How my website income funds our great Australian road trip

22 June 2024

  • Annette and Kevin took the opportunity for semi-retirement, caravanning across Australia while bringing in an income stream that means they haven’t had to adjust their spending habits
  • Annette’s travel website brings in more than her previous nine-to-five job. They also rent out their Gold Coast apartment and Kevin remotely manages his fine foods business
  • They enjoy a relaxed, spontaneous lifestyle and recommend staying a week in each location to fully experience it and manage fuel costs
  • Annette’s top tips for living life on the road include customising your caravan to suit your needs and maintaining some flexible work to avoid dipping too much into your super

It’s hard to keep up with the Joneses when they’re constantly on the road, ticking off big Aussie bucket-list items while still bringing in a liveable wage from flexible work. Annette Jones and her partner, Kevin, didn’t exactly plan for the semi-retirement kind of life but when opportunity came knocking, they packed their bags and haven’t looked back.

Before they hit the road, Annette and Kevin were planning a big overseas trip that came to a halt during the pandemic. Not to be deterred, they switched gears and plotted a great Australian road trip instead. The following year, tragedy struck when Annette’s beloved mother passed away. Annette decided to do something meaningful and life-changing with her inheritance. She bought the travel and caravanning website All Around Oz and used it to document their cross-country travels and share tips and tricks as they go.

Soon, the website – thanks to affiliate marketing – was bringing in more income than her nine-to-five job, making semi-retirement an easy decision. 

Video: Narelda Jacobs meets a semi-retired couple living their dream of caravanning around Australia and discovers what it took for them to make it happen

How the Joneses earn money while travelling

No fixed address? No problem. It’s all about thinking outside the box. Annette and Kevin generate passive income by renting out their apartment on the Gold Coast. Annette continues to bring in a steady income through her website and Kevin owns a fine foods business on the Gold Coast with his brother, which he can help operate remotely. 

The benefits of living on the road

Annette and Kevin are humble when they admit they live in a pretty much constant state of relaxation. “We choose the next destination by the feel of the place, usually the night before we leave the current place,” says Annette. Their advice is to stay in each location for about a week to truly experience it and to keep fuel costs down (fuel is the biggest cost outside of the caravan and tow vehicle). For Kevin, living on the road means “having time to finish novels again”.

Annette living life on their road trip around Australia

Annette’s tips for living on the road

Do your research

It can feel overwhelming to leave your lifestyle behind and take to the road, but Annette’s advice is to “take it one step at a time. Start with the caravan, then think about the car and everything else will fall in place. You’re learning all the time. There’s no hurry. In that first week after you take off, pick a spot and try to stay there for a week so you can just relax”. 

Know the caravan set-up you want

The couple customised their caravan to suit their lifestyle and personal taste. Its minimalist beige, grey and white palette makes it feel like a luxurious holiday home on wheels. They’ve utilised clever storage options – not a single inch of space has been wasted – and even have hot water, solar on the roof and gasless stovetop cooking.

Avoid taking too much from your super

“We don’t have all those bills, like electricity or gas,” says Annette. And by taking a sideways step out of the rat race and cultivating a passive income stream, flexible working while you travel can be a great way to bring in funds without completely relying on your super before you need to.

To access guides on how super works and what you can do to prepare for retirement visit our CommBank Essential Super Learning hub.

Things you should know

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