By Valerie Rind
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) We all know parking can cost a fortune at the airport. But did you know there is a way you may be able to eliminate that cost, reduce it or even make money from parking your car? “Turo” and “FlightCar” are two companies that take your automobile at the airport while you’re away, and rent it out. You could earn money based on the rentals and mileage used. At the very least, you’re guaranteed free parking for the duration of your trip.
You work hard and it’s great to take time off and travel, whether you’re going on a road trip around the U.S. or flying overseas. If you’re a savvy travel hacker, you might snag discounts on airfare and hotels. However, there are some easy and fun ways to bring in extra money, too.
En route or once you get to your destination, there are many ways to make extra cash, whether to help fund your vacation activities or boost your regular income. Consider these innovative ways to make money while you’re on vacation.
RENT YOUR CAR TO OTHER TRAVELERS
If you’re flying to your vacation location, it can be expensive to park your car at the airport. But not if you use it to make extra cash.
“Turo and FlightCar are two companies that take your automobile at the airport while you’re away, and rent it out,” said Benjamin K. Glaser, features editor with DealNews. “You could earn money based on the rentals and mileage used. At the very least, you’re guaranteed free parking for the duration of your trip, and likely a car wash.”
Owners and drivers sign up online. Minimum standards apply to the cars, such as model year, mileage and condition. Drivers are prescreened, and the company provides insurance on the car.
When sharing your car through FlightCar, you list it as available when you book your flights. You drive to the airport, the company inspects your car and you ride their shuttle to the terminal. At the end of your trip, you pick up your car and you’ll get paid if it was rented. With Turo, you can also rendezvous at agreed locations, such as hotels.
FlightCar pays a minimum of 10 cents per mile driven on your car. Turo sets the daily rate based on information such as market value, location and time of year. The number of days you’re able to rent your car depends on your availability, responsiveness to requests from drivers, distance from airports or other locations and demand. Turo provides this example: If your car has a market value of $20,000 and you rent it for 15 days per month, you could earn $6,501 per year.
PERFORM ON THE ROAD, OR THE SEA
If you can you act, sing, dance or juggle, consider taking those talents on the road. You might be able to make some extra cash.
Stefanie O’Connell, a millennial money expert and author of “The Broke and Beautiful Life,” is also a professional actor and singer. “I’m a member of Actor’s Equity Association, the theatrical union for actors and stage managers, but union jurisdiction only applies in the United States,” she said. “I have done two national tours. Those salaries were around $500 per week, plus per diem to cover expenses, but that’s fairly low. Salary minimums on some national tours are over $1,800 per week, although those minimums are rare, too.”
O’Connell also worked on a cruise ship and said it was “one of the most lucrative gigs I ever had. I made $800 per week, and was provided with food and my own cabin on the ship. I also got to see South America, which was fun.” However, it’s not as glamorous as you might think. “The work environment of the cruise ship was not one I enjoyed, so I left after about two months on board,” she added.
Professional comedian Dan Nainan said he performs all over the world while vacationing, and earns up to $20,000 for corporate shows. Even if you’re not a pro, you might have opportunities to get paid to perform when on vacation.
“If you have a musical or artistic talent that’s fun to watch, impromptu public performances are a great way to people-watch at your destination,” said Jema Patterson, an international budget travel expert at HalfTheClothes.com. “Look for high-pedestrian traffic areas, put out a hat around the dinner hours and perform away.”
Before you set up, make sure you know the local ordinances on busking, and ask around to make sure you’re not on another busker’s turf, Patterson said. “Performing on private property abutting public places is an alternative in regulated places,” she added. “Buskers make anywhere from nothing up to $20 to $30 an hour.”
BE A COURIER
Peer-to-peer delivery is an innovative way to make money while traveling.
“Use sites like Grabr.io or Roadie.com to match up with people in your destination who will pay you to courier something,” Patterson said. “Usually these are imports that aren’t available where they live, or are too expensive to ship. Both sites make the interaction secure.”
Using Grabr, buyers order specific items, or “grabs,” often from international locations. Potential couriers set their rates.
For example, a courier delivered an Apple MacBook from New York to a buyer in Mumbai in 10 days for a delivery fee of $100.
The app facilitates payment, and funds are released when the item is received. Grabr charges the shopper an additional 7 percent service fee.
For local or cross-country deliveries, Roadie drivers sign up for free online and are prescreened for insurance coverage, background validation and driver’s license verification. Drivers can receive alerts of people looking for pick-ups, or “gigs,” within a specified distance of their home or starting location.
The company sets the price for the gig; there’s no bidding process. Fees are calculated based on mileage and size of the item. Local gigs pay between $8 and $50, and longer trips pay more. For example, to send an item that fits in a hatchback or SUV, from Atlanta to Phoenix, costs approximately $407. Senders and drivers can get instant no-obligation estimates on the app.
Patterson said one disadvantage of using these types of human delivery services is the potential “time drain.” “Be clear about when and where you will meet someone,” she said.