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“How do you afford to travel so often?” This is the question I get asked most often. Most people assume that I have a high paying job or must be racking up debt to pay for my trips, but neither of these are true. The simple answer is that I make travel a priority.
Sure, we all have the normal expenses that life throws our way and not much money left afterward. But just because life gets in the way, it doesn’t mean it has to stop you from being able to travel right now. The good news is there are many side jobs and different things a person can do to make extra money to bolster their travel fund. Over the years, I’ve found creative ways — many listed below — to save and make extra money in order to travel more.
Whether you have just one free hour each day or if you are willing to work 40 to 50 hours a week on top of your full-time job, there are many options for you to earn extra money to make your travel dreams come true.
Below are 21 different ways to make extra money so you can travel more often.
1. Sell your stuff – Is your house filled with stuff you never use — or even look at? Truth is, we all have extra things laying around that can be sold for extra money. There are tons of places where you can sell these unused items: eBay, Craigslist, the letgo app, or just have a good-old-fashioned yard sale. You may have some items that aren’t quick sellers, but fortunately there are niche buyback websites that solve this problem: Decluttr will take movies, CDs, video games, cell phones, and other electronics & Bookscouter will relieve you of those old used books you have laying around.
2. Find a part-time job – There are many part-time jobs out there that are willing to be flexible with your schedule at your full-time job. You can find a job local to you or on sites such as Snagajob, Craigslist, Indeed, and so on.
3. Answer surveys – Survey companies are one of my favorite ways to earn extra money. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can, as that way you can receive the most surveys and have the potential to make the most money. Here are my top survey company recommendations:
4. Open a travel savings account – The easiest way to watch your travel fund grow is by setting up a separate savings account solely for any future trips. This method is very simple if your employer offers direct deposit — just have a fixed dollar amount or percentage of your pay go into this account each week. I deposit $60/week into my travel account, which accumulates rather quickly. If you can still live comfortably after calculating your necessary bills and expenses, you’ll find you won’t even miss the small amount of money that’s being tucked away for future adventures.
5. Use Ebates when shopping online – When shopping online, it’s a no-brainer to use a free cash back website like Ebates. The process is very simple: shop through Ebates at your favorite stores, earn cash back on your purchases, receive your check or PayPal payment. Ebates earns money from you shopping through their link and they give you a part of what they receive back as a thank you for using them. You can still use coupons and discounts when shopping as well. Definitely a win-win for everyone! You can sign up for Ebates here.
6. Try InboxDollars – A number of websites out there will pay you to take surveys, play games, shop online, and even just listen to the radio. InboxDollars is one of those companies. It’s free to join, and best of all, you’ll receive $5 just by signing up through my link. InboxDollars just requires you to accumulate $30 in earnings before you can “cash-out”, paying you by check.
7. Eat out less – This one seems pretty obvious, yet we all do it. After a long day, its just so much easier to order out, stop for fast food, or grab dinner with friends. The same goes for that Starbucks we need every morning. Let’s do the math: $5 x 5/week = $25. Instead, buy your coffee at the grocery store and make it at home. My guess is you could easily save $20/week, which over several months can go a LONG way towards that hotel or airfare you wish you could book. Make it a reality!
8. Use the SavvyConnect app – The easiest way to earn an extra $180 is by simply using a platform called SavvyConnect. Just install the software on your devices (phone, tablet, computer) and let it work in the background. While you do your normal internet browsing, it collects anonymous data used for behavioral market research. In return, SavvyConnect will pay you $5 per device, per month — adding up to $180 a year!
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your browsing information, you can also sign up to complete surveys with parent company SurveySavvy — once you fill out your profile, relevant surveys will be sent via email. From my experience, SurveySavvy offers the potential to earn $9-$16 an hour.
9. Sell your photography – Are you a decent photographer? If so, you may be able to sell your images through stock photography sites. A few sites that I contribute to are Shutterstock, iStock, and Dreamstime. Once accepted to the program, each photo you submit will go through an approval process before being added to your portfolio. Stock photography sites can be a great way to earn passive income!
10. Enter contests and giveaways – There’s no guarantee that you will win anything when entering contests, but it is possible. You may win cash, gift cards, vacations, electronics, and more. They key here is to enter as many as you can. I was fortunate enough to win an all-expenses-paid trip to San Antonio a few years ago, so take my word that its worth the time to enter.
11. House sit – Housesitting has become a very popular trend these days. Considering you may be able to stay for free at a nice place in a nice vacation spot, it’s not hard to see why. In most housesitting situations, you will have free accommodations in exchange for performing simple upkeep while the owners are away. Two websites that allow you to housesit are TrustedHousesitters and Housesitters America. You can sign up for TrustedHousesitters here.
12. Use Swagbucks for your online searches – Imagine being rewarded with free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. Well, that’s exactly what Swagbucks does! You’ll earn points for shopping online, watching entertaining videos, searching the web, and answering surveys. Once you have enough points,, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. You’ll receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up through my link!
13. Work overtime – Most companies will offer the chance for overtime to their employees. If this is the case for you, and you’re willing, it could be a great opportunity to set aside a nice chunk of savings for your future travels. Really, what’s an extra hour or two when you’re already there?
14. Become an Uber driver – Does setting your own work schedule sound appealing? Then becoming an Uber driver could be right for you. If you want to give it a try, here are a few things to keep in mind: you must be at least 21 years old, have three years of driving experience, have an in-state driver’s license, a clean driving record and be able to pass a criminal background check. After passing all that, you’ll have the luxury of simply signing into the app whenever you feel like working. Spending your spare time by driving others around can be a great money maker.
15. Stop deleting emails – This sounds silly, right? Well, there’s a tool called Paribus that will get you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it scans your email archives for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Amazon, Target, or any of the other 16 retailers listed on its website, Paribus will track the item’s price and issue you a refund if there’s a price drop. Sounds pretty awesome to me!
16. Open an Etsy shop – Etsy is a great place to sell vintage and handmade goods. Are you good at hunting for vintage items or a crafty person? If so, you should absolutely consider starting your own shop! You can find my Etsy shop of vintage cameras here.
17. Donate plasma – This was a decent source of income during my poor-college-student days. Plasma Donation Centers can pay $50+ (if you donate twice a week) and have locations all over the United States.
18. Install ShopTracker – Are you a regular Amazon shopper? If so, you can earn money each month contributing to research that helps companies understand what people are buying online. Download ShopTracker, connect the app to your Amazon account, and the company will instantly send you a $3 Visa gift card. You can earn an additional $3 for each month you leave ShopTracker installed, for a total of $39 a year. Last I checked, $39 is more than $0!
19. Rent out a room – If you have extra space in your home, then you may want to put it to good use by renting it out for extra income. Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO are just a few sites that allow you to rent out a spare room in your home.
20. Become a virtual assistant – A virtual assistant helps a business run more smoothly. You can be contracted for one project or it can be a continuing job such as replying to e-mails and comments. Plain and simple, the work asked of a virtual assistant can vary greatly. You can apply to become a VA on sites like Upwork, Indeed, or VirtualAssistants.
21. Pet sit – Are you a dog lover? One common way to earn extra money is by dog sitting/walking. Rover is one popular website that connects dog owners with animal lovers that are willing to take care of their pet. Why not sign up and get paid to make some new furry friends?
As you can see, there are numerous creative ways to make extra money to fund your travels. So what are you waiting for? Start earning that extra travel money!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on them, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting me in this way! Please read my disclosure for more info.
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