Want to Go Workamping With Kids?
Maybe you’re a current full-time family and need an additional source of income. Maybe you’re not on the road traveling yet and need an easy ticket to travel.
Wherever you’re at, let me the one to tell you Workamping Families are a real thing.
- Yes, it’s possible to workamp with a family.
- No, you don’t have to clean bathrooms and pick up trash.
- Yes, it takes a little more research to find positions.
- Yes, if you’re not familiar with Workamping you should read this post!
But, it’s totally worth the time and effort and sometimes, you can even bring your kids along to help out!
Hi! I’m Sharee and this is my family!
In 2013, we made a big decision to start traveling! We had limited resources, no form of mobile income and let’s be honest… There were only a handful of people living the RV lifestyle back then who had kids and almost none of them looked like us.
Did we have our fair share of stumbling blocks? Yes.
Did we jump in faster than a typical RVer? Yes.
Did we have to learn a lot of lessons the hard way? Yes.
But it was all worth it!
Do Other Families Workamp?
When we were planning our extended road trip, we researched tons of sites of people who had already started their fulltime journeys. We found websites of families on the road, that was solely dedicated to traveling with children fulltime.
But when we actually started, we only met 2 during our first gig and then nothing. We had worked 5 Workamping jobs over the course of 2 years and only ran into one other Workamping family- when we searched them out specifically.
Until we went back to Amazon for another round of Camperforce, family Workamping seemed not to exist. With all the young full-timers that seemed to be out there- why hadn’t we seen any others along the way?
2 Possible Answers
Families are not Workamping because they feel their children are not welcome by many employers.
Almost 2 years ago, we booked a gig to work at a place in Northern Georgia.
When they found out we were bringing kids with us, the man basically said we were no longer welcome and that we should add our kids to our resume like other campers add their pets.
Offended and totally taken back, we booked an even better gig in Wisconsin at the Fort Atkinson Jellystone and had the best summer ever.
I’ve spoken to a few other Workamping families and this seems to be the norm.
There are a lot of campgrounds that will not hire RVers who have children. A combination of misconceptions and preconceived notions blocks these employers from seeing their value.
Places catering to the seniors would be the only exception, I could really understand.
General campgrounds and RV resorts have limited excuses that will justify even a second thought of an applicant with children, and family establishments have no excuse, at all.
Families are choosing not to Work Camp, because location independent jobs offer more flexibility for their travels.
When I search the web for fulltime families, I see very few who do not have some type of online business, web gig, or location independent career to fund their travels. The ability to work from home while you travel is amazing and makes for more freedom with your travels.
Personally, we choose to go workamping because it allows us to lower our living expenses and earn income at the same time. We also manage this website and write freelance articles for income as well.
This combination of income is our current preference.
Also, I do think a small part of the bigger picture, is perception. The perception that if you want to travel you have to have a job or business that allows you to work from your RV.
After all, if the internet is full of location dependent families and workamping RVers around the age 55+, it must be so… but is it?
Workamping With Kids
We like to say Workamping was our ticket to travel!
It allowed us to start enjoying the Live Camp Work lifestyle, decades before we should have even been thinking about it, and we were able to work as we traveled- which made all the difference between RV life being a dream and our new reality!
I’ve come across many families who are hesitant to look into seasonal jobs for RVers, because they are note sure they are able to go Workamping with kids.
As a mother of 4 small kiddos- who has worked many seasons of Workamping jobs before founding Live Camp Work, I’m here to reassure you that not only is Workamping with kids possible, but to let you know that it can be a fantastic adventure for your whole family.Yes! You can Workamp as a family!Click To Tweet
Our adventure started with a desire to explore and we had big intentions on seeing and doing all the things we could think of that were outside the box and would help us create some amazing memories!
We wanted to take our kids on a great family road trip. A road trip that essentially didn’t have an end point, and left us open to go for as long as we pleased. Since we didn’t have an online business with a reliable income stream to keep our adventures going, we knew from the start seasonal jobs for RVers would be our best bet!
Our Family Workamping Adventures
Our first experience workamping with kids was the seasonal program called Camperforce offered by Amazon.com. Camperforce is a program designed for RVers to work the holiday season at an Amazon fulfillment center, where they help out the regular staff by making sure holiday orders are delivered in record time. (Check out my Camperforce eBook!)
Not only was this workamping job totally outside of the box for us, since we had never worked in a warehouse before, but it was also really hard work!
After Camperforce we headed to a Jellystone Park where we again were successful in Workamping with kids! We agreed to take specific positions that not only aligned with our childcare needs, but allowed for our kids to make the most out of their summer, by spending time with us in a great park, with great amenities, and tons of kids!
I won’t go into all our crazy adventures and seasonal jobs, but will say that over the past 4 years, our family has visited about 30 states, while working along the way.
We’ve slowly worked and traveled our way up and down the east coast and then eventually out west. We held a variety of different positions ranging from campground managers to park rangers, activity director, to store inventory manager and just about everything in between!
When Workamping with Kids 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.
A Few Things to Note:
- We usually worked 20-30 hours per person. We only ever worked 40 hours (or more) while working for Amazon’s Camperforce program through the holiday season.
- We only accepted positions that offered a FREE campsite, where we could make the most out of pay for all hours worked.
- If onsite amenities were available, we would negotiate for our family to be able to use the facilities at no additional cost.
Workamping Jobs For Families
Virtually any Workamping job can be well suited for families.
Regardless of if you have 1 child or 11, small children or teens- as well as one parent or two, you will be able to find a variety of Workamping jobs to apply for.
And as long as the park isn’t a 55+, although I have heard of 1 couple who managed a 55+ resort with a family of 4, there really shouldn’t be an issue- so don’t approach it as one!
Approach Workamping with kids, like you would any other employment situation, by applying to fill a position based on what is required and what you can offer.
If the employer is hiring for one position and you can fill it- then apply.
If they are hiring for a couple’s position and the schedule and shifts work for you, then apply.
If the advertisement is vague, and you think it might work for you, get your list of questions together and then apply!
Each employer is unique. Their workamping job is unique. Their property is unique and because of this, you will have to work with the employer to understand your unique situation and how it fits into theirs. (Kind of like a puzzle)
Is It Harder To Find Jobs When Workamping With Kids?
I can’t say it’s harder, because I never actually had a hard time lining up our workamping jobs. But, I really can’t say it’s easy either, because it took a lot of well-crafted emails to get the workamping 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. This is really important!
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.
The key here, is to get your resume submitted asap, so that you’re as close to the top of the email list as possible!
In your email to the employer you’ll need to craft a very polite and cheerful introduction!
Include how you’re really excited about the possibility to join their team at a family friendly establishment.
Provide 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 RVers, I find it’s better to show a severe over qualification for whatever position you are applying for, than to send too little information and hope they will ask the right questions.
Don’t Assume When Workamping With Kids
Workamping families can sometimes find themselves in sticky situations, where their expectations, needs and wants don’t completely align with that of the employer. This can usually be attributed to assuming… and you know what they say about assuming! (Hint: When you assume- you make an ass out of u and me)
- Assuming your kids will behave, be helpful and stay content throughout your shift without needing constant supervision, guidance or for you to hover over them.
- Assuming your children’s behavior will align with the employer’s expectations and that they will not interfere with your work responsibilities.
- Assuming your kids are aware of how to behave in the work environment, that they understand their role and the expectations set by you and your employer.
First off, some employers will shoot this request out the air immediately. It’s not an option. Others, will be open to hearing how it might work. And a few will have no issue with the request as at.
- Ask the Questions- You need to ask the employer if the kids can come to work with you during your shift. While I don’t recommend this be the first question you ask during an interview- it does need to be on your list of questions to ask.
- Outline the Details- What are you asking? Do you want the kids to sit in the office with you? Will they be in a nearby tv room or clubhouse? Do they need to be in eye sight or are they able to go back and forth from your RV as needed? Be clear with what exactly you are asking and how it will work for you and the employer.
- Confirm the Agreement- As with any workamping job, you’ll need to confirm what was agreed upon in a written work agreement. If the employer has agreed that your children can sit quietly in the offie while you handle check-ins, that needs to be in the work agreement. If you’ve agreed that the kids can help you with your gardening duties fro 3 hours a day, then you need those details mentioned in your work agreement.
Sometimes the kids have nothing to do with the job. You have your childcare needs met by scheduling and there’s not need for additional accommodations, but when this is not the case we, as the workamping family need to make sure we’ve done our part to clarify logistics.
When dealing with kids in the workplace, it can get tricky for everyone involved. But if the expectations are clear, and set up front it can also be really enjoyable.
When Workamping With Kids
Workamping families are more common today than they were just 5 years ago, when my family first set out. We’ve met multiple families traveling in RVs working both traditional Workamping jobs as well as remote or location independent jobs from their RVs!
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.
Before you start accepting Workamping jobs with the intent of taking your kids along for the ride, there are a few tips I’d like to share with you to make your journey less stressful and as smooth as possible.
Tips For Workamping Families
- Be Upfront: When looking for Workamping jobs, it is important to be upfront with potential employers that you will have children traveling in your party. Some campgrounds/jobs are not set up for families and you don’t want to spend your Workamping time in a place that you, your children and your employer are not happy.
- Do Your Research: Always research the employer that you are applying to and make sure it is somewhere that you would want to live. You’ll be staying for an extended time, so things like location, distance to facilities like hospitals, groceries, and gas will be important.
- Mention The Kids: When applying for the job, include a note or picture of your children on your resume or a followup email, so that the potential employer isn’t surprised. Don’t waste your time and theirs if they outright don’t want to hire families. Trust me there are plenty that will. Just keep looking!
- Be Positive: Be a positive voice when speaking about Workamping with kids! Your employer is going to reflect your attitude towards your children. If you start out by being negative, or assuming its an issue- then your employer will be watching to see if and when they step out of line. If you focus on the positive aspects of having children around, then that will be mirrored back by the employer towards them.
- Set The Rules: Everyone knows that children have their moments, as do adults, but don’t let those moments define who your children are. Set the guidelines and expectations well ahead of arrival and make sure to remind them of the rules throughout your employment. Setting the expectation of what is appropriate for when you are working and when you are off is a great way to start!
There are many campgrounds that welcome and embrace Workamping families. Some campgrounds will even hire teens to take on tasks like helping younger children with daily activities and crafts!
My family has worked at several Jellystone properties where this was the case. Although our kids were too young for this opportunity, many others were welcome to apply for summer jobs and earn a little cash for themselves!
My single best tip for anyone looking for jobs for Workamping families is
just ask every employer!
The worse that can happen, is they end up saying ‘NO’… and if that happens, you’ll be glad they did, because you wouldn’t want to work for them!