Travel Australia, make money doing it

HB 1

Home is where this couple park it. Brian and Scarlett are 160 days in on their big Australian experience and have increased their bank balance since leaving home.

Inspired by the popular ‘van life’ movement, this young Brisbane couple quit their jobs, bought a custom 1984 Toyota Dyna on Gumtree and hit the road. They soon discovered travelling around Australia doesn’t need to dry up your savings.

Don’t believe us? Below we share their 5 top tips for making money on the road with the help of Gumtree.

1. Custom truck with common parts: $3,500 on Gumtree (RRP: priceless)

A small truck has more sense of space than a van (Brian can stand up in the back!). When it comes to choosing a car, go for one with readily available parts, such as a Toyota, to reduce maintenance costs on the road.

“Our truck has a Toyota B diesel engine, which is used in many variants, meaning it’s cheap and easy to fix.”


2. Travel off the grid – solar panels & regulator: $70 on Gumtree (RRP: $350)

Fitting the truck with solar panels can allow travellers to fully maximise freedom camping and avoid paying for electricity altogether, saving hundreds.


3. Find local work on Gumtree: $3,000+ income

With Gumtree having a presence even in the smallest of Australian towns, Brian and Scarlett can jump on the app and top-up their funds whenever and wherever they need. So far they’ve picked up jobs at Beyond the Valley Festival and Earthcore Music Festival, managed the Cape Schanck Lighthouse Cafe in Victoria and found general handyman work for older couples who need help around the house or mechanical work done on their cars.

4. Sell unwanted goods before you set off: $5,000+ income

Having been active players in the second-hand economy for 10 years, Brian and Scarlett turned to Gumtree to generate some extra cash for their trip. Prior to leaving Brisbane, they sold off their unwanted clothing, furniture, vehicles and also found a tenant for their house. Cha-ching.

5. Save by going second-hand on the road

Thinking second-hand first can pay off big time. One of Brian and Scarlett’s best finds were two folding bikes listed for $5 each, saving them approx. $400, and some much-needed space! They use them to get around town and save on petrol.

They’ve both used barber services from Gumtree, opting for local apprentices over high street hairdressers.

These internal storage cupboards and bed frame were free on Gumtree.

Follow their journey @travellers_aust. So, what are you waiting for?

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. We travelled Aus for 20 years in bus self converted, got work everywhere we went with no qualifications, management jobs to handyman repairs and everything inbetween. Just do it the lifestyle is awesome with new adventures around the next corner.

  2. You’re dead right, Julia.
    This couple are satisfied with simplicity and, as a result, they’re out there having the time of their lives. Goes to show, one doesn’t need all the ‘bells & whistles’ to do it. Great to see.

  3. I’ve just driven across the country after buying a awesome car and camp set up on gumtree. Looking at probably selling the car now probably for more then I paid for it! Such a good platform

  4. we travelled around on a pension entertaining in aged homes and busking at markets,, and anything that came up also housesitting.. theres always something people need doing,, makes a great life

  5. I am interested to travel Australia for about 6 months and have looked at what, how, when and where. Thanks for these tips.

    How do you get jobs on Gumtree?? Do you advertise for work pr RESPOND to work required???

    Are there any other ways you can make an income as you travel??

  6. Thats epic. But thanks to gumtree i bought a sail boat when i was 18 for 5g and sailed around the world along for 5 years! Only cost me a few beers, some fishing gear and a sewing machine!
    Thanks GT

  7. Yes we did that back in 1998 in our 40’s & came back year 2000 nothing new to us we also had work all around Australia , doing alterations on peoples Van such as Curtains & Spot welding fitting & turning Roof Racks & Maintenance where ever that was needed We had fun camping with new people , talking about stuff in front of a camp fire ( off road Camping ) We would do it a gain some time BUT we are in our 60’s & trying to encourage young folks But they don’t know what they are missing ! ! ! !

  8. I did similar a couple of years ago with a 4wd,camper trailer and house and pet sitting,the house sitting gives you a break from camping,and allows you to have a sort out.

  9. I think your ideas are very good. I am a homeless person doing fruit picking in STANTHORPE in QLD and savings LOTS of money for my second trip to AMERICA in October. We are starting the pruning apple trees tomorrow and that goes every day until the end of SEPTEMBER. Its hard work, but I clear 1000 Dollars every week . That’s 625 Dollars saving every week for 4 months and that is 10,000 Dollars in the bank for 12 wonderful weeks travelling AMERICA

  10. Fantastic story I’ve been trying to encourage my gorgeous Prince the joys of freedom of the journey…but it must begin with the desire of two.
    Great work and cheers for the inspiration.
    D n D ♥♥

  11. luv your story…………….just waiting for the right time to commit……………

  12. This article doesn’t actually tell you how to make money on the road, except for suggesting you pick up local jobs wherever you go.
    Its more about how to buy things to save money to set yourself up to go travel.

  13. To take a quote from a famous Man, ……….I have a dream……..
    you guys live it! Go forth and enjoy

  14. As a fellow van life traveler, I can appreciate your living choice. I stay in Australia in a campervan
    and move around for 6 months, Not having to pay rent gives me the ability to save money which I
    use to live overseas for the other 6 months. Happy traveling.

  15. My husband and I are travelling and working around Australia, living in our caravan. We use the job section in Gumtree (as well as some other sites) to look for work. The benefit of Gumtree for us is where people will advertise temp jobs or wanting odd jobs done which suits us as travellers. We want to do a job, earn some money and move on. The key is to look consistently and make contact with advertisers asap..

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