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  1. #1

    Default it might be tricky


    I am a single mother of a 7 month old little girl. We are pretty broke, our lease will be up soon and my roommate will be moving out. About the time my living situation is changing, my sister is getting married --- several states away (I am in Ohio, she is in Alabama)

    My daughter, her name is Vida, has already "road tripped" to AL. twice and has also gone with me on a weekend trip from Cleveland to a little town north of Ottawa, Canada. She has been great! I just make sure to take an hour break every 3-4 hours on the road.

    I have also done a lot of long driving trips. From Huntsville, AL to Bolder, CO is my longest to date.

    Any way, I have family and friends scattered accross the US, some of them I have not seen for years. My idea is that I pack my apartment stuff into a storage area, go to my sister's wedding and then hit the road. I will mostly stay with people I know or camp when I am not doing that.

    I plan to stop for at least 4 days for visits in Houston, TX.
    a week and a half (at least) in Austin
    a few days in Sante Fe, NM
    a day in Sante Cruz, CA.
    and the final destination is Mount Shasta, CA. where I will stay for at least a month.

    I am going to camp a lot in between my visits.
    my main questions are about how to earn money on the road.
    I will only have to worry about car and living costs while on the road... but I know that can be a lot in itself.

    Do you know of any good temp agencies for this kind of thing? I will probably want to stop and make some cash in Texas, and again in New Mexico.

    I love to travel, and refuse to use having a child or being poor as an excuse not to. It will probably be tricky but I am deturmined to make it work.
    Any comments or suggestions would be much appriciated.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this long thing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default It might...

    Welcome to the RTA Forum.

    I completely agree that being poor or having a child is no reason to stop doing roadtrips. However, it I do think having a child would make it rather difficult to do the kind of trip you are proposing.

    You can probably find a temp agency in whatever city you are looking to stop and find work. Houston, Austin, and Santa Fe are all big enough to have multiple agencies and your best bet will probably be to just stop at one when you get to that city. However, I suspect it will be difficult to find a daycare willing to take your child for just a few days. If you are going to be staying with friends that might help, if your friends are willing to babysit on top of giving you a place to sleep for a few days.

    While I know this is a lot more difficult than it sounds, I think you'd be in a much better position if you could save up enough money to live on, at least until you get to California. Not to mention, it really is best to have enough money stored up so if something happens to your car along the way you aren't stranded somewhere.

  3. #3

    Default not likely

    While I am sure saving enough money to live on for a month long trip to California is the ideal. There is no way, making what I do I will be able to save more than $1,000 for emergancy money.

    I too, have thought of the daycare issue. Not only would I have trouble finding a daycare that would take her for such a short time, but usually daycares are so expensive that it wouldn't even be worth my while. Temp jobs usally don't pay all that much.

    I do much of my work from the internet (about 15 hours of my work week at home) It would probably be a good investment to get a laptop and wireless internet so I can continue to work like that.

    Also several people want to go with us. They love Vida, and would be happy to watch her while I ran off and made a bit of money. I have, however, had to cancel a whole trip to Europe a few years ago, when the people who were supposed to go with me canceled at the last min. So I am planning the trip as if I will be alone with the baby.

    Good thing I didn't wait any longer than I have to plan the journey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Go for it -- an alternative view

    Quote Originally Posted by juniperdawn
    I love to travel, and refuse to use having a child or being poor as an excuse not to. It will probably be tricky but I am detemined to make it work.
    All of the regulars on this forum, including myself, strive to inject a little reality into the dreams of would-be roadtrippers and so you will often find commentary in our posts about ways to bring the dreams that live in the straosphere down into the world inhabited by mere mortals. Midwest Michael's points are spot-on and well matched with our collective expertise. That being said, folks have been hitting the road for thousands of years in search of a better life and the mere act of doing it usually, maybe always, brings real change to those people's lives.

    In the early days of RoadTrip America, the founders were known to have hit the road with only sufficent cash for only one more fill-up and try as we might, we never quite ran out of money. Most people are unwilling or unable to get as close to the edge as that requires -- but one develops a deering do attitude that seems to attract all sorts of good experiences into one's life when you live on that edge. So, my very uncharacteristic advice (these days) is "go for it" -- the mantra that our company was founded on runs something like this "If we do this "thing" what is the worse that can happen?" [The usual answer was -- we might go broke -- so what we were already there].

    Probably more philosophy than you needed -- As to making money on the road -- there are all sorts of ways to do it (it helps to make the mental shift from a roadtrip as an excursion to a road trip as a way of life) We lived on the road for 6.5 years and there are all sorts of support organizations that have grown up to support fellow roadtrip adventurers. Even though you are not an RVer you might find some of their approach helpful. Two to look into would be Workampers and the Escapees organizations. Just about the best book I have ever seen for tips about how to do this was written by our own RV expert, Jaimie Hall, and you can read more of her articles here. Here are some more ideas. Some more Dashboarding tips.

    As far as temp agencies go -- if you have worked with one recently you should speak with them about recipropocal relationships with other firms around the country. Likewise if you have any specialized skills see if your industry's organization has placement services for contract work.

    There is one huge caveat -- it will cost you 1.5 times as much to live and work on the road as it does to live in an apartment in most US cities. There are ways to cut that cost -- but living on the road is not a cost savings there are wonderful rewards out there, but they don't come cheaply.

    Hope this helps a little.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I think there are some options for ya!

    I'm not convinced that it would be that difficult to find daycare situations. It just depends if you're comfortable approaching the right kind of agencies to give you a hand with this. I'm referring to organizations that cater to those who are homeless, particular homeless children.

    Even though you may not consider yourself homeless because you are simply, instead, living on the road, these organizations would consider you homeless. They often have daycares available for parents to utilize to look for work and can help you find daycare for your child once you find work.

    I have no idea what requirements they might have to gain access to these programs but I think it's worth a shot. Just a thought...

    I think you sound quite brave and I have a feeling this will be a fabulous experience for you and Vida. I hope you find what you seek and that you'll come back and let us know how things are going for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Houseless vs Homeless

    Another thing to keep in mind is the distinction between "houseless" and "homeless". Although we had the good fortune to have a wildfire separate us from the traditional housing experience -- many, many people choose to live a slightly more nomadic life these days. In our minds, never did we choose to consider our situation as homeless -- One of the on-the-road lessons our dog taught us was "Home is where your dog is." Since you and Vida will always be together -- you will always be at home. Being houseless is another thing all together.

    With respect to the 1.5 times expense -- if you were able to secure a small RV, and not travel that much, you could find a way to reduce that expense to perhaps as low as 45% to 75% of your current living expenses. The cost of fuel, insurance and medical expenses tend to be higher on the road, whereas the cost of rentals (RV campgrounds or campgrounds) can be lower. Here is an article by Alice Zyetz that shares some of the nuts & bolts of RV camping.

    When we were on the road -- when we hunkered down and didn't move much, our living expenses were quite low -- on the other hand when we were producing mobile marketing events for our corporate clients, expenses often eclipsed several thousand dollars each month.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Just want to clarify...

    In my post, I tried to express that she probably wouldn't consider herself homeless in the normal sense of the word, and neither would I, quite frankly, but I was just trying to show that there might be options available to her while she lives on the road. Hope that makes sense.

  8. #8


    Yes, that made sense. Thank you.
    Hopefully, I will find a way around using daycare at all. I feel like I am trying to solve a riddle.

  9. #9

    Default worth it?

    I found a site that says it will pay me to complete surveys.

    Do you think it is worth it? Maybe I could do that on line while traveling.
    (you have to pay to sign up)
    What do you think?
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 03-20-2006 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Removed link after investigating

  10. #10
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default More Fish than the Seattle's Pike Place Market

    Quote Originally Posted by juniperdawn

    ...Do you think it is worth it? Maybe I could do that on line while traveling.
    (you have to pay to sign up)
    What do you think?
    Other than a few reputable companies, such as Willow CSN, anything that requires an investment to make money, especially online, should be looked at as suspicous. A recent article I read in the Career section of the Arizona Republic gave some good advice about such "business opportunities". If a website (and the one you've hinted to), lists tons of great testimonials, there is good reason to avoid them.

    Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is... and things like this always have that 'fishy smell'.

    Hope I've helped you out a bit.

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