6 smart summer side hustles: Some can pay $85 per hour or more

Google spreadsheets "are actually very popular" to sell on Etsy.


As local economies continue to open up, summer activities like travel, weddings, and camping are poised for a surge.

More than 7 in 10 American travelers (72%) are planning a summer vacation or getaway, according to U.S. Travel's Travel Recovery Insights Dashboard. Nearly half, 47%, of couples who planned to have weddings in 2020 have rescheduled their celebration to 2021 or later, according to The Knot. That's on top of all of the weddings already planned for 2021.

And more than half of baby boomers (51%), Gen Xers (57%), and millennials (56%) who identify as campers plan to increase their camping trips in 2021, according to Kampgrounds of America's recent North American Camping Report.

For anyone looking to make some extra cash this summer, a lot of these activities will offer opportunities to do so. Here are six summer side hustles to consider.

1. Work at a national park

Popular national parks like Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, and Acadia are poised for a surge of visitors in summer 2021.

Given ongoing pandemic restrictions and people's urge to get out of the house and travel, "our national park lodges continue to see great demand, and we are sold out for most dates throughout the summer and early fall," Betsy O'Rourke, chief marketing officer at hotel owner Xanterra Travel Collection, previously told Grow.

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To manage the crowds, parks big and small throughout the country will likely offer a slew of work opportunities over the summer. Try "working in resorts with companies like CoolWorks or Xanterra Jobs," says Kathy Kristof, founder of SideHusl.com. CoolWorks lists outdoor jobs like those at parks and ski resorts, and Xanterra Jobs features jobs in parks and lodges.

Current listings on CoolWorks include retail supervisor for $13 per hour; listings on Xanterra Jobs include night auditor for $11 per hour.

2. Help people move

More than 1 in 10 Americans (11%), say they have already moved in the past year, according to an April 2021 survey by Zillow. "Moving is also hot in the summer," says Kristof.

Consider signing up to be a mover on sites like Dolly, which says its movers make $15 per hour or more, or GoShare, which says movers can make an average of between $36 and $85 per hour, depending on their vehicle.

3. Rent out your space

With many keen to put on and attend events this summer while some restrictions are still in place, people will likely be looking for unconventional venues to hold meetings, throw small parties, and celebrate birthdays. If you have a space ― indoor or outdoor ― that you think people could safely use for an event, consider listing it on one of the following sites.

  • Peerspace lets people list their spaces for anything from a meeting to a photo shoot to a baby shower. Spaces go for a range of prices, from $25 per hour for a conference room in Los Angeles to $200 per hour for a game room in Denver. Note that the site charges a 15% fee for all transactions.
  • Spacehuntr, which aims to be the Airbnb of event spaces, has been listing spaces in Europe since 2018. They're working on opening up the site to U.S.-based venues, starting in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. A New York City space that's 150 square feet "could range between $35-$110 per hour," says spokesperson Yordi Smit. Like Peerspace, the site takes a 15% cut.
  • Hipcamp is technically a site for renting out land for camping. But with people getting creative about how to safely convene, its venues could also be used for outdoor weddings or company outings. Hipcamp recommends listing your grounds for anywhere from $35 to $350 per night, depending on the amenities provided. The platform takes a 10% commission from every stay.

4. Pet sit

With so many people planning summer travel, it's likely pet owners will need people to watch their pandemic puppies, cats, parrots, guinea pigs, and so on. Sign up to be a pet sitter on sites like Care.com, Sittercity, or PetSitter.

The national average rate for pet sitters is $25 to $30 per day, according to Thumbtack.

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5. Housesit

Similarly, some travelers may need someone to care for their home or plants while they're gone. Consider offering your housesitting services on sites HouseSitter or TrustedHousesitters. Housesitters charge as much as $76 per day, according to HouseSitter.  

6. Create Google docs to sell on Etsy

If you're a wiz at organizing, consider channeling your skills to help other people online.

"Think of digital products you can create and sell on Etsy," suggests side hustle expert Daniella Flores. "These may be things you are already creating like Google spreadsheets or Excel spreadsheets to track things like your budget, income, goals, and create visually appealing charts to track towards progress."

Budgeting spreadsheets sell for $5, $13, and $15 each on Etsy, for example. "They are actually very popular on the platform," says Flores.

Remember that whatever side hustle you take on, it's important to keep yourself safe from contracting the coronavirus. Wear a mask, keep a 6-foot distance from people, and stay abreast of the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

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