The Lazy (Profitable) Days of Summer: 7 Ways to Make Money on Vacation

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money-vacationSummer vacation.

Believe it or not, your annual getaway can be a powerful money motivator—and we’re not just talking about saving up to take a trip.

According to American Express, the average person will shell out $1,000 for their summer escape this year, but a vacation doesn’t have to be a one-way financial street.

With minimal effort and a bit of planning, you can make memories and money.

Thanks to the success of home rental service Airbnb—now with some 1.5 million listings—a growing number of companies want to help you leverage your stuff and skills to keep the cash flowing while you’re working on your tan.

Make $$ on Vacay Using … Your Car

If you’re catching a flight and parking in the airport lot, you’re essentially splurging on a staycation for your wheels.

At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, for example, long-term parking can set you back as much as $420 per week.

But there is a money-making alternative: FlightCar is a free membership service that entitles you to gratis airport parking, a car wash and vacuum—plus the opportunity to earn 5 to 20 cents per mile when someone (prescreened by FlightCar) rents your car for 30 days or less. If you use the service for a longer period of time, you could even receive a flat rate of $200 to $500 depending on your car’s make and year.

Competitor RelayRides lets you post your own free listing, as well as approve suitable renters. Depending on how fancy your ride is, you then get 75% of the total reservation fee, which can range from $24 to more than $100 per day.

Live in an area where parking is hard to come by? Spot lets you rent out private parking by the hour, day, week or month—in exchange for a 15% transaction fee.

Make $$ on Vacay Using … Social Media

Obsessed with those new sandals you bought for your Caribbean escape? Snap a picture and use the free CoSign app to tag the brand, online retailer and price before sharing it to Facebook or Twitter.

When someone buys the item linked to your image, you earn 30% to 60% of the sales commission negotiated by CoSign. Your cut varies depending on the retailer and your status within the app (new users start at 30%), and you get paid once you reach $40.

Make $$ on Vacay Using … Your Trip Photos

It turns out all those pictures you’re snapping are worth more than just Facebook likes and bragging rights among friends and family.

Stock image websites Shutterstock and iStock will pay contributors royalties ranging from a few cents to more than $100 each time one of your images is downloaded.

Free app Foap offers a similar service to smartphone sharpshooters, with members earning $5 every time an image sells—and upwards of $100 if you win a contest.

Foap hosts a variety of contests, dubbed “missions,” which can fit in nicely with your vacay plans—like a payout of $300 for the best shot of a piña colada.

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