Last Updated on September 28, 2016
It’s the ultimate dream for many people: take a year off and travel the world. But realistically, only very few are able to make their dream come true. A mortgage, car payments, and high cost of living are eating our pay checks and it is difficult to put money aside to save up for a year of travel. While it doesn’t have to be very expensive – my first year of travel cost me much less than a year of living in London! – you definitely need a chunk of money to be able to travel, no matter if that’s an extended vacation or a year of backpacking around the globe. It’s not impossible though – and here are some unconventional ways to make an extra income that don’t require a lot of time:
1 Rent out your spare room on Airbnb
Most people have a guest room or second bedroom they never use – if you’re one of them, why not rent it out on Airbnb? That’s actually how i subsidized my travels when I lived on a graduate salary in London. It doesn’t take much time to set up a profile on the website, and preparing the room for guests isn’t any different from preparing it for your family coming to visit. If you’re thinking about putting your free room on Airbnb, check out this handy guide on how to get started and how to make the most of your property on Airbnb.
2 Side hustle: online
I know that a second job isn’t easy to pursue for most people who are already working 50 hours or more a week, but there are several options that don’t require a commitment for steady hours or even commuting to a second gig. There is plenty of work that can be done online, such as tutoring or translation work. Set up a profile on Elance or Upwork and see what jobs come up for your skill set – you might be surprised! Since most jobs on these platforms are ad hoc projects, you can apply only for those that match your schedule. If you prefer creating your own product or your own online business, you should look into eCommerce options. 10 Places to Find Online Business Ideas for an Ecommerce Website (With Examples You Can Steal) has some great ideas on how to get started.
3 Side hustle: offline
If online work isn’t for you, there are plenty of ad hoc jobs that you can do offline. You could join Uber, Lyft or another ride sharing company, for example. You get to decide when you’re available, and if you’re paying for a car but only use it to commute to work, you might as well use it to make some extra money! You’re sitting at home all night watching TV? Why not get paid for it? Set up a profile on UrbanSitter.com and offer your babysitting services. Most of the time, the kids are in bed already by the time you arrive and the parents simply need someone to be around while they are enjoying a night out.
Or set up a profile on Fiverr.com, where people can offer and buy all sorts of tasks for $5. You can create a logo? Design a business card? Proofread a letter? Offer your skills on Fiverr. $5 might seem not a lot, but that’s the rate you only offer initially, and you can reach the higher paying Level 2 status quickly with excellent customer reviews? Don’t think you can earn a lot on Fiverr? Then read this Forbes profile on three people who make 6 figures a year on Fiverr.
4 Rent out your car
I know, this one scares a lot of people, but fear not: your car is insured! There are several companies and apps now that all offer a similar service: you rent out your car while you’re away, or your second car if you don’t necessarily need it, and get paid for it! The people who use these services don’t have to deal with the usual car rental bureaucracy and benefit from lower rates. If you and your spouse both have a car and you think you can get by with sharing one for a while, that’s a great way to make passive income. Some of the services that are looking for people to rent out their car are Flightcar, Getaround and Turo.
5 Sell your stuff
Last but not least: Look through your stuff and see if there aren’t some things you don’t need anymore. That bicycle you never use? That old skateboard? The record collection you never look at anymore? Get rid of all that stuff. Put it on eBay, Craigslist, or have a garage sale. If you have a storage room filled with old stuff or things you’ve inherited but don’t know what to do with them, it might even be worth it paying for a flea market stand. You’ll be surprised how much money can come together from selling a few items that are just laying around your house.Do you have anything to add? Share some ways in which you’ve made money in an unconventional way in the comments below!