How to Earn Extra Cash for Travel

Whether it’s for travel, a purchase, or just because, earning a bit of extra cash is always on my radar. I’m really good at saving lots of money and then draining my bank account to travel. So good, that I’ve successfully done it on at least three occasions. However, saving and earning are two different things. I’m still working on the earning side, but here are some tips that I’ve found useful so far.

1. Get a Saturday job. Already worked the 40 hour workweek? Pick up an extra gig on the weekends, whether it is at a restaurant or working retail. The entire year before my rtw trip, I worked 2-3 Saturdays a month at a retail store.

2. Make friends with Craigslist and eBay. Surely you have things lying around that you no longer need. Sell that stuff!

3. Make friends with Craigslist again. Check out the ‘Gigs’ section on Craigslist. I did a 2-day promotional event the week before I left on a trip in 2008 and earned over $200 to boost my travel funds.

4. Babysit. There are loads of babysitting jobs out there, and you can work around your existing work schedule. Do you have rugrats in the neighborhood? Hunt them down, then persuade their parents to leave them in your care.

5. Write. The gig doesn’t pay much but there are places online that will pay you for what you have to say about travel, fashion, and pretty much any topic you can think of.

6. Donate plasma. I used to live down the street from a plasma collection center. I haven’t tried this one yet, but perhaps if I get desperate, I will.

7. Tutor. Do you have tutoring skills or other skills where you could teach someone? Maybe you play the guitar or you’re an expert baker. Put those skills to use and teach someone. It’s easy to put a few flyers up or post your skills on Craigslist.

8. Have a yard sale. If you have junk that isn’t worthwhile to sell online, pile it on your front yard, advertise the week in advance, and hope that the traffic comes!

9. Get crafty. If you are a creative being, make something and sell it. Places like Etsy will provide you with a market. You can paint, sell photography, make ornaments, pottery, clothing, and so on.

10. Become a secret shopper. There are agencies out there that will pay you to shop! Fabulous. You can review restaurant and retail experiences.

These are just a few tips on how to earn some extra money, and I recently found a few others here. Please leave a comment if you have other ideas on how to make it rain. I’d love to hear them!

24 thoughts on “How to Earn Extra Cash for Travel

  • Amazon! I convinced my mom and grandma to clear out the books, DVDS and videos that they’re never going to use again–and let’s face it, with all the new things coming home, how often do you rewatch or reread things? We kept the classics, and they gave the rest to me to sell. Some times the profit is only pennies, but it all adds up. Plus, my family is stoked to get some extra space for new things! It’s been a win-win :)

  • Ive heard that being part of those advertising focus groups is lucrative. All you have to do is sign up with the marketing company and you get invited in every now and then to answer questions about new products and stuff. Nice! Easy hundred bucks!

      • Haha I knew what you meant! And it definitely adds up. I figure it paid my gas, cell phone, and gym fees. And, the place I worked at always needed people for Saturdays b/c others didn’t want to work them so they were perfectly happy having me on payroll even if I only worked 1 day a week at the most.

  • Great tips! I also have held the weekend service job. So worth it.

    Some more:
    Edit or copyedit online: if you’ve been paid as a writer, you’ve probably also got decent editing skills. A lot of newsletters will pay you hourly to edit, and I’ve also seen sites where you can give feedback for college essays.

    Sell your body: I don’t mean what it sounds like I mean (though that’s definitely a way to make some fast cash, too…;). I once was part of a research group with Pfizer and made like $1600 for a few days of taking Zyrtec (allergy med). Sounds sketchy (esp. since it’s Pfizer-related), but I had a good experience with it.

    Use Kickstarter: If the reason you need money (travel, etc.) has a specific focus (volunteering, etc.), kickstarter is a way to get people interested in it and give you money (usually in exchange for some small return, like a framed pic). I’ve had a couple friends use the site, and they’ve had a lot of success with it.

    • The Gigs section is great on Craigslist. It can be competitive b/c a lot of people look through them, but the good thing is they’re usually last minute. So, if you’re looking for something in the next few days, you can usually find it.

  • Thanks for the advice. I just came across this post and found it to be very informative. After reading about “considering to becoming a secret shopper” I did some research a found a travel company that allow me to earn money for my travels. So thanks again for the advice. Great stuff

  • Some great ideas for quick cash – yet I think my donating plasma and babysitting days died when I left my 20’s!
    I’ll add one to the list. Hire yourself our to teach older people how to set up facebook, itunes, or a blog, etc. It’s clear that many of us take these simple computer skills for granted – but I swear I could run a whole computer class at senior centers!!

    • Maybe I need to donate plasma then before I exit my 20s! I never thought about teaching older people but you’re right, I also take my computer skills for granted. Excellent addition to the tips!

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