Are you ready for some money making magic? Let’s turn your wanderlust into wander-cash! If you dream of exploring the world, but your bank account seems to be stuck in "staycation" mode then this is the guide for you. We've got your ticket to thrilling adventures and far-flung destinations thanks to this list. So cancel your plans for today and grab a pen. It’s time to note some of these fun ways to make money for your travels!
A gap year is one of the best investments you’ll ever make
, but finding those initial funds can be tough with bills to pay and rent due. As someone who has been there, I’ll share the tried and tested methods I’ve used myself as well as some bonus creative ways to fund your globetrotting dreams. From unleashing your inner artist to turning your car into a billboard you will be chanting "bon voyage" to your financial worries in no time.
1. Sell Unwanted Items
You’re going to be living out of a backpack very soon, so now is the perfect time to declutter your home and sell unused or unwanted items. Items such as clothes, accessories, gadgets and sports gear can make you some major adventure funds - and fast! You can either set up your own garage sale, or use online marketplaces such as Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, Vinted, Depop or Craigslist.
2. Rent Out Your Belongings
Instead of selling them, why not rent out your belongings instead. Thanks to the sharing economy
it could not be easier to rent out equipment like camping gear, cameras, or sporting goods to fellow adventurers.
If you’re a fashion fan, there are also so many platforms that let you rent your designer handbags, prom dresses and shoes. There are even sites where you can rent out your car, or even your driveway as a parking space!
3. Pick Up a Side Gig
When I knew I wanted to quit my job to travel, I knew a side gig would be the only way to make it happen. My regular 9-5 job only made enough money for rent, food and bills so I needed to think outside the box. That’s where I started a side gig as a face painter!
I worked at events, nightclubs and festivals turning people into colourful cartoons characters, sparkly superheroes and all the animals in between. Not only did I make a steady income from this side gig, but people would regularly tip too. Other side gig ideas include:
Virtual Assistant: Provide support online to busy professionals.
Gardening: Cut grass/weeding/tidy up for those in your neighbourhood.
: Set up a profile on platforms such as People per hour
etc and make some extra cash with writing, design or web development gigs.
Driving: Join rideshare programmes such as Uber or Lyft. Even if you only accept fares during your commute, you’ll be making money during a journey you need to make anyway.
Deliver goods instead of people: Use your free time to deliver food with apps such as DoorDash, UberEats or Grubhub or companies like Shipt and Amazon also pay you to drop off packages with customers.
4. Participate in Cash Back Programs
This is one of my biggest tips for making money to travel, as it helped me save THOUSANDS. If you’re unfamiliar, a cashback website is like a magical money-saving genie that helps you get some of your money back when you shop online. It’s particularly useful for big purchases such as travel insurance, flights, hotel bookings or gadgets.
First sign up: I use the platforms TopCashback and Quidco but there are lots to choose from. It’s usually free and straightforward to do.
Shop through the website: Whenever you want to buy something online, instead of going directly to the store's website, start your shopping journey from the cashback website.
Click and Shop: Find the store or brand you want to shop from on the cashback site and click on their link. It will redirect you to the store's website, where you just shop as usual.
Get Money Back: After you make a purchase, the cashback website will track it and reward you with a percentage of your spending. Sometimes it’s only 3-5%, sometimes it's as high as 15% or more.
Cash Out: You can request to cash out your money or redeem it as vouchers which you can use for future purchases.
5. Participate in Online (and offline!) Surveys
A quick online search will bring up so many websites and apps that now offer this. So switch your Facebook scroll time to offering feedback instead. By signing up for reputable survey websites you could be making money for your opinions.
When I was saving money for my first big trip I also had a side gig as a secret shopper. They’d ask you to make a purchase either in a restaurant or store then fill out a survey about your experience, rating the customer service.
As well as refunding the money for your purchase (free food = always a bonus) they would pay a small fee for your time. If you’re in town shopping or dining out anyway, it's a quick way to make money for your travels.
6. Get Crafty
From homemade birthday cards to bath bombs, there are so many ways you can get creative to boost your adventure funds. Set up a social media profile to sell your items or use your weekends to attend craft fairs or markets.
As a top, TikTok is an amazing resource for crafters to get word out. Whether you share the design process or even create “pack an order with me” videos, these can then be paired with a Tik Tok shop to direct viewers to make a purchase.
7. Graphic Design
If you prefer to get crafty on a computer, use your design skills to create logos, graphics, and promotional materials for businesses. Whether you’re an expert with Adobe or a pro at Canva, people will pay for your creative eye!
8. Pet Sitting or Babysitting
There is always a demand for dog walkers, pet sitters or baby sitting. Start with friends and family to get word out and before you know if you’ll soon have a regular client base. Best of all, these are some of the best skills you can learn before your next Workaway
so don’t forget to add them to your profile!
9. House sitting
If pets or kids sound a little scary, how about looking after something that doesn’t need to be fed or entertained? A house! While we offer house sitting with Workaway
, you can also do this locally to earn money before your trip.
You know those hard drives you have sat gathering dust? You could be sitting on a gold mine! Especially if it's photos from your adventures. You can sell your photography as prints or upload them to stock imagery websites who pay you each time your image is downloaded. If you’re particularly talented, you could even offer photography services for events and portraits.
11. Social Media Management
You know those endless hours you spend scrolling? How about getting paid to do it! If you’re a Facebook fanatic, Instagram expert, or TikTok pro your skills are majorly in demand! Local businesses don’t have time to master these tools, so let them focus on their customers while you make magic behind the scenes with engaging content.
Start by pitching to local businesses such as cafes, shops or tradespeople in your area. This will help you build a portfolio (and your bank balance) before making your digital nomad dreams
come true on the road.
Share your expertise in a subject by offering online (or offline) tutoring services. Whether it's maths, music or Mandarin, tutoring adults or children - there’s plenty of money to be made from your knowledge and skills.
13. Etsy Shop
Yes, Etsy is super competitive but for a long time my Etsy store paid my rent. The best part? I made NO physical products either. Etsy stores are no longer about tote bags or handmade coasters, there is a massive market for digital products too.
I sell social media templates on my Etsy store so business owners can have bespoke designs in minutes instead of spending time designing from scratch. However, it's also possible to design and sell downloadable prints, Notion or Excel templates, website themes and digital planners.
Check out Youtube for tutorials and top tips to get started. Best of all, with digital products you make money as you sleep as once you’ve uploaded your product it can be downloaded thousands of times without the need for you to create or package items.
14. Trade in Old Electronics
I could bet money, you have an old smartphone or tablet sitting in a drawer somewhere, right now. Not only is it better for the environment to recycle your old device, but you are making money on something that was sitting gathering dust. How much you’ll get paid depends on the model of your item and its condition.
I’ve done this in my hometown as there is an actual store (CeX) that allows you to trade in old phones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, and more, but there are many websites such as ItsWorthMore, Tradeinforcash, Decluttr, Zapper or Musicmagpie that offer this service too.
15. Mobile Car or Window Wash
These are the jobs that people not only hate doing but never have time for. Buy yourself a bucket and a sponge and you could be kept busy all summer long with car and window washing. You get to enjoy the sunshine while making money, they get another chore ticked off the to-do list - it's a win win!
16. Fitness Instructor
Turn your passion for fitness into an income in a few simple steps. Start by deciding on a specific fitness discipline you excel in, such as yoga, Zumba, HIIT, personal training or dance.
Then, look for reputable and affordable fitness certification programs, many offer online courses that can be completed quickly. Once qualified, offer a few free classes to build reviews and a client base before approaching local gyms, community centres or fitness studios to rent a space.
Alternatively you could run classes online which will save money on renting a space and open your classes to a larger audience.
17. Turn Your Car Into a Billboard
Did you know there are companies that pay you to add a decal, sticker, or wrap to your car that promotes their product or service? You get matched with a campaign based on your driving locations and vehicle type. You can earn anywhere between £75-£1000+ per month, depending where and how often you drive during a campaign.
Sounds like your kind of gig? Here are some sites to look into:
Wrapify: $180 to $452 monthly
Carvertise: $450 to $1,500 per campaign
Nickelytics: $175 and $250 per month
Car Quids: Up to £100 per month
DROVO: between £75 to £500 per month
18. Affiliate Marketing
Google those two words and you will find a TONNE of resources on how to get started and be successful with affiliate marketing. It essentially means to recommend products and services, if people end up buying based on your advice you earn a commission for each sale.
Just be warned of people trying to recruit you into pyramid schemes or platforms where they make you pay a fee to sign up. There are endless ways to make money from affiliate marketing without having to spend money or join a team.
19. Language Translation
Are you bilingual? Not only can you travel the world as a language teacher
, but you should consider offering translation services to earn money for your travels! There is a huge demand for translation services for documents, websites, or even just conversations.
You can set up freelance (use some of the websites mentioned in point 3) or work with an online translation agency such as Gengo, OneHourTranslation, Text Master and Unbabel.
20. Do the Everyday Tasks No One Else Wants To
Handy with a toolbox? Love to clean? For those who are particularly handy around the house, you could be making money for travelling in your spare time. People are happy to pay someone else to do those frustrating chores such as building Ikea furniture, clearing out the garage, mounting TVs, hoovering the car and more.
While you could go set up solo, it’s quicker (and often safer) to join platforms such as TaskRabbit or AirTasker to connect you with customers.
Whether you're crafting unique masterpieces, unleashing your inner entrepreneur, or simply turning your hobbies into hoorays, the world is your oyster when it comes to making money for travel. We can then help your adventure funds last as there are so many ways Workaway can save you money
You might also want to check out our guide on how to travel cheap
including money saving tips on accommodation, food and transport. Remember, every penny saved brings you one step closer to thrilling destinations and awe-inspiring landscapes!