If you’ve been avoiding that much-needed vacation due to the gaping hole it will leave in your pocket at the end, it’s time to reconsider.
Firstly, taking a proper break every now and then does wonders for productivity, which means you’ll be able to put a lot more energy into earning your living when you get back.
Second, and more importantly, if you’re willing to try something a little different, you can actually make money from your holiday!
Here are seven simple ways to do just that:
- Rent out your home
- Sell your photos
- Sell your stories
- Become a de facto courier
- Buy clothing/accessories to sell back home
- Create a travel blog
- Be a group travel leader
- Extra – Use a cashback credit card
An oldie, but a goodie: whether you’re going to be away for two days or two months, chances are you’ll be able to make some money from your holiday by renting out your home.
There are several ways to go about doing this:
Family or friends
If you don’t feel comfortable letting out your personal space to strangers, start off by spreading word within your own network.
Let friends and family (those you trust, at least) know when you’re planning on heading away and give them an idea of how much you’re planning to charge per day. Once someone shows interest, discuss terms and conditions that would work to the benefit of both parties. You can even make the deal more attractive by leaving a fully stocked fridge or a few nice wines for their use.
This would work particularly well for those living in desirable areas – along the coast, in a charming country village or in a hip and happening urban centre.
Make full use of Airbnb’s ‘snooze’ functionality to only list your home when it suits you. If you’re going away for a longer period of time, you may have a number of bookings to manage, so just be sure that you have key management, housekeeping and quality control plans in place for each arrival and check-out before you leave.
Depending on where you live and how big your home is, you can charge anything from £29 to £1000 per night. Do keep in mind that the average price per night in the UK is currently £71 and that Airbnb takes a 3% service fee.
Find out more about becoming a host on the Airbnb website
Homeaway is like Airbnb in many ways. You put your property on the site like they do on Airbnb, have lots of good photos and set a price that will make visitors interested.
Again, you can charge anything from £29 to £1000 per night depending on where your home is and what it’s like.
Their fees vary between 4-10%. Sign up to them here.
Owned by TripAdvisor, Holiday Lettings offers you almost instant exposure to millions of people searching for great places to stay.
The site has been specifically designed for those who wish to rent out their homes for only a few months a year and makes signing up really simple. Your home doesn’t need to meet any specific standards, but obviously the nice/cosier/more chic it looks in the photographs, the better your chances of inspiring a transaction.
Depending on where you live and how big your home is, you can charge anything between £10 and £500 per night. As with Airbnb, Holiday Lettings takes a 3% service fee.
Find out more about renting out your home on the Holiday Lettings website.
Where Airbnb and Holiday Lettings cover massive ground in their selection of properties, Ivy Lettings focuses exclusively on London.
So, if you live in the city and prefer something of a hands-on approach to the rental of your property, they’re probably your best bet.
Ivy Lettings takes on fully furnished, well located properties that are available for 6 weeks or more annually. They charge a 30% service fee.
Find out more about becoming a host on the Ivy Lettings website.
If you’ve got an eye for good composition, a semi-decent camera and the patience often required for capturing that perfect shot, you could even make some money from your holiday photos.
All you have to do is sign up as a content contributor for a stock image site and upload your images. Different sites have different rules and regulations, so it’s worth investigating the terms and conditions thoroughly before you start the process.
Photo-selling websites can be divided into microstock (high volumes of photos, low prices paid per photo) and macrostock (vice versa). There have been suggestions that microstock sites devalue photography, but on the other hand, selling a photo for just a few pounds can give a beginner a confidence boost.
Your earnings will depend entirely on the quality of your photographs and how popular they end up being on the site.
Find out more by reading our article on ‘How to sell your photos online’.
Fancy yourself a bit of a wordsmith? Well, you could even make money from your holiday by writing a story or two about it!
While it may seem like an unattainable dream, a whole lot of online travel publications are hungry for unique, enjoyable and authentic content, written by ordinary travellers.
Check out The Write Life’s list of 34 travel magazines and websites that pay for articles as well as our guide to making money with freelance writing.
If you travel abroad relatively regularly, you’re probably quite familiar with friends and family members requesting specific items that can either only be purchased in your destination or are significantly cheaper there.
This trusted peer-to-peer community marketplace connects shoppers and travelers all around the world, giving shoppers the opportunity to get their hands the products they love, but don’t have access to locally, with a little help from travellers heading their way.
Travellers set the price for the carriage and delivery, which shoppers are normally more than happy to pay. Grabr auto-calculates the traveler fee but you can request more money if an item is difficult to buy or carry.
Find out more about making money as a Traveler on the Grabr website.
If you’re heading to a destination that is known to have gorgeous items at dirt cheap prices, consider buying a few extra items while you’re at it to sell once you get home.
You can do this in a number of ways:
- Open a shop on Etsy
- Sell your products on Instagram (it’s as easy as posting a picture or two of each item with a price point and adding a courier fee)
- Set up a stall at a local market
- Invite friends over for a modern-day ‘Tupperware party’
While it may seem like a lot of work, it could become a roaring part-time business that allows you to travel and curate beautiful products from all over the world.
If you love writing or talking about your holiday, why not set up your own travel blog or vlog?
You can share your pictures, experiences and recommendations with the world. This is a particularly good idea if you travel regularly, so you can offer advice and expertise across a broad range of places but, if you do it well, just focusing on one destination could build you a decent audience.
To make money you’ll need plenty of people visiting your website. There are a variety of ways of pushing your site (sharing with friends and family and asking them to share etc.) but the best way to get significant traffic is to rank high on Google. A good idea would be writing about a holiday destination that other people aren’t writing lots about – particularly if it’s an up-and-coming destination which lots of people will be searching for soon (for example, anyone who started a blog about Croatia just before ‘Game of Thrones’ made it really popular probably saw a lot of visitors.)
You can then monetise your site by including Google Ads, as well as including affiliate links.
Some travel companies like Virgin Holidays, Opodo and Eurostar offer a discount if a large group is booking together. If you set up a group holiday for friends or family you could be rewarded for your effort by pocketing that discount yourself (agree it with your friends first of course).
Not only will the traveling be cheaper, you might then be eligible for cheaper entry into attractions such as museums, amusement parks etc. It’s essentially just another way of buying in bulk.
If you’re good at paying off your credit card debt before incurring any interest, it’s almost silly not to put your holiday expenses on a cashback card that rewards you for your purchases.
The Amex Everyday card gives 5% cash back for the first three months then up to 1%, or use the British Airways American Express which gives 5,000 Avios on sign-up and then 1 Avios per £1 spent after that.
Read our article about reward credit cards to find out more.