Travel, especially during the holiday season, can be expensive. But whether you're vacationing for a few days or backpacking for a few months, there are creative ways you can earn extra money while you're on the road.
Though it can depend on the exchange rate and the cost of living in your travel destination, even a little extra can go a long way to help offset your trip-related expenses or just to serve as bonus spending money.
Here are three creative, simple ways to pick up some extra cash while traveling.
If you enjoy exploring new places like a local and are good with pets, then consider housesitting. In some cases, housesitting is a straight swap in which a traveler gets free accommodations in exchange for doing small tasks like walking dogs or watering plants. In other cases, housesitters may receive a small payment from the homeowner, especially if the house is in a far-flung location.
Generally, the homeowner and the traveler work to negotiate a deal.
Brittany Sharman and Jayden McKinlay, remote web developers based in Melbourne, Australia, are currently housesitting their way throughout Europe. To start, they signed up with reputable housesitting networks like TrustedHousesitters, which charges an $80 registration fee but then allows users to easily apply for gigs and build up a reputation as responsible guests.
With the money they're making, the usually frugal couple is able to justify indulging in high quality wine and cheese.
No matter where you go, you'll probably be snapping shots with your smartphone. When you start sorting through those photos, consider uploading a few of the best ones to stock image-sharing sites like Shutterstock and Alamy.
On Shutterstock for example, once your photos are approved, you earn royalties every time one of your images is downloaded. Though your earnings are based on several factors, like how long you've been selling photos, you can earn up to 30% of the sale price of your content. Those just starting out will earn 25 cents each time an image is downloaded. As your downloads increase, so do your earnings.
Depending on where you are, you might only earn pocket change selling stock photos. Even an outstanding image of the Eiffel Tower will be competing for attention among 135,432 other images of the same attraction on Shutterstock.
If you're traveling to a far-flung location, though, you might have more luck selling photos online. And if you're an aspiring photographer, having your photos up for sale can pay off down the line.
You could also try framing your prints and selling them on Etsy, though this may require a bit more work. The marketplace charges an initial 20 cent listing fee and a $3.25 payment processing fee.
If you're already paying to check a bag and have extra room in your suitcase, consider delivering an item to a stranger.
E-commerce platforms like WorldCraze, Ouibring, and Roadie help to connect travelers trying to earn extra money with people searching from afar for international products. Travelers can search these platforms for buyers who reside in the location they're traveling to, and are seeking specific products.
Maybe you'll find an expat with a hankering for a food item from home, or someone looking to source a specialty item and avoid shipping fees. The idea is that a "small, generic item that is plentiful in one location can provide a whole lot of pleasure and luxury when it appears in an unexpected context," Ouibring cofounder Joel Gordon told StartupYard in 2017.
On Ouibring, for example, you can scroll though the "get paid" section to find requests from buyers. If you're going to Paris, you could find a buyer with a budget of 150 euros looking for New Balance sneakers. If you're traveling from mainland China to Seattle, someone is willing to pay $10 for wasabi and chicken wing-flavored Oreo cookies.
As a traveler, you'll get paid for you legwork, but the platforms do charge service fees: WorldCraze, for example, asks for 2.50 euros from the buyer for each transaction and 10% of the traveler's payment, the BBC reports.
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