4 Easy Ways To “Earn” Money While On Holiday

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Okay, okay. I know the whole point of a vacation is to be spectacularly unproductive, and making money isn’t exactly a priority. Most of us use our paid annual leaves to go on vacay anyway, so we’re technically still “earning” money what, hor.

But what if there was a way to make passive income while enjoying your holiday? Don’t worry, nobody is asking you to bring your work to the Maldives – in fact, it’s the opposite. Most of these hacks need you to fully immerse yourself in your dream holiday, so go ahead and soak in every second of it.

From being a personal shopper to renting out your home, here are some tips on how you can roll in some extra dough this December.

1. Milk the holiday experience – sell your travel photos, videos and more

Part of the modern travel experience is the logging it all on social media: In effort to be everyone’s travel #goals, we take pics and snap Insta-stories of everything, and write deep, insightful captions to accompany them. We do this for fun because sharing our holiday experience is something everyone is naturally excited about.

Most people leave it at that, but did you know that you can actually milk your travel content for cash?


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Those with an eye for aesthetics can sell photos and videos to stock media websites like Shutterstock. You’ll probably need some photography skills and a decent camera to produce quality photos that people will actually want to buy though. (No, your iPhone is not going to cut it.)

If you have a flair for the written word, you may even be able to sell travel articles. Many travel publications actually pay freelancers to write because who can afford to have a team of globe-trotting journalists, right?

2. Be a personal shopper with Airfrov & Tompang and earn commission

People always ask “You want anything from (where I’m headed)?”

Well, you can take that question one step further by adding a price tag to it.

Of course, don’t do it to your close friends and relatives – there’s a special place in hell for people who try to kutok their loved ones.

It is, however, perfectly acceptable to charge a fee for being a stranger’s personal shopper. There are a few platforms like Tompang and Airfrov to facilitate this – the “requesters” can post what they want and how much they’re willing to pay, and the “travellers” can choose which items to buy.

Most of the time, the requested items are country-exclusives (like Starbucks tumblers from South Korea or famous instant noodles from Taiwan) which is why people are willing to pay a premium for it.


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If you happen to want these things too (i.e. you’re going to queue and shop for it anyway), then why not pick up an extra one? You don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to earn this extra money.

Plus, it’s quite shiok to shop with someone else’s money – you get 100% of the fun, but at 0% of the cost.

3. Stock up on local branded goods and Carousell them

If you’re headed to the U.S. or anywhere else that’s famous for outlet mall shopping, you can also buy some local branded goods to sell when you’re back. (When I say “local” I don’t mean Singapore, I mean your holiday destination.)

This is especially relevant for luxury bags, which are dramatically cheaper when bought in their country of origin (mostly the U.S. and Europe). If you intend to buy first and sell later (because you’re not sure what good deals or sale items there may be), then you can do some homework to minimise the risks. Head to online marketplaces like Carousell and Reebonz Closets for a better idea of what brands and models are in demand.


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If you think this uncertainty will eat you up inside, you can offer your “buy back service” before going on the trip. For instance, you can post online that you’re heading to say, Paris, and that you can help buy stuff from Chanel. Then when people contact you, you agree on the price and model, and ask for a deposit.

Do note that if the purchases exceed S$600, you are legally required to declare and pay GST for it. Some people try to avoid this by removing the original packaging and tags, but mata will catch you for that – don’t say I never warn you.

Also, whenever you help anyone “import” goods, make sure to check that it’s nothing prohibited. You can refer to this list by the Singapore Customs.

4. Rent out your home space (just maybe not via Airbnb…?)

This one is reserved for those going on longer holidays because while Airbnb is a wildly popular way for travellers to find affordable accommodation, it’s not exactly legal in Singapore.


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According to the housing laws, HDB flats are not allowed to be rented out to tourists. Tourists are allowed on private properties, but the minimum rental period is 3 months, which is pretty long. If you live in a condo, you’ll also need to convince 80% of your neighbours to agree to the rental.

But if you’re going on a longer break, or are perhaps even temporarily posted overseas for work, this is something you can consider.

How do you make money while on vacation? Comment and let us know!