Road Trip Travel Hacking – How to Make Money on the Drive

in #travel3 years ago (edited)

How to make money on a road trip.jpg

Ahh, the road trip. To me, it doesn’t get much better than loading up the car and hitting the open road. What is one thing that makes it better? Earning money while you do it! Let me explain how you can make money on road trips.

If it is possible and reasonable, I prefer to drive to my vacation destination for a few different reasons. There are no TSA and security lines. You get to choose your seat partner. No luggage fees. No getting beat up by United Airlines employees, Etc.

Compared to flying, driving can be the most frugal method of traveling long distance. Maybe not if you are single but if you have to fork over for tickets for you, your spouse, and multiple children it gets downright expensive! I predict that driving to our destination will be the #1 method my family will use for our vacations.

Plus driving there allows you get to have your car at your destination, saving money on a rental or a taxi/uber, and with google maps navigation it is hard to even get lost anymore. (That could be good or bad depending on how you view things.)

Road trips require a few things: a perfect combination of mountain dew and gummy worms, a great selection of music, - oh and additional time.

Having recently returned from a road trip from Tucson to Los Angeles and back, I figured I would share two ways how I earn money on the journey.

Since the addition of child #2, we now drive a 2007 Honda Odyssey. With the rear seats folded down, it has a decent amount of cargo space. I wanted to capitalize on it.

uShip App Screenshot.png

Become a transporter!

Here is where the ‘Uber for shipping’ comes into play –

I searched for people needing things shipped along my route, looking for items that would fit in the back of the minivan. Sorry, I will not be able to haul your 15 pallets of flagstones and boulders or your backhoe. Luckily, you can often find smaller items or even pets (pets require uShip to approve you for them) that need to go from one place to another.

I found someone requiring a set of wheels and tires transported from Phoenix to Covina, CA. Perfect! I was going that way no matter what, so I undercut and was awarded the job. It would earn me $82.51 after uShip fees.

Wheels uShip money.jpg

For the return journey I accepted an offer of $200 to bring a dresser from Los Angeles to Tucson. That got me $167.37 after fees.

dresser uShip money.jpg

That’s a total of $250 for the little bit of time spent picking up and dropping off the items. Plus, I will be able to claim the mileage on my taxes!

Roadie App Overview.png

I haven’t used it yet (as there were no suitable jobs), but there is another service called Roadie that works the same way. While uShip has mostly been taken over by professional shippers, Roadie is the app for the infrequent road tripper – and therefore potential transporter. Have any of you used Roadie before?

If you are interested in Roadie, use this link to get a $10 credit on your first gig:

Gigwalk Field Agent EasyShift apps.png

Make money without hauling items!

Another road trip money making tactic I have used in my smaller Mazda3 and this one isn’t even limited to travelers as I often perform the jobs around town. It is a trio of apps – Gigwalk, Field Agent, and EasyShift.

These apps offer jobs that consist of searching for and photographing products on store shelves or in displays. They pay between $3 and $14, with $5-7 being the most common. Not much by themselves, but add a few together and you can make gas money. Which is exactly what I did on a trip from Tucson to Las Vegas two years ago.

When these jobs pop up in larger cities you have multiple people reserving them which can make it a challenge to maximize your earnings. But in smaller towns the jobs often go to their expiration date uncompleted. If you happen to be driving by one of these places, you can make a short pit stop to do a gig or three.

The average time it takes to complete a gig is about 15-20 minutes. If you make $7 per, that’s a pretty decent hourly wage for taking a few photos and answering some questions while also getting a chance to stretch your legs or use the restroom.

I was able to make $31.70 from 5 gigs on this latest road trip - almost a tank of gas in the Odyssey.

The total cost of the gas used to get there and back as well as drive around the city was $156.81.

Total earned with these road trip hustles: $281.58

Profit: $124.77

$100 bill Franklin.jpg

Instead of being down $156.81, we hustled and are up over a Ben Franklin instead.

By using these two strategies I was able to turn our journey from what is normally an expense into a profit – wear and tear excluded – AND a tax write-off. Not too shabby in my book!

What do you guys think? Would you turn your road trip into a cash moneymaker with a little hustle, or is it not worth it to you? Do you know of any other ways to earn some moolah on the way? Let me know in a comment below.


Interesting way to make some bucks and enjoy a road trip at the same time! Long time no see!

@shieha, I'm posting occasionally. (gave you a mention on my post before this one)

You probably don't have anything like this in Taiwan. Do you do anything to make some money on the side? Besides Steemit, lol. :P

Oh man I missed that post, thanks for the mention!
As for extra money on the side, I try my luck in local photography contests, and the occasional app test work from

I love everything about this, I often just go on a road trip to any city that takes my fancy. Had a look at the site looks promising.

Have you had any problems getting paid?

No problems getting paid.

On uShip the customer usually pays them and uShip hold the money until you deliver. The customer then gives you a code to release payment. It sits in your uShip account until you click the button to release it into your PayPal.

With the gig jobs I usually have the money in my PayPal about 3-5 days after I complete them.

Thanks for sharing. Although I don't live in the US or drive. This is an awesome option, I have read somewhere you can do the same for plane .

I actually saw a job to bring two cats from the US to Singapore. If I had a trip planned there I could find out what it costs to have the airline ship a cat and then add in a hefty profit for myself to bring them with. uShip also lists jobs in different countries, but it is rather unknown outside the US so jobs are slim.

Thanks for sharing, @getonthetrain! I was thinking about a service like this a few days ago and it seems like uShip and Roadie come close to it. Upvoted.

Hey, anyway I can make a few bucks is something I want to know about. Whether or not I choose to do them, it is good to know about more options.

And let's address the elephant in the room- you will make money writing about it on Steemit! That is awesome too.

I have heard of but not the other sites you mentioned. I will check them out! Glad to see that you were able to turn a nice profit.

Haha, yeah, and some Steem too. :D

Hope you find something to turn your next road trip into a profit!

By the way, I totally recognize that place in the picture at the top. The road towards St George as I know it. Awesome looking.

I probably won't have an opportunity to use any of these as I'm not driving these days but I really love any advice that can help people free up their time and energy and making heir lives more financially sustainable without adding more pressure.

There's a book written by a guy who quit using money, let's of methods about how to do things for free (not "the man who quit money" I actually felt stronger about that book and that guy,Daniel Suelo, than this one but this one has a lot of advice for if you want to live without money. ) I need to search for his name though.

It seems I'm your 1000th follower, nice. ;-)

Haha, #1,000! And today is my one year on steemit. My Steemiversarry.

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