A few extra dollars can go a long way in planning an adventure of any kind! In this post, I will share with you 9 easy ways to make extra money for travel. By utilizing a few of these strategies, you can save for extra vacation spending money. If you’re looking for inexpensive travel ideas, I have a few for you at the bottom of this post!
Aside from having an amazing career as a teacher, and in return, making decent enough money to enjoy the freedom of traveling every so often, there are also a few other ways that I make/save money. This extra cash might go towards my spending money, the gear I need, or travel expenses for any given trip! Here I will share with you my favorite ways to save and make a few extra dollars throughout the year!
1. Credit Cards Offer Great Benefits
Earning Skymiles and Flight Benefits
I currently use a Delta American Express Card for almost every single purchase I make throughout the year and just pay it off at the end of each month. Earning miles on EVERY purchase and double miles on Delta purchases means lots of flight opportunities! There are also Card Benefits that change throughout the year; for example, I received $20 back on my card after making my first $50 Etsy purchase with the card; there are deals for Park ‘N Fly, Hilton Hotel, Meal Service, and more. There are no foreign transaction fees to use your card abroad and I get to check my first bag free when I fly Delta which is INCREDIBLY helpful when adventure traveling with camping gear! I also benefit from Car rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Purchase Protection and Travel Accident Insurance.
If you use this link, you can earn extra miles as a friend referral! By applying for a Delta AMEX card through the link provided, you will earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with their new card within the first three months of Membership. If you make a Delta purchase in the first three months, you will earn a $50.00 statement credit as well. Earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after making an additional $1,000 in purchases within 6 months of membership. This is not a free card, however, the miles never expire and if you’re someone who flies frequently, the cost of the card pays for itself in checked luggage alone each year! If you do open up an account with Delta AMEX using the above link, I earn 10,000 miles upon your approval so thank you for helping me earn miles towards my flights!
Cashback on Purchases and Other Perks
Many cards also offer cashback options that can be built up and used towards future purchases. I am currently looking into an REI Mastercard; multiple times throughout the year they offer $100 REI gift card once a purchase is made with the approved card and 5% cashback at REI and 1% cashback on everyday purchases. A great bonus is that REI will donate $0.10 per REI Mastercard purchase transaction to the National Forest Foundation. As an outdoor enthusiast, this card would benefit me in multiple ways! Find a card that works best for you and utilize it.
2. Start Using Coupon Apps to Save or Earn Some Money Back on your Purchases
If You’re Not Using Ibotta When You Shop, You’re Throwing Away Money
IBotta is an app that I use religiously. Every single time I go food shopping I check to see what items might have a discount; to date (about four years), I’ve earned $893.68. The way this app works is that you find offers based on what store you will be shopping with. I most frequently shop at Walmart but have used the app at Target, Hannaford, and CVS. There are different categories for saving as well: Grocery, Mobile Shopping, Pharmacy, Clothing, Restaurants & Bars, Travel and more. You add the discount to ‘My Offers’ and once you have completed your purchase you will scan the receipts in the ‘Redeem’ tab and your account will be credited. When it is time for you to withdraw your cash you can add it to your PayPal or Venmo account or you can put it on a gift card such as Amazon, Applebees, Nike, Old, Navy, Uber, etc… Check out my beginners guide to ibotta for even more information.
Many Stores Have Money Saving Opportunities
Using specific store apps such as Savings Catcher at Walmart and Cartwheel at Target can often double your savings (when using both). Savings Catcher is used after all purchases have been made and check local establishments for lower prices. If a lower price is found, you are awarded the difference. Cartwheel is similar to ibotta in that you have to search for your savings. Something I like to do with Cartwheel, at Target, is to shop like normal and then use the scanner in the app to scan the items in my cart to see if there is a discount on any items. Cartwheel provides you with the discount right there at the register, meanwhile, Savings Catcher adds up your savings for you in an account for you to later use as a Walmart Gift Card; My Lifetime Rewards Earned equals $71.79.
Similar Apps include Coupon Sherpa, Krazy Coupon Lady, and Checkout 51. See which ones work best for you while allowing you to make extra money.
3. Sell Lightly Used Items into Consignment
Selling via Poshmark
Poshmark has been one of the best discoveries for this clothing lover! It allows me to sell all of my old clothing online. I have earned well over $1300 dollars through the app selling my old, but still in good condition, clothing items. Everything from shoes, to jackets to bathing suits and denim have sold! Once an item is sold, a USPS priority mail label is sent to your email. From here you print it, slap it on a priority mailbox with the item inside and the product is off on its way! Once the buyer accepts the package, your earnings are released to you. When you’re ready to withdraw your earnings you can have Poshmark direct deposit it to your bank account or write you a check. The app is free to sign up but you can also find great deals to purchase as well. I have found amazing deals on Gymshark Workout Apparel, Slazenger Golf Skorts, and other cute styles for more than half off! Sign up with code KT4TA to save $5.00 on your first purchase.
Buying and Selling Through the Mercari App
Mercari is another app I recently started using to cross-list my items. If you sign up through this link, you’ll receive $10 off your first purchase! I find that when I list them in both apps I’m more likely to sell and therefore, allowing myself to make extra money for my travels. Don’t forget that you can also purchase through these apps. I have found amazing, expensive pieces in great condition for a fraction of the markup price. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with Balance Athletica as an activewear line and their pieces are not only expensive, but they sell out quickly. I’ve built up quite a collection with the help of these two apps for a fraction of the cost.
Sell in Person As Well!
There are also options to find local stores that purchase lightly used items to resell at second-hand prices. For example, in my area, there is a store called Plato’s Closet (chain) that purchases second hand trendy, young styles for resale. Once Upon A Child is our local (chain) consignment shop that purchases lightly used baby/child clothing, toys, equipment, etc. for resale! I’ve made nearly $500 over the years in selling old styles to shops like this as well! I often use these funds to turn around and purchase newer apparel and equipment for my trips.
4. Become A Brand Ambassador to Make Extra Money for your Travels
Become an ambassador for a brand you use and truly believe in. This often comes with a discount on their items and a percentage of sales tracked back to your link and/or code. For example, I am currently a DAZEY LADY, or in other words an Ambassador for Dazey LA. This company is a female-owned, designed and ran slow, sustainable fashion brand. I love what the company stands for AND the beautiful pieces that come with it. Anyone who shops using the code FORTIER will receive 10% off and I will receive 10% commission on their sale.
You can have an affiliate link for just about anything! I also have an affiliate link for the supplement company I love and use, but I know people who make bank off of their Amazon, CBD company, and makeup brands. If there’s a product you love, use daily, and share with your friends and family look into getting yourself an affiliate link. If it isn’t blatantly obvious on their webpage, reach out and see if you can make it happen.
Affiliate links are a great way to earn a little extra money and support the businesses you love.
5. Get A Part-time Job
This next suggestion is not something I do personally, however, I know a few people who drive for Uber or Lyft. Work your own hours and make a couple hundred extra dollars a week/month depending on your availability. If this specific side hustle isn’t right up your alley, you can look just about anywhere!
Is there a store you love? A spot you find yourself shopping at frequently? Try getting a seasonal or part-time job here to not only earn extra money but enjoy some added benefits and discounts. For example, if you love the outdoors, getting a job at REI, Bass Pro, or Dick’s Sporting Goods will earn you some extra cash flow and give you a discount on the items you might need for your adventures!
6. Are You Getting the Best Price?
Join PARIBUS, a program that scans your emails for recent purchases from participating retailers and provides you with a refund of the difference if there is a price drop on an item you’ve purchased. Stores they monitor include Amazon, Macy’s, Old Navy, Target, Walmart, REI and more!
7. Try Some Pet or Babysitting
While I was studying for my master’s degree I used Care.com to find a wonderful family to babysit for a few times a week. I got to spend my mornings with three cute little kiddos and made a few extra bucks to put me through school. When I started my teaching job I found a few pet sitting and babysitting gigs for some extra cash. It was nice to be able to pick and choose my hours based on how busy my teaching and coaching schedule was. All the money I made babysitting became extra money for me to push into my savings and vacation accounts.
8. Get Crafty Ya’ll!
Are you crafty? Create an Etsy shop for your craft! Whether you make dream catchers, jewelry, knit goods, or wooden flowers, whatever it may be, this is a great way to make some extra cash!
You don’t need to be on Etsy either. I know people who sell their crafty skills via Instagram and Facebook as well. They’ll make an example item and post it asking for orders from any friends that are interested. Use your talents to your advantage! My art teacher creates the most beautiful invitations and has a side business making -mostly wedding- invitations. Take your skillset and make extra money doing something you love!
9. Round-Up Your Change Programs
Enroll in a program that rounds the change from your purchases up and places it in an account for you. For example, Acorns is a site that invests your spare change to help your bank account grow. There are even multiple accounts that you can invest in. Chime is another online banking community that helps you save with the round-up tool. Your spare change might not seem like much, but it will definitely add up over the course of a couple of months.
You can travel more frequently if you can spend less money on each trip. A great way to explore new places on a budget is to visit our National Parks. I’ve traveled for weeks on end exploring Utah’s National Parks without spending over $1,500 – flight included. So if you know where to look, you can make any adventure a reality. Use these 9 easy ways to make extra money for travel and start planning today.