Well, guys, 2018 is right around the corner! Which means you might already be thinking about your travel plans for next year.
If all goes as planned, my big trip for 2018 will be a hiking/camping voyage in Western Canada. I’ve never been to Canada before. It’s been a long-time travel goal of mine, so I’m stoked!
Planning trips can be difficult. There are so many obstacles that can stop us from traveling. Kids, busy schedules, lack of vacation time …
But after talking to a lot of people about whether or not they plan to travel in 2018, I’ve discovered the most common setback:
Yep, traveling costs a bit. However, that shouldn’t deter us. Because, frankly, there are a ton of ways to overcome the financial obstacle if you’re dead set on traveling.
Some of these money-saving methods include cutting travel costs, choosing the right destinations, and various saving strategies. I’ve already touched on some of these topics, and I plan on covering the rest and expanding on the information in later posts.
But today, I’m going to focus on just one method for being able to afford to travel in 2018:
Earning more money.
No, you don’t need to pick up extra shifts at work or have that awkward “So how about a raise?” chat with your boss. There are small things you can do to make a little extra money.
Before I get into this list, I want to offer one major piece of advice. As soon as you make money from one (or more) of these tactics, put that cash in your travel fund!
Yes, you should have a specific place you set aside money for your travels. Whether it’s a savings account, checking account, or box in the back of your closet, you need to have a travel fund if you’re serious about saving. Otherwise, it’s too easy to spend that money on something else. Trust me. I’m guilty of it myself.
OK. Now that the preaching moment is out of the way, let’s get to the fun part. Here are 12 ways to earn money for your 2018 travels! To make things easier, I have broken the strategies into three categories: Sell Your Stuff, Spend Time at Home, and Work in Your Neighborhood.
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Sell Your Stuff
1. Go to a consignment shop
There are probably some clothes hanging in your house that you have no need for anymore. They might be yours, or they may even be clothes your kids have outgrown.
Rather than stick them in garbage bags and drop them off at Goodwill, you could actually make money from them.
If your clothes are in decent shape, stop by a consignment shop such as Plato’s Closet or Once Upon a Child to see what they’d be willing to offer for your apparel. You could walk out with some serious moolah!
2. Get rid of your books
Maybe you never got rid of those textbooks you bought in college. Maybe you just don’t want to re-read the books you’ve had on your bookshelf for years.
There are numerous websites you can use to sell your books. Some of the most popular ones are Amazon, eBay, or Bookbyte.
3. Sell your bridesmaid dresses
Sure, you looked fabulous in that bridesmaid dress you wore last spring. But now it’s hanging in your closet, and it’s probably there to stay.
Earn some money for that dress by listing it on a website specifically aimed toward selling wedding gear. Money has been a little tight recently, so I’ve gathered all my old bridesmaid dresses and have been listing them on PreOwned Wedding Dresses. Other good websites options are Bridesmaid Trade and Etsy.
If your dress is a popular brand and/or in great shape, you can earn some of that money back. Last week, I sold a dress for $80!
4. Hold a yard sale
All of the above suggestions for selling your stuff are great. However, if you have a multitude of things to sell, the most efficient way to earn money for them could be to hold one big yard sale.
Depending on what you’re selling, yard sales may or may not be the best way to earn money. But if you’re selling a variety of things, especially furniture, you have the potential to make a lot of extra cash from your front yard.
In fact, I earned $700 from my last yard sale!
Spend Time at Home
5. Teach English online
Teaching English online to Chinese kids is my personal favorite way to make extra money. In fact, I earn cash through teaching online five days per week!
Teaching Chinese students is a money-making method that is rapidly growing in popularity. You’ll find several companies you can interview with online. After much sniffing around, I chose VIPKID. One reason being that Forbes listed it as the #5 work-from-home company for employees! So I knew I’d have a good experience.
Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:
At VIPKID, you earn $14-$22 per hour. You start at a base pay ($7-$9) for each half-hour class. You earn extra money for each class you start and finish on time. Once you’ve taught 45 classes (22.5 hours) in one month, you earn another cash bonus for each class! So even if your offer states you’ll earn $7 per class, it can really end up being $9 per class, or $18 per hour.
Let’s say you teach 45 lessons per month at $9 per class ($18 per hour). That’s $405 extra per month.
That’s $4,860 per year!!!
Where would you travel to if you had $4,860 in your travel fund?
6. Rent out your place
If you have an extra room in your home, consider creating an Airbnb account. People stay at your house or apartment, and you profit!
You can be as social as you want to be with your guests. If you’re an extrovert, you might make some new friends from this venture. If you like to keep to yourself, most guests are fine with that.
The work is minimal. Just make sure you set house rules and read Airbnb’s tips for being a responsible host.
7. Take online surveys
You won’t get rich fast from taking online surveys. However, if you’re sitting at home, watching America’s Next Top Model reruns, taking surveys can be an interesting way to multitask during that time.
Yes, you can make money while watching TV. That’s the dream!
Some websites pay you actual money. Others send you gift cards to places where you would shop anyway.
Check out Inbox Dollars for some of the best survey deals.
8. Up your freelancing game
If you’ve been spending a few hours per week writing, designing or event planning for a little extra cash, now is the perfect opportunity to take things to the next level.
Rather than working a couple hours per week on your freelancing side gig, try investing a couple hours per day. Create a website for yourself. Network. Pitch ideas to companies.
Here are some of my favorite resources on finding freelancing jobs:
- 10 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs
- Land a PAID Regular Contributor Website at One of These 12 Websites
- Graphic Design Jobs for November 2017
- How to Be a Freelance Event Planner
Work in Your Neighborhood
However, if you know families with children in your neighborhood, why look any farther than down the street?
You can simply talk to your neighbors to spread the word, or even put up flyers for your services. Flyers seem old-fashioned, but in my experience, they still do the trick.
10. Clean trash cans
Yes, I cleaned garbage cans in high school to pay for dance classes. No, it wasn’t glamorous.
But I like to recommend this side gig to people because it’s a job with minimal competition. It’s also a job that people hate to do, so they’re often willing to pay a friendly neighbor to deal with their smelly trash cans for them.
11. Walk dogs
A lot of your neighbors probably have nine-to-five jobs or are busy with children. As a result, giving their dogs exercise and attention can fall by the wayside.
That’s where you come in.
Your marketing strategies would be similar to the ones if you choose to babysit. If your neighborhood has a community newsletter, consider writing an ad for your dog-walking services for this publication.
Yes, you can play with puppies all day! The hardest part might just be picking up after them after they … um, eliminate.
12. Take advantage of the seasons
Regardless of the time of year, there is always yard work to be done.
Is it autumn? Offer to rake and bag neighbors’ leaves for a price.
Winter? You can shovel snow!
Spring? Time to pull weeds and do some gardening.
During the summer, mow lawns and water the grass.
I hope this list has given you the inspiration and ideas you need to earn money for your 2018 adventures! If you have any questions or additional ideas for earning money, comment below!
And if you’re still looking for ways to cut costs from your travels, sign up for my newsletter!