By Sarah Bence
Read more from Sarah on her blog, Endless Distances.
We’ve all heard the term “side hustle” a million times, but did you know a well-thought-out side hustle could actually help you travel more? Just like staying in hostels can help you travel more affordably, and therefore more often, side hustles can do the same!
Over the years, I’ve had many side hustles, and each has helped me build my income. I put all my side hustle income directly into my dedicated travel savings account, which has helped me have experiences like trekking to Everest Base Camp, swimming with manatees, taking weekend trips to Chicago, and more. Additionally, I’m able to do many of my side hustles remotely, which means I can work (and earn) while I travel, even if it’s just a few hours here and there.
Here are a few of my tried and true tips for finding a side hustle that you actually love, and that can support your love of travel.
If you’re an animal lover…
There are plenty of ways to make money through your love of animals. Pet-sitting, dog-walking, or doggy day care in your own home can be both fun and money-making. Make it even easier on yourself by joining an app like Rover or Wag, which connect you with pet owners in your area.
Better yet, take your pet sitting skills with you when you travel! Join a house-sitting site like Trusted Housesitters, Mind My House, or Nomador. Choose your destination and connect with people looking for house sitters in that area. You may have pets to look after, or small jobs around the house like watering plants, but that’s a small price to pay for free accommodation!
If you have a way with words…
Love writing, reading, or editing? Monetize your skills through freelance writing, copy editing, or proofreading. Gig platforms like Upwork and Fiverr can connect you with clients; you can also consider cold pitching publications or companies you want to write for (like HI USA's blog).
Freelance writing or editing is a great side hustle for travelers because not only is it remote—work-friendly, but you can also write about your travels! As a freelance writer, I find it really easy to keep up with my work when I travel: I just need my computer and a Wi-Fi connection. Sometimes, I even work from hostels!
If you like to teach…
Many side hustles include an element of teaching. If you have a specific skill, like speaking a foreign language or playing a musical instrument, consider teaching people in your local area. You can use SkillShare to connect with people looking to learn your skill online.
Travelers, in particular, can find lots of opportunities for teaching online. The ability to work remotely will open so many opportunities to travel while you work! This could include tutoring students online through companies such as TutorMe and Wyzant. Alternatively, there are many options for teaching English online.
If you have a lot of stuff…
We all accumulate stuff over time: clothes, electronics, books – you name it. Chances are, some of these belongings aren’t getting used. As travel lovers, minimizing your belongings is a good idea in general. With less stuff, you’ll find packing carry-on only easier, and selling belongings will also make it easier on yourself if you go on a long-term trip and need to put your things in storage. Of course, the fact that you can make some extra income by unloading your unused items is a pretty nice bonus.
Sell your clothes through local consignment shops, or online site such as Poshmark, DePop, or ThredUp; re-sell books to local bookstores; and get rid of unwanted furniture through Facebook marketplace or Craigslist. Then, put that cash towards your next plane ticket.
Finding the best side hustle for you
There are countless side hustle options in addition to the ones above. The trick is to look at your own personality and strengths, the time you have available to commit, and your resources. Remember that as a traveler, it’s a good idea to look for side hustles you can take remote, or ones that will fit with your travel lifestyle.
If you’re just starting out, really dig deep and be honest about these things. Look at your hobbies and what you already spend your free time doing. Then, I try to brainstorm ways to monetize those activities and skills. With a little work, you’ll end up not just with a side hustle you love, but with a little extra money to make that next trip a reality.
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