A savvy traveler with more wanderlust than money knows how to find the best deals on airfare and lodging and how to put aside money to pay for those things. Planning a vacation takes thoughtful budgeting. Here are some creative ways to make extra money to help finance your next trip.
1. Sell the stuff you never use
If you haven’t worn it or used it in a year’s time, and it doesn’t hold any nostalgic value, consider selling it. Furniture, clothing or a treadmill that’s taking up space in your guest room can all find a new home. You’re more likely to clear out your stuff using Craigslist or eBay than by holding a yard sale — if for no other reason than you don’t have to contend with the weather or drag everything onto the lawn. When selling online, be sure to be honest about the quality of your items, leave room for negotiation on price, and plan meetings with buyers in public places during the day.
2. Get paid to house sit or take care of pets
Friends and family likely are traveling this summer and that means you might be able to make money by watering plants, picking up the mail and walking the dog while they’re gone. For example, pet sitters at Care.com, a website that helps babysitters, housekeepers and others find work, advertise rates of $10 to $30 an hour, depending on location. When setting your rates, check to see what similar tasks are going for in your area. Use your social media networks to advertise your availability, since most people would prefer to hire someone they know, or at least a friend of a friend, to take care of their personal space or furry companion.
3. Make money on your car
Most people just spend money on their cars, but services like Getaround help you to make money on your car, too. Getaround helps owners rent out their vehicles when they’re not in use. Getaround reports that, on average, owners take home over $500 in net earnings each month.
Here’s how it works: When your car is rented, you get 60% of the rental price, and the company takes 40%. Getaround’s insurance covers vehicles during the rental, but you’ll have to also maintain your own personal auto insurance coverage.
If you’re not in a city where Getaround or similar services are available or if you don’t have a car, consider renting the parking spot in front of your home or in your driveway. This is especially useful for city-dwellers, where parking is at a premium. SPOT is an online service that makes renting your unused space easier.
4. Sign up as a rideshare driver
If you would rather be the one behind your wheel, consider working as a rideshare driver. Drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft can set their own hours, which makes it a gig that’s great for someone with unpredictable availability or a full-time job. The laws surrounding ridesharing insurance on these vehicles can be tricky, so do your research and compare rates and policy features from different carriers.
5. Rent out your home
Consider earning travel money while you’re traveling. Make money while you’re gone by renting out your room, apartment or home to other travelers. Depending on the season and where you live, you could even earn enough to make your mortgage payment, according to a NerdWallet analysis. You may need to enlist a friend or family member to greet your guests, provide keys and answer questions on-site, but it could be worth the cost, especially if the rental earns you enough to take your next trip. Services such as Airbnb and HomeAway help travelers find private lodging.
Elizabeth Renter is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ElizabethRenter.