I’m part of roughly one billion (read: 12) travel-related Facebook groups, and at least once a week someone posts something to the effect of “what do you guys do to make money for traveling?? I’m super broke and could use some extra cash!”
(Side note, the other type of post I see once a week in these groups is essentially the exact opposite: “help!! My husband and I have only $6K to spend on a honeymoon, he wants Tahiti and I want the Bahamas, and we just don’t know which one to take!!!!” I’d just like to say, if this sounds like you, then your life must be filled with much strife and hardship, and I just don’t know how you cope with every new day, you brave, brave soul.)
But if you’re a normal person, and you’re looking for creative ways to make extra money instead of worrying about how you’re going to spend it, then this post is for you.
Because of the Internet, we now have a million resources available to us, which includes a million platforms on which to pick up a little extra work and a million platforms to help us save money on flights, hotels, and everything else related to travel.
However, since there are lots and lots of resources available, some are more legit than others. Getting paid to create a PowerPoint presentation on Fiverr? Super legit. Doing a (clothed) photo shoot with a Craigslist photographer in which you get paid in drinks as well as cash? Maybe not so legit. But it made for a good story. Ask me about it if you see me.
Below is a list of Internet resources that are 100 percent legit, and I know, because I’ve used them all.
Every app listed is available for both Android and iPhone.
1. Sell your skills on Fiverr
No matter what skill you have, there’s someone on Fiverr.com who wants to pay you to do it.
Decide which skill you want to market, and create a gig on the site. As the name suggests, many gigs are priced starting at $5, but the more good reviews you get, the more you can charge.
Keep in mind that Fiverr takes $1 for every $5. This means that if your gig is $5, you’ll make $4; if it’s $50, you’ll make $40, etc.
2. Get money back from the stuff you buy online with Earny
There’s an app called Earny that will automatically give you money back when the price drops on something you bought online.
After you set it up with your CitiBank or Chase credit card info, it then tracks all of your online purchases. If something you bought drops in price, it will automatically refund you the difference to the card you used for the purchase, without you having to do anything.
3. Sell your stuff on OfferUp
OfferUp makes it super easy for you to sell stuff you don’t want anymore, or buy stuff you need for a cheaper price than it would be if you just went to the store. You take a picture of the thing you want to sell – clothes you never wear, for example – assign it a price, post it and boom! That’s it. Super easy. The app uses GPS to display your posting to everyone else with the app in your area.
Remember to exercise a normal amount of caution re: stranger danger when meeting up with people from the Internet to sell them your stuff. If you get a weird feeling about the person who wants to buy your lamp, suggest to meet them at a nearby Starbucks with the lamp instead of them coming to your house.
4. Get cheap flight deals through TravelPirates
The folks over at TravelPirates are really good at finding “error fares,” which is basically when an airline screws up and posts a flight for way cheaper than it normally would be. If you download the app and set up their messaging service, TravelPirates will send you a Facebook message as soon as an error fare is posted. It’s also just a good resource for finding flight deals in general, error fare or not.
5. …and then book said cheap flights on Skyscanner
Skyscanner works like this. Plug in your current location, your destination, and your desired dates, and the app quickly scours the Internet for the cheapest airlines.
I know what you’re thinking: “Has this girl never heard of Kayak?”
Of course I have, and Kayak’s dope. I just end up using Skyscanner more because it’s the most flexible in terms of putting in a general date instead of a specific one. Most airline aggregators don’t handle “I want to go in July-ish“ very well, but that’s Skyscanner’s specialty.
You can just click “cheapest month” if you know you want to go to, say, Thailand sometime next year but you don’t care when, as long as it’s cheap, and it can suggest flights for ya.
Skyscanner and Kayak also have this really cool thing called price alerts.
Go into Skyscanner and search for a flight out of whichever airport is closest to you. You can also select “all nearby airports.” Select your destination. Then click “set price alert.” Whenever that price rises or falls, Skyscanner will let you know immediately via email or Facebook Messenger. If the flight suddenly drops by $40, get on it.
Skyscanner is not an airline, so once you find a flight you want, it then takes you to that airline’s site to book it. However, I recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheap flight deals, and then heading to the airline’s website to book it directly from the airline.
6. Save money on accommodation with Airbnb referrals
Got a friend who hasn’t used Airbnb before? Send them your referral code. You can find this by clicking on “account” and then “invite friends.” Not only will they get some money off their first stay at an Airbnb, but you’ll get some credit to use, too. Money off accommodation for everyone! It’s a win-win!
Speaking of, hey there, you want some money off your first Airbnb stay? Here ya go.