Editor's note: As I get ready to head out on holiday for two solid months, I appreciate the help with guest posts I've been getting. I love this on how to make money on vacation since I plan to keep earning money while on the road.
I know many people who balance life on a one-job, earn-and-spend cycle. They get a paycheck, pay bills, save a little. Get another paycheck, pay bills, save a little more. Then after about six months of this, they go on vacation, spend all their savings, and start all over again. I managed my money like this for years, but after reading all I could on financial freedom and security, I found that having multiple income sources allowed me the freedom to do a lot more than I could on just one.
When I locked into my rental property, I wanted a way to offset the new mortgage, and though I had a new expense in my monthly budget, I still wanted to continue with my creative ?side projects? and go on vacation in a few months. I found that adding in a few supplemental income sources while on vacation allowed me to travel and have fun without the significant financial hit to my budget.
To buffer vacation costs, or even just splurge a little more on dinner or activities in your travels, plan ahead and try some of these money-making tips for your next getaway.
Review Your Destination?s Attractions
If you like to write, or have a good handle on social media, reduce costs on your trip by reviewing the local attractions through a blog or social media. You not only get to experience the local flavors, but if you email the local businesses ahead of time, you may get a discount or two on food, lodging, or activities.
Often times, in exchange for media publicity, a good TripAdvisor review or Yelp shout-out, local businesses will offer reduced rates, free meals, or coupons to come in and try their products or services. Just be tactful. Begging for hand-outs is a huge turn-off with businesses, and worse, could land you a negative reputation in the area.
All it takes is a quick email to tell them you're visiting the area and would love to try out their products or services, and write about the experience. You might even ask about their signature item or service, and that you look forward to the visit. If starting a blog isn?t your thing, check there are several secret shopper programs on secret shopper that offer a more ?discrete? review medium.
Make Your Home a Sought After Get-Away
For many frequent travelers, the convenience of online vacation rental sites like Airbnb and Home Away presents a great opportunity to rent out their homes to travelers. Especially if you are away for an extended period of time, or around a major holiday, consider renting your home.
If this is a good option for your travel needs, be sure to note some helpful guidelines and worthwhile options beforehand:
- Research your area to learn if your type of home is on the approved list for this service. Some cities have strict guidelines regarding temporary home rentals. Find one or two sites that you trust and sign up for a ?profile?.
- Always vet any short or long-term tenants. While Airbnb offers insurance for rental home use, it still pays to use screening services to get background information on potential tenants before the damage is done. Here is a great resource for learning about the benefits of additional background checks.
- The most effective listings typically feature several well-taken photos in their listings. It?s the only thing renters have to go on, so it pays to have fantastic visuals to attract your renters.
- Create a pdf of the local amenities in your area. Help your potential guest imagine the convenience of their stay with guided information about the best places for food, entertainment and transportation options.
- Check the renter market and adjust your prices competitively to stay on par with local hotels and rentals in your area during peak, holiday and convention times.
- Be sure to have your space clean, well-kept, and stocked with treats, toiletries and fresh linens to keep your guests comfortable. Many items are available in bulk at wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam?s Club, and the expense and effort is a small price to pay in exchange for outstanding reviews and repeat business.
If you can?t rent your entire space, consider renting a single room in your home. When living in the same space as another person, the safety of both your family and the renter is the top priority. I suggest staying off Craigslist to find a renter and stick to the big sites like Zillow, Airbnb, or Home Away. ?Remember this project may turn into a home business, so always be professional, courteous, and kind to any renter.
Take Up Dog Walking
If you like to enjoy the outdoors, bond with a furry companion, and offset vacation expenses, dog walking services might be the perfect fit. Sites like Sitter City, Craigslist, Thumbtack, Rover or Care.com list dog walking services for many cities.
To gain experience and references, offer your dog walking services at home first. Once you feel comfortable and capable that you know the ropes, professional terminology and business-handling details, it?s time to research your vacation spot.
Learn the vacation area?s pet hospitals and vet clinics, as well as any dog parks and pet walking hotspots, then shortly before your trip, post your listing. Get a few nice pet toys and necessary accessories, like leashes, harnesses or treats, and you?re ready to hit the road. A great resource can be found here; it has a lot of additional information to get you started.
Schedule a Meet-Up at Your Destination
Whether you?re traveling alone or in a group, hosting a meet-up in your vacation city is a fun way to meet new people, see the world, and gather a little pocket change. Online meeting sites such as Meetup or WithLocals make it easy to plan a special interest event, dinner engagement, or attraction visit. It typically costs money to post listings on sites, and because many site users know this and are happy to pay a small fee to join the meet-up, you can get paid to host an event.
When planning your outing, make getting together easy for your attendees with helpful transportation information such as bus routes, landmarks and event details. Communicate clearly that a fee or donation will be expected to attend. Some meet up groups expect this and some don?t, so it helps to tell your attendees what you expect. Perhaps most important, have fun with your new friends! Here is a great resource to get you started with the basics of hosting a group event.
Show Off Your Talents at a Venue
Are you a singer, a dancer, or poet? Can you stand up on stage and make people laugh? If you?re the performing type and love to get up on stage in front of people, take advantage of your talents, and show everyone what you can do.
Before you travel, look up the smaller local performance venues and offer your skills on location. I have done this with a local stand-up comedy bar, and while the return was only $20 bucks and a free meal, it was a lot of fun, and something exciting and new to do on vacation.
With the internet, so many options are available to make money while on vacation. It only takes forethought, creativity, and the willingness to do your homework to make it happen. With these money-making tips, it?s absolutely possible to take that trip, enjoy some added luxuries on your getaway, and still stick to your budget.