Curt & Kate
Part-Time van life on a
full-time rental income
We recently started a new blog series where we interview various full-time travelers, sharing how they earn money and travel. Our goal is to help inspire and educate others on the various ways to work remotely while living a nomadic lifestyle. If you’re new to our blog, we have been full time RVing for over two years. We support ourselves by investing in real estate; specifically in mortgage notes.
Today’s interview is with Curt and Kate from The Go Go Gallaghers. They story is a little bit different from our normal guest in our make money and travel series because they aren’t full-time RV’ers. Instead, they choose to explore the country from their van part time. They both work remotely and earn income in a super unique way – real estate vacation rentals. Let’s dive into their story and get to know more about Curt, Kate, and their sweet pups a little more and see how they are able to earn money and travel.
Tell us your story! What made you want to take the leap to full time rving?
what was your journey into rving like?
Thankfully, after that experience, we were both on the same page about not wanting to work on the RV, at least at this stage, and we prepared financially to do so. It was a difficult experience to actually quit because we both had great jobs and liked our employers, and we each walked away from 6-figure incomes, but we are lucky in that our companies have maintained relationships with us and are hoping we come back. But for now…life is short and we didn’t want to wait for retirement to travel.
Tell us about your RV (or your first rv if you have a different one now)
How are you able earn money and travel?
While our Breck house makes significant income, almost as much as what one of us made in our full-time jobs, our condo just covers its expenses so far. It’s much smaller, older and not as close to the ski mountains and it’s a brand new rental, not established, so it is taking time to build up.
What is needed to get started in your line of business, owning vacation rentals?
My husband has had a real estate background since he graduated from college. He has worked in title, as a realtor, and then on the technology side with lenders and financing. He also grew up learning how to remodel and flip houses so when we started renovating rooms soon after getting married, and then larger projects at home and then actually building our own home together. So, it was not a huge stretch for him. However, we know people who make money on Airbnb that never had any real estate experience to speak of. The margins really depend on location and desirability of the rental.
What does a typical “day in the office” look like?
Managing short term rentals (on VRBO and Airbnb which we use, or many other sites) is definitely worth it, but can be extremely time consuming. We have our two properties on two sites each, and they do not link calendars. We get inquiries and bookings, and in between those we get questions all the time about things like availability, details on the house and specific location, and other accommodations info. These are usually over email but occasionally potential or current guests will need to get on the phone to solve an issue.
What has been your favorite part of traveling or rv life?
We love having our dogs with us everywhere we go. It was a big driver behind RV travel and it has worked out so well for all of us. Even in the smaller van, our dogs each have their favorite spots to relax when we’re driving or parked and hanging out. They are comfy on our big bed at night, just like we are. Even though our dogs are 11 and 12 years old, and a lot less energetic than they used to be, they love exploring new places…and they love napping on the van too. Walking them always gives us a great opportunity to get exercise and see new spots on foot.
We went through Moab twice last year – in June and October – and it’s probably at the top of our list. In June, we stayed at an RV park so we could plug in and have AC for our dogs since it was so hot. We biked, went into town and enjoyed the pool and hot tub at the RV park (one of our favorite perks).
In the fall, we boondocked and enjoyed more biking, hiking, star gazing, fire-pits and meeting other off-grid neighbors. We did two sunset hikes inside Arches National Park, from two different approaches to Delicate Arch. Both were incredible, awe inspiring experiences. We plan to go back and play more in the river on our paddle boards next time! There are so many parks and sites to explore all around the Moab area, and the desert scenery is mystical to say the least.
How do you save money while rving?
what is one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid of real estate or investing! Working while traveling take many different forms and don’t rule out supplementing your income passively in addition to your current job (or even in place of it). There are many ways to educate yourself on investing and you can find classes and workshops all over the country or online passive income streams can take some of the pressure off the need to work full time and they are accessible to anyone. (Like Liz’s Note Investing Academy which teaches you how to earn passive income through real estate mortgage notes). I’d also recommend to start saving money aggressively in the highest income earning account you can find, like a money market (we use Capital One 360, formerly ING Orange) or a CD (shop around at credit unions first, which usually have higher rates). Divert money from every paycheck into it, no matter how small, and don’t ever stop! It adds up fast if you stay consistent.
how can our readers get in touch with you?
You can find us on Instagram under @gogogallaghers 🙂
Liz & Dennis
We’re two travel-loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America as full-time RV’ers. This blog is where we share our lessons learned, tips and tricks, and favorite places to eat, see, and RV across North America! We hope it helps you find your wanderlust, plan and prepare for RV life, and get out on the road!
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