Did you know that it’s possible to make money while you travel? Whether you’ll be gone for 3 days or 3 years, there are a variety of hacks you can use to make money during your next trip. Maybe even pay for it!
Of course, no one is going to pay you to sit and do nothing. So if you want to actually earn money while you’re traveling you’re going to have to put a little time into it. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be boring or overly time consuming. In fact, some of these activities can literally take 5 minutes and earn (or save) a few hundred bucks.
Here’s a list of ways to make money before and during your next trip. One of these ideas is bound to benefit you!
1. Buy everything on a rewards credit card
I love my Chase Sapphire credit card. Why? Because it gives me double points for every dollar I spend on travel and restaurants – and I can transfer those points to United or Southwest Airlines, or turn them into cash.
But that’s not my only card (I have a plethora). Using these travel credit cards to book travel actually helps me earn extra points towards making my next trip free. From free airfare to Europe, to two week so free lodging, these travel cards have provided me with a wide range of benefits!
Whether booking a hotel, buying a plane tickets, or picking up train tickets, using reward credit cards will help you make money every time you spend it.
2. Make your travel purchase through Ebates
Ebates is a cashback platform that allows you to make money every time you make a purchase – from virtually any store online. This includes Hotels.com, Expedia, and Groupon Travel.
Before making any purchase, go through the Ebates portal and receive money back for every purchase. When my wife and I traveled Europe I made close to $50 – just by booking hotels and travel through their platform.
How does it work? In short, businesses pay people to refer customers to them (that’s how Google, YouTube, and most blogs make money). Ebates simply pays some of that referral money back to its users.
If this sounds appealing to you, use this link to get $10 cash just for signing up!
3. Rent out your home on AirBnB
AirBnB is the world’s largest “hotel”, where individuals post anything from spare rooms to their entire house as a rental for travelers. With over 2 million listings around the world, it’s a great place to find lodging for less than it might cost from a hotel or traditional rental services.
How does this help you while you’re traveling? Rent out your own home while you’re gone!
Although this works out best for long-term trips, you can still post your house to see if anyone wants to rent it for the weekend while you’re away. Because AirBnB offers $1 million in insurance protection, you really have nothing to worry about. Pay a friend a few dollars to let the people in and make anywhere from $50-2,000 a night from your home.
Finally, if you sign up now you can take advantage of the $40 sign up bonus AirBnB currently provides!
4. Rent out your vehicle on Turo
When traveling abroad you certainly don’t need to use your car. Why let it get dusty in your garage, or worse, pay $20/day for it to sit in the airport parking lot?
Turo is another great sharing economy tool where people can rent out their vehicles to each other! Like AirBnB, Turo has $1 million in insurance coverage, so renting your car out on the website is completely safe.
You can use Turo two ways. First, if you have someone able to watch your car, you can rent it out directly to individuals and make anywhere from $20-50/day by renting your car.
Second, if you need to have your car at the airport, Turo will let you leave your car with them at the airport for free and pay you if it gets rented out while you’re away. Parking that pays you – that’s not something anyone expected to see several years ago.
As with the websites above, Turo as a special signup bonus of a $25 credit if you use this link.
5. Make a few extra bucks by selling gigs on Fiverr
I’ve been using Fiverr for a good five years now – and it’s awesome! Priding itself in being the world’s largest marketplace for microjobs, you can sell or buy just about any service on Fiverr – starting at just $5.
How can this help you while traveling? Well, you can make a few extra dollars doing something that takes very little work (if done correctly). Although you don’t want to use Fiverr to sell articles or other projects that will take you an hour+, it’s a great place to sell digital products or micro-tasks.
For example, I offer to tweet out sweepstakes from one of my Twitter accounts for $5. When someone orders the gig, I quickly send out their little Twitter message and BAM! I’ve made a few dollars.
Fiverr won’t make most of us rich overnight (although there are some people who make $4k+ a month from the site), but it’s a great way to make a few extra dollars while sitting in airports, trains, or hotel rooms.
If you’d like to get started with Fiverr, use this link to get your first $5 gig for FREE. Then, check out the site and see what you could start selling.
6. Make REAL money by freelancing on Upwork
Upwork is the world’s leading freelance marketplace. In fact, for the content writing and marketing that I do, I find close to 75% of my clients through Upwork.
Now, for a weekend trip you probably don’t want to try to work on Upwork, as many of the projects are more involved and time consuming.
However, if you’re looking for a way to make some serious cash while traveling the world as a digital nomad, then by all means, Upwork is the first place you should go. Get started by reading my tips for success on Upwork.
You can use virtually any skill to earn on Upwork – from writing, to marketing, to design, to Excel workbook editing.
7. Exchange work for lodging with Work Away
Another fantastic website for global travelers on a budget (or those simply looking for an authentic experience) is workaway.info.
This is a community where hosts providing lodging and food in exchange for 15-20 hours of work a week. So, if you combine this with the reward points from the Chase Sapphire offer above, you’ll find yourself spending months traveling – without paying a penny!
Although you aren’t really making money (like the other items on the list), you are saving it. And, as Franklin says, “a penny saved is a penny earned”!
If you visit the website you’ll see that there are a plethora of options, including positions like:
- Working the front desk of a hostel.
- Taking care of animals on a farm.
- Teaching people English.
- Making meals for a family.
And many, many more. Ultimately, if you want to integrate yourself with the location you’re visiting, and save some money in the process, Work Away is a great choice.
8. Teach people (anything) in-person
If you’re interested in spending a longer timeframe abroad, a great way to pay for your travel is to teach!
The most common type of teaching for Westerner’s is English. It doesn’t take much to become qualified to teach ESL. And, once you start, you can easily make $5-50/hr depending on where you are and what type of English you teach.
But English isn’t your only option. If you are great at surfing, yoga, marketing, or cooking, you could actually get paid to teach others how to do what you do so well.
When my wife and I were in Italy, we took a tour with a guide from Boston. He simply went over to Italy because he loved the culture, and now he provides tours to visitors. Although some people prefer to sightsee with locals, there are others who feel more comfortable interacting with Westerners (their loss and your gain!).
9. Sell stock photos
Many people love taking pictures while they travel. From the sunsets, to the scenery, to the people and animals, new locations have a lot to offer.
If you enjoy taking photos, you may be able to earn a few extra dollars by posting them on websites like Shutterstock – where you’ll receive a small payout every time someone downloads and uses your images.
Although it takes a lot to become independently wealthy from selling stock photos (as you’ll only make $0.25-$1.00 on each sale, it’s still a fun way to earn some cash. And once you make that first sale you can start telling people you’re a paid photographer (something that many “pros” struggle to say).
10. Develop and sell an ebook about your travels
Thanks to the ability to self publish on Amazon, it’s easier than ever to become an author – and actually make money from it!
Whether you’re interested in writing a memoir about your trip, a guidebook for future travelers, or a photo book to share with enthusiasts, with minimal effort you can produce an ebook able to be sold online.
While it does take a bit of effort, and might be challenging to do on a short trip, it’s not nearly as difficult as it was 10 years ago. Everyday there are more people who pay for their global meanderings thanks to the royalties from their books.
I hope this list has provided you with some insights and motivation to plan your next trip – very inexpensively. If you’ve noticed any ideas that I’ve left out, feel free to recommend them below.
Additionally, if you’ve used any of these methods, share your experiences in the comments – it’s always an inspiration to see how you make money while you travel.