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How to Travel the U.S. Full-Time Without a Car (Working Seasonal Jobs)

Timothy travels the U.S. full-time with only a small backpack and a suitcase. He spends his evenings writing and filming YouTube videos.

Hiking near Rocky Mountain National Park

Hiking near Rocky Mountain National Park

Traveling Without a Car

Two years ago I realized two things about myself:

  1. I really didn't like owning a car, and,
  2. I wanted to travel and see more of my country (the United States) full-time.

I set out to find a way to travel the United States full-time without a car. It took a few months, but I eventually devised a method that worked for me.

I now travel America full time with no car by doing seasonal work. Seasonal work is when you work at a job for a short amount of time, usually one season, which typically equals 3 or 4 months. Seasonal jobs are usually in the tourist industry. Some examples of places that hire seasonal workers are ski resorts, National Parks, cruise ships, seafood processors, amusement parks, hunting camps, hotels, lodges, etc.

I suggest checking out the website if you want to see the full range of seasonal jobs that are available in the U.S. There are literally hundreds of them!

On the Megabus headed out on another adventure!

On the Megabus headed out on another adventure!

You might be wondering how I get to these seasonal jobs without a car. Well, most seasonal employers will pick you up either from the nearest airport or Greyhound bus station.

If they don't pick you up directly, then they will usually get you in touch with a shuttle, train, or car service that will pick you up from the nearest major city and bring you to the property. In most cases, the best way to arrive at the job will be discussed in your phone interview or in your hiring paperwork.

So once I get hired for a new seasonal job all I have to do is book a flight or hop on a Greyhound or Megabus and get to the nearest pickup point. From then on, I'm good to go (as far as transportation is concerned).

Most seasonal jobs are in kind of remote places and because of this they usually provide housing. So once I get to my seasonal job I have a place to stay while I'm working there and in some cases, meals are provided as well.

The housing that is provided is usually close to where I'm working, in most cases within walking distance, and if not then there is some form of shuttle provided to get employees to work.

Even in the more remote places that I have worked, there has also been a way to get to the nearest town a least once a week to buy supplies and groceries. Most seasonal employers know that a lot of their employees will be carless so they try and provide company transportation when needed.

I also always end up becoming friends with people who have cars at my seasonal jobs and they don't mind giving me rides when I need them.

Near the top of Mount Marathon in Alaska

Near the top of Mount Marathon in Alaska

So where are some of the places I've worked? Well I spent a summer working in Yellowstone National Park, I experienced my first real winter in Montana working at Big Sky Resort, and I got to spend four months in Alaska working at a roadside lodge right next to Trail Lake near Seward. These are just a few of the places I've been able to work and the list keeps growing every season!

I can truly say that my life has changed since I started doing seasonal work. I love being surrounded by nature, and being able to spend my evenings hiking, watching wildlife, taking photographs, and meeting other seasonal workers.

I wanted to write this article to tell others out there like me who have a desire to travel but don't want to lug an RV, van, or car around the country that there is a way for you to see the U.S.

Every winter and summer (and sometimes fall and spring) employers are looking for good workers to fill a variety of positions. And, in return, they offer you a place to stay, food to eat (either included or at a discount) transportation to places you need to go, and a unique chance to live and work in some of the most beautiful and exciting places this country has to offer.

If seasonal work sounds like something that might interest you head over to Youtube and do a search about it. That's where I initially learned about this exciting way to travel and I'm sure those same videos will be informative to you.

Celebrating the completion of another successful trip in Las Vegas.

Celebrating the completion of another successful trip in Las Vegas.

Words can't really describe the level of freedom I feel as a traveler. I usually just have a backpack and a small suitcase. When one job is up I pack all my things and head to the next one.

Sometimes I might take a break and head home for a few weeks, or I might treat myself to a trip to somewhere like Las Vegas or another city I like. Then I go to my next job and the fun starts all over again.

One final thing I really like about seasonal work is that it allows you to really be able to immerse yourself in the place you are working. Instead of visiting Alaska for a week or so like most people, I was able to live there for 4 months and really get to experience it. And I got paid to do it!

So if you are a person who has a desire to travel but has been stressing over the cost of gas, blown tires, oil changes, and all the other headaches that come with a vehicle, please take a moment a do some research on seasonal work. I think it's a great way to travel the U.S. full-time without a car, and it also takes care of the problem of how to make money on the road.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Billy W Mitchell from San Marcos, Texas on February 10, 2019:

I love this article and your YouTube channel. I've applied at a few places for this next season and right now Bryce Canyon, UT and Yellowstone are interviewing me. I have the Bryce Canyon one but I'm holding out for Yellowstone!