We’re Roadtrip Nation, and we help people find what they like to do and turn it into work they love. We make documentaries for public television, create educational resources, and have a best-selling career guide. Also, we’ve been doing this filmed road trip thing for over 15 years, so we’ve sent hundreds of young people like you out in the green RV to talk to their heroes, job-crushes, and anyone who has defined success and happiness for themselves.
Hitting the road to find the people who have shed expectations and defined career and life success for themselves, then sitting down with them to ask how they did it, what their struggles have been, and what advice they have for others. The road trip is also about your personal journey, so make sure you’re comfortable talking about that on camera. Footage from the road may become part of our documentaries on public television or educational resources, which will follow your journey and highlight stories from the people you interview.
It depends on the trip you’re applying for, but it can be anywhere from one to five weeks. You must be able to commit to the entire trip. Check our Apply page to get the approximate dates of the trip you’re applying for.
Interviewing inspiring people, driving the RV from place to place, reflecting on the journey on camera, and exploring along the way.
Glad you asked! No, the roadtrippers are joined by two Roadtrip Nation crew members who film the experience. The Roadtrip Nation crew that comes on the road with you aren’t just observers; they’ll be part of your family on the road, helping to facilitate the trip and guide you along the way.
The route depends on the theme of the road trip; some are shorter regional trips in one area of the country, and some go across the country. Roadtrippers and Roadtrip Nation work together to schedule interviews and plan the trip.
We’ve had a couple special road trips abroad, but we typically stay within the United States. Keep an eye out, though, because we’re always doing new things!
About two months before the trip, you’ll start having weekly video calls with your two fellow roadtrippers and the Roadtrip Nation crew. This is when you’ll start researching and trip-planning.
Applying for a Roadtrip
By filling out our online application. Each road trip application is slightly different; check them all out here.
The road trip application usually has two rounds. In the first round, we’ll just ask some basic questions like your name, email, and why you want to hit the road with us. Applicants who move on to Round 2 will be asked to make a short video answering a few more questions. (Don’t worry, we’re not looking for anything fancy, we just want to learn more about you and get a sense of your personality!) We may follow up on the phone with selected applicants to talk a bit more.
Individuals who are driven, candid, and genuine, and who are ready to hit the road with us and share their personal stories on camera and with other people. This road trip typically isn’t the right fit for those who are camera-shy. You should also be up for a challenge and open to new experiences, and able to work well as part of a team.
It varies from trip to trip. Check the specifics of the trip you’re applying for.
A driver’s license is preferred, but not necessary.
Usually, no; but check the specific eligibility requirements of the trip you’re applying for.
Check the Apply page for info regarding dates for your specific trip.
Roadtrip Nation Interviews & Filming
Roadtrip Nation plans the broad route and roadtrippers will work with Roadtrip Nation to find and book individuals to interview.
Anyone whose work inspires you, or whose life journey you want to know more about. We aim to gather diverse viewpoints from all kinds of people in all kinds of jobs all over the country—in our more than 15 years, we’ve interviewed everyone from CEOs to camel ranchers. Many of our trips have a specific mission or theme—whether it’s sharing stories from underrepresented groups in tech, exploring what it means to be a teacher, or illuminating the inspiring stories of professionals with learning and attention issues. But through all of these trips, we’re seeking the people who have defined success for themselves and asking how they did it.
Not at all. We want you to interview people whose work or life path resonates with you, and who have an interesting story to tell.
It depends on the length of the trip, but anywhere from 5 to 20.
The roadtrippers each bring their own ideas of the people they’d like to interview, then Roadtrip Nation’s talent producers lead the process.
Expect the cameras to be on from when you wake up until you go to sleep—but that’s not always the case. There will be two Roadtrip Nation crew members filming, but the most active filming days will be when you’re in a place where you have interviews. There are long drives where you’ll have time to reflect, read, write, etc. (if you’re not on driving duty, that is), plus a few break days where you can adventure out on your own. In addition to being filmed for interviews and during the day to day of the trip, you’ll sit down in front of the camera every few days with the Roadtrip Nation crew to talk about insights from the interviews.
There’ll be two Roadtrip Nation crew members along to do the filming, but you’re still an active participant in that process—you’ll be narrating your thoughts and experiences for the camera. The two Roadtrip Nation crew members will also fly to your hometown for a couple days to capture where you come from and more of your story before you hit the road.
Life on the Road
Days on the road are typically jam-packed with interviews and other exciting activities, like spending a couple hours looking for an NYC parking spot big enough to fit the green RV. To give you an idea, here’s a pretty average day on the road:
- 7:30 a.m.: Cameras on. Wake up in the RV. Make breakfast.
- 8:30 a.m.: Driving/navigating to your first interview of the day.
- 10:00 a.m.: Interview.
- 12:00 p.m.: Post-interview filming and reflection.
- 12:30 p.m.: Grab a quick lunch and back on the road again.
- 2:00 p.m.: Interview.
- 4:00 p.m.: Post-interview filming and reflection.
- 4:30 p.m.: Check out the city and eat dinner, or make dinner in the RV.
- 6:00 p.m.: Drive 200 miles to the next city.
- 10:00 p.m.: Find a place to spend the night.
- 11:00 p.m.: Bed. Cameras off.
You won’t have interviews every day; there will be days when you’ll have something else to do instead, like take a long, scenic drive to your next destination. Plus, there are a few break days where you can do your own thing. But the main purpose of the trip is the interviews, so most days are spent meeting and talking to the people you’ve booked interviews with or traveling to get to the next interview. We also schedule days here and there to check out a city or national park and participate in other activities like rafting or skydiving. Experiencing new places and things is a crucial part of the journey, so we make some time for it when we can.
That would be you! The roadtrippers are the ones behind the wheel, but fear not, you’ll have a training course in RV operation taught by some of the most skilled RV drivers this side of the Mississippi!
It’s rare, but traveling in an RV for thousands of miles means there could be a flat tire, busted hose, or something else that needs to be fixed. If this happens, Roadtrip Nation covers the cost of repairs.
Of course! That’s half the fun. The green RV will be your home sweet home throughout the trip
Over the course of the road trip, we stay in RV parks or campsites when we can, but we’ve also been known to sleep in neighborhoods, store parking lots, rest stops, etc. That’s what RVers call “boondocking,” which means parking wherever it’s legal, safe, and convenient.
Umm...no. We’re not a reality competition show, if that’s what you’re asking!
Costs on the Road
Nope, it’s free. Roadtrip Nation will also fly you to and from the start and end points of the trip.
Roadtrip Nation pays for all travel expenses—fuel, RV maintenance, tolls, flights, etc. Roadtrippers also receive a small daily stipend for food.
Life After the Road Trip
You’ll say goodbye to your Roadtrip Nation team and fellow roadtrippers and we pay your way home. Hopefully, the stories and advice you’ve collected on the road will give you a clearer sense of what you want from your life and what matters to you. Some of our past roadtrippers have hit the road with us again, this time as brand ambassadors, or “Roadies,” sharing Roadtrip Nation stories at schools around the country; some have even come to work for us. There’s no one clear path post-road trip, but we hope that the experiences and lessons from the road stick with you and help you determine what’s next.
Meanwhile, we’ll get back to the office and get to work putting together the footage from your road trip. We also check in with past roadtrippers from time to time to see what they’re up to—so we hope you’ll keep in touch and let us know what you’re doing!
Well, we hope you’ll tell everyone how amazing the adventure was, but nothing is technically required. Some of our roadtrippers have been invited to conferences and events to speak about the experience and help inspire other students and young people. What many of our roadtrippers have learned is that, just as they were inspired by the stories they heard on the road trip, sharing their own journeys can help other young people discover what’s possible, too.