Lets face it, travel (even short trips) is expensive. If you are anything like me, you don’t just have piles of money laying around your house. There are ways you can make travel money in your spare time that will make it easier to go on an adventure when you want to! Everyone can do at least a few of these things to earn some extra cash. This Post contains affiliate links.
Earn Travel Money in your Spare Time!
The first thing to look at is your current budget. The easiest money to use for travel is money you are already making. You may find after crunching the numbers that you can not afford to travel right now, and that is okay. Being debt free and financially independent is much more important than travel (to me anyway). Once you pay off your debt, the money you used to spend on interest payments is yours to do with as you please again!
There are only two things you can do with money earn it or spend it. A budget is just a written plan of how you are going to do those things. Dave Ramsey has written some excellent books about budgeting. His philosophy is simple and rooted in common sense. He lays out his plan in steps that are easy to follow and help you stay motivated during the process of budgeting and getting out of debt.
Create and Manage a Blog
Creating a blog is another great way to make some side money. It is not easy, and takes a lot of time before you start earning an income. Setting up a blog is a simple process these days. Although there are free options out there such as Blogger and WordPress.com, I highly recommend self hosting your blog and using WordPress as a Content Management System. I know that sounds complicated, but it isn’t.
Step one to blogging is finding a domain name and purchasing it. You want a domain that reflects your brand and that people will be able to identify with your subject matter. For example, You don’t want to purchase eatchoclatecake.com if your blog is about Ice Fishing in Wisconsin. It just wouldn’t make sense, right?
Purchasing hosting is the second step and can often be combined with your domain purchase. Think of the hosting company as the mall where your store (domain) is located. I used HostGator to purchase my domain and for my hosting. They had a deal that appealed to me, and I have been quite happy with my service. You can get a pretty good deal too! Save Up to 30% on all New Hosting Packages with code: SNAPPYDAY from HostGator.com today! Act Fast!
After you purchase hosting and your website is live you will receive instructions to access your CPanel. From here, you will install WordPress. This is usually a very easy process and only needs one or two clicks of the mouse to make it happen. WordPress is a Content Management System, but continuing the theme of mall and store, I like to think of it as the racks and shelves for my products.
Once WordPress is installed on your domain you will need to select a theme. There are thousands of themes to choose from. Some are free and some cost hundreds of dollars, it is up to you what you spend, but be certain to purchase from a vendor that you trust. Themes control the appearance of your website and allow you to customize it to meet your needs. One of the best places to purchase a theme is StudioPress.com. You can get the Genesis Framework there and build your site quickly and easily from it.
This is the most important thing you will do for your blog. If your content isn’t good your blog will not last and you won’t earn any travel money. Think about what you read when you are online. If something has a lot of spelling errors, doesn’t convey its message well, or is just plain wrong, you probably won’t finish reading or return to the site in the future. Make sure what you are giving your readers is valuable.
Marketing and SEO
So how do you get your blog seen? This is probably the hardest part of blogging. Social Media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and persistence are key. There is no way I can give you all of the information about Social Media Marketing and SEO in a single post. It is a complex topic with entire blogs dedicated to it. I will give some basic recommendations though.
Use every platform that makes sense for your message. I use a Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon. I also recommend that you use some sort of scheduler for these accounts. There are a lot of these out there and all of them have pros and cons. I use Buffer, Facebook’s native Scheduler, and I am considering adding Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest.
This is what you’re here for right? There are a lot of ways to get paid for blogging from advertising programs like Google’s AdSense to Affiliate programs that you earn a commission from promoting products. Starting with AdSense is not going to earn you much money. You need to have a lot of monthly page views before AdSense will earn much for you.
Affiliate programs are where you will get paid the fastest. They typically work by providing you with a link to a product which you will share in your blog. When someone clicks that link, a cookie is placed on their computer for a certain amount of time. If they purchase the product (or in some cases any product from that site) you get paid a commission. Sweet deal right! My favorite programs are Shareasale.com, Amazon Associates, and Affiliate Window (where you can sign up to be an Etsy Affiliate).
Sell your Stuff on Ebay
I know you have some junk around your house that you don’t want any more. Sell it. Selling on Ebay is not hard, and it is a great way to eliminate junk and make some travel money. Start by creating a seller account. Next take good pictures of the items you want to sell (including things that may be wrong with the item). Create your listing with a good accurate title, and an accurate description of the item including problems. Sellers don’t like surprises so it is very important that you let them know up front the condition of the item they are buying. I recommend setting up a PayPal account and tying it to your Ebay account to accept payment. It makes things a lot easier.
Once a buyer has paid for the item, its time to ship it to them. The quicker you do this, the better your ratings will be, so do it asap! Remember that buyers expect you to provide as good of customer service as any other online retailer and will give you negative reviews if you don’t. Bad reviews keep people from buying from you, and that keeps you from earning travel money.
Sell your Big Stuff Locally
There are somethings that you will not want to sell on Ebay. Heavy items that cost a lot to ship are probably better to list on local Facebook buy and sell groups, craigslist, or even your local newspapers classifieds if they are free. Just be sure that you do this carefully. When you meet the person to exchange the item and money, do it in a safe well lit area. Check your local police office, some of them have set up safe zones for people to do this kind of thing. It is never a bad idea to bring a friend along for these situations as well.
If you have a lot of large items, consider having a garage sale! You can bring in some really good money on a busy Saturday. You might earn enough to fund a weekend get away!
Sell Your Crafty Stuff Etsy
If you are crafty or make your own products, you can sell them on Etsy. Etsy is a great way to get your products in front of a lot of people who would be interested in them.
Did you know you can make money driving strangers around your town? You can work on your own schedule and bring in a decent amount of travel money! Ride Share services like Uber allow you to use your car and drive people around on your earning money that is deposited weekly into your account. It is easy to sign up and get started.
Rent out Your House
If you have a vacant bedroom and are open to having strangers stay in it, you can make some decent money renting it out on AirBnb. You can also rent out your entire house short term using VRBO. This is also a great site to save money on your travel accommodations.
Leverage your Talents
There are things you are good at that other people are not. It might be photography, web design,social media management, writing or any number of other skills, but you can get paid for them. Here are some great resources I have used to make some travel money freelancing.
Fiverr is a great site to do small tasks for a little bit of extra travel money. People are usually looking business services on Fiverr such as logo design, Simple Photography Projects, and some freelance writing. It is also a pretty good place to outsource some of your work if you are overloaded.
UpWork is one of the largest freelance market places out there. It is a great place to get work for everything from Web Development to Sales and Marketing. It can be hard to get started here, there is a lot of competition. Make sure you have a detailed profile, and when you bid on a job, read the job you are bidding on (they sometimes add questions they want answered in the description).
Stock and Photography
Magazines, newspapers, and all kinds of other content creators use stock photos for their publications. If you are a photographer these stock sites are great places to license your work to people you normally would not be able to reach on your own. Check out Shutterstock and iStock for a good starting point.
Get Paid for Doing Surveys
There is another way you can make a little travel money in your spare time, and that is answering surveys and watching videos. You will not get rich doing this, but it can bring in a few extra bucks here and there. I use Swagbucks occasionally, and have earned enough to buy a few gifts here and there. You earn points by completing surveys and you can trade them in for payment on Paypal or gift cards.
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com
Start Thinking About a New Career
Earlier I said there are only really two things you can do with money, spend it and earn it. Sometimes you have to change what you earn to make things work. Career changes are scary because they push us out of our comfort zone, but sometimes it is really the only way to move forward. So, if you hate your job, aren’t making enough money, or are just looking for a new challenge, a new career may be just the ticket! Take some time and update your resume, or get some professional help with that at ResumeWriters.com, and start applying for new jobs that you think you would like. You might land something that lets you earn a lot more travel money!
So There You Go!
These are our favorite ways to earn travel money, what are yours? If you put enough of these little side gigs together, you can pay for a nice trip pretty quickly!