Whether you live near the beach, or just plan on spending the summer at one, you’ll need steady income to make the most of your sunny days. From dog-watching, to baby-sitting, to selling sunscreen by the seashore, here are some clever ways to make a few bucks while having fun in the sun.
I started watching dogs through Rover.com to supplement my income a few years ago — and my “business” has steadily grown ever since. My bookings dramatically increase in the summer as a result of all the vacationers coming to town with their fur babies. They get to relax and enjoy the beach and boardwalk without their animal for a few hours (or even overnight), while the pup gets to play at a local “yappy hour” (basically a dog run with a bar) where I take all my clients’ dogs to make new friends and expend their energy.
I charge a reasonable $39 per night, per dog fee ($25 for anything less than 24 hours of sitting during the day), which is honestly the easiest money I’ve ever made. There’s not a whole lot of actual “work” involved and it brings me joy just to be around the dogs. (See also: How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter)
2. Teaching fitness classes
I have a couple friends who have taken to the beach to build their personal fitness programs, and they’ve got a full schedule of clients during peak season. If you have the skills, certifications, and insurance to offer this type of service, pursue it. Hunter Healy, a beach-based group fitness instructor in Garden City, South Carolina, has found this type of business quite rewarding.
“The beachside facet has been the ‘It’ factor when finding and securing clients,” he says. “Rain? No problem! We move to under the pier. I partner with several local tourist attractions as well as hotels to market my individual and group sessions to weekly travelers. This business has given me the ability to be active and do what I love in the best office I could ask for — the beach!”
3. Local event staff
There’s always something happening in beach communities during the summer months — concerts, bonfires, surf competitions, volleyball tournaments, 5Ks, and more. These activities and events need staffers to ensure they go off without a hitch, and you could be the perfect candidate. Visit specific entertainment venues to inquire about available jobs. You also might want to pop into the local Chamber of Commerce to find out who the producers of events are if you can’t readily pinpoint or get a hold of them.
4. Micro-subletting your home
Vacationers need a clean, convenient place to stay at the beach, and many families can’t afford the local hotels in the high season. This is precisely how vacation rental services Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO became household names, and I’ve been taking advantage of this rental market since the very beginning.
If you live in a beach town, you can rent your extra room or space to tourists who need a place to crash. Based on my own success, this revenue source can really bring in big bucks if you do it well. Local laws are starting to prohibit homeowners from making money in their homes by being hosts, so check up on the regulations in your area before diving into micro-subletting. (See also: 5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb)
5. Driving for Lyft or Uber
Besides sunbathing on the beach, one of vacationers’ favorite pastimes is drinking — and once they get good and sloshed, they’re gonna need rides home. Depending on how active your beach area is, you can make serious money during the summer driving for ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, especially between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. on weekends.
I’ve made upward of $130 on single-fare, 20-mile trips when the bars close. I actually think of this side gig as a twofold benefit — not only am I making money, but I’m preventing myself from spending money on Friday and Saturday nights by not going out partying myself, which is often a significant cost when I’m ready to do it to it. (See also: 7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car)
6. Monetizing your driveway or yard
My beach town has very limited parking, which is a major annoyance for residents on summer weekends. But you can work this in your favor if you have yard or driveway space close enough to attractions.
People will absolutely pay a reasonable fee to park in your monitored space instead of driving in circles for 20 minutes waiting for someone to leave another spot for which they’ll also have to pay. I think a sweet spot to charge is between $15 to $20 per four-hour period, then $5 per every additional hour after that up to $40 for a 24-hour period. (See also: How to Turn Your Backyard Into a Moneymaker)
7. Selling sunscreen, water, and snacks on the beach
Beachgoers forget and/or run out of sunscreen while on the beach, at which point they have to visit a store that sells it at “vacation cost” or live without it for the day, which is quite dangerous. Take advantage of this market and walk the beach offering bottles of sunscreen plus bottles of water and snacks. You’ll make a killing. A word of warning: You may need a license in certain areas.
8. Provide a metal detecting service
A good metal detector will only cost you around $100 or so, but you can recoup that cost almost immediately by renting out the device or your searching services to vacationers who have lost valuable items on the beach, like wallets, rings, and keys. I would start with Craigslist, posting daily about your service (that’s the first place out-of-towners will look), but also just walk the beach with your detector in hand. You’ll probably drum up business right then and there by just being visible. Ten dollars an hour to rent or $30 per find sounds like a reasonable place to start pricing. (See also: 9 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 This Summer)
9. Cleaning houses
I have houseguests a lot during the summer, and I don’t always have time to clean my home. I sometimes hire a housekeeper to do the heavy lifting. Offering your own house cleaning services in a beach community during the summer should be a boon, as I’m sure there are plenty of homeowners in a similar situation as mine.
The key to building this business with repeat customers and referrals is to come prepared, clean like you mean it, pay attention to detail, and price your service reasonably. My suggestion is $20 to $25 an hour. Most people are willing to pay for the convenience if the price is in this ballpark.
Moms and dads want to have fun on vacation, too, so they may be looking for a baby-sitter during their stay. They probably won’t know anyone in the area, so you might find it beneficial to list your services with some of the popular websites and apps that parents prefer, like Care.com and Sitter. (See also: 9 Summer Side Gigs for Grown-Ups)
11. Rent portable chargers
Invest in five to 10 portable chargers from various electronics and mobile phone makers, set up a little stand on the boardwalk, and watch the cash flow in. No brainer.