You might be asked to rake leaves, answer phones, or drive a shuttle bus. The best advice is to accept what is offered, given that it is a short-term arrangement. Jobs where you'll meet other travelers are among the best choices.
Drawbacks to Workamper Jobs
Budget travelers who approach workamper jobs as if they are full-time positions with benefits are likely to be disappointed.
Don't expect to be offered health insurance. Even workman's compensation could be difficult to obtain, given that these are part-time jobs and the definition of "employee" often prevails in such cases.
Most jobs pay less than $15 USD/hour. Potential workampers who expect to earn more than that are likely to draw blank stares and shrugs from those who do the hiring. There are rare cases when it would be appropriate to ask for better pay. Are you in charge of something valuable? Do you have life-and-death responsibility? Are you bringing a rare skill level to the benefit of your employer?
Workamper jobs tend to be seasonal. If you arrive near the end of a seasonal cycle, jobs might be scarce or nonexistent. Be sure to time your travels accordingly, arriving prior to the start of the season.
Do you like to cross international borders as you travel? Your ability to work in another country is restricted. In most places, you'll need to apply for a work permit in order to legally accept employment. This is another consideration that should prompt you to arrive early and make necessary arrangements before counting on a workamper assignment.
If you'll be traveling with children or pets, it might become necessary to make arrangements for their care while at work. Some employers might not welcome children or pets in the workplace.
It pays to be open and honest with prospective employers, just as you will expect them to be up front with you.