Wintertime is rough. After the holidays pass, the gloomy and cold days of winter settle in and test even the hardiest of souls. Therefore, it makes perfect sense why many freelancers and even employed workers choose to escape to warmer climes.
There’s just one problem with these winter vacations: How do you make money while you’re frolicking in the ocean or drinking your third margarita amidst the cacti? While some of us can take our work with us, many of us can’t.
Luckily, mobile technology has come through with a solution to this dilemma. In fact, it’s come through with several solutions. Here are several mobile apps that help you earn cash while you’re watching that football game in Pasadena (and trying hard not to brag about it to your Facebook friends) or snorkeling amidst the coral reefs of Hawaii.
Got extra space in your 50 lb limit luggage? That space could end up paying for a good portion of your airfare. Using the Airmule app, you can easily advertise how much space you have available in your personal luggage as well as your flight. Interested parties will then contact you.
If you’re worried about noncompliance with the TSA’s “don’t-accept-packages-from-unknown-persons” rule, know that Airmule vets its senders and their materials so that the items are legal to send and pass all security checkpoints.
Once you land at your destination, you can hand deliver your package to the recipient, or you can request that Airmule complete the handling for you. Hand delivery, incidentally, is compensated extra.
Currently, much of Airmule’s shipping goes from the USA to China; however, other locations are being added.
Why drive an empty car when you can earn money for that extra space? As a driver with Roadie, you’ll be paid up to $50 for transporting and delivering items locally. However, if you’re about to embark on a long-distance voyage, you could make several hundred bucks per delivery, and especially if that delivery includes a live pet.
Why would someone wish to use your services versus those of the USPS, FedEx or UPS? Oversize items that won’t fit on a plane can cost a pretty penny to ship. Travelers become even more nervous if they’re shipping a prized possession, a delicate family heirloom or a beloved pet. For these reasons, personalized item delivery has become popular through mobile apps such as Roadie.
An added incentive to using Roadie is that you can deduct your mileage, on-the-road hotel stays, and meals as a business expense.
3. Presto InstaShops
This mystery shopping aggregator works with several dozen mystery shopping companies, so you’ll never lack for an assignment that’s close to you. Even better, the app tracks your geographic location and “points out” which shops are closest to you.
When you click on a given geotag, you obtain a short blurb of information about the shop assignment. Should you be interested, you simply click on the assignment and apply for it. If you’re an experienced mystery shopper and/or have a high shopper rating, you can self-assign your shops without waiting for approval- this makes it even more convenient to mystery shop on-the-fly.
Using this app, I’ve been able to do drive-thru assignments without even leaving my car ($4-$6), receive compensation for shopping at an outlet store ($20 in merchandise + $25), and check out tourist attractions for free with bonus cash (tickets + $20).
4. Field Agent
Another on-the-go mystery shopping and odd job app is Field Agent, which pays you up to $20 for quick jobs completed at grocery stores, gas stations, banks or even in your own home.
Example Field Agent jobs include the following:
- Scavenger hunt jobs that pay a few dollars to locate an item in your home, store or even at your friend’s house.
- Photo submission jobs that ask you to locate a certain store product, endcap, promotion, price or display.
- Survey jobs where you answer 5-10 questions and earn a few bucks.
With Field Agent, not all listed stores in your given area will have the app’s requested products or promos. This is why it’s good to be traveling; inevitably, you’ll locate a store that has what you’re looking for.
Are you traveling by a mall or grocery store? Then be sure to download and activate Shopkick, the app that pays you to walk into stores and scan merchandise. Successfully completed tasks are rewarded with points (known as kicks) that can be redeemed for gift cards.
It doesn’t take a lot of scanning before you’ve racked up the necessary kicks for a gift card. Some items give you 100 kicks a piece just for being scanned. At 500 kicks, you already have $2 in gift card money.
One of the best ways to make money with Shopkick is to visit shopping malls. There, you might score points at a handful of stores and be able to redeem your earnings right on the spot, before you even return to your vehicle.
Submitted receipts that feature previously scanned items earn anywhere from 100-2500 points. On occasion, you’ll also score points for watching short product videos.
Earning money while on-the-go is possible
The days of foregoing any kind of money-making activities while enjoying your vacation are over. Nowadays, the person who is traveling has several unique opportunities to make money. Many of these opportunities are available via mobile apps. By making money on-the-go, you not only slow down your ‘cash burn’ rate, you might even find a way to extend your time off.
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