Emily Starbuck Gerson
In need of some extra income to pay down debt, save up for a big expense, or have a little mad money? It’s never a bad time to take on a side hustle. This is especially true when working through on-demand apps like Lyft or Instacart, where gigs are available 24/7 year-round.
But there are a few reasons why summer is a great time to dabble in the art of side hustling. If plans include adding a new gig or two to the plate, here’s why this summer might be ideal.
Cities that experience an influx of summer visitors can be a boon for gig workers. “If you’re in a tourist area, and you want to do physical on-demand platform-based tasks, there’s probably a spike in demand in the summer,” says Diane Mulcahy, gig economy expert and author of the book “The Gig Economy.”
For example, I was just in Houston for Pride, and I stayed at an Airbnb, got several meals delivered through apps, and rode Lyfts everywhere around town. Probably many other visitors did as well. Cities that have a spike of summer tourism or a rush of out-of-towners for major events are a great time to jump into a side hustle. Especially these types of well-known on-demand services that tourists are likely to utilize. Upside? Getting to choose when and where to work.
With any specific local knowledge or skills, even offering experiences or tours on Airbnb or other tourism sites can earn extra money. For example, a friend of mine in San Antonio, Texas, has a day job, but she’s also a certified yoga teacher. In her spare time, she rents out a spare bedroom in her home on Airbnb, and she offers an Airbnb yoga experience on a nearby scenic bridge that anyone coming to town, including her guests, can book with her for an authentic local experience.
Depending on location, summer also brings unique side hustle opportunities specific to the warm months. Living near a pool or beach could bring lifeguarding duties. Live near a resort? Pick up some shifts working there during the busier summer months. In an area with a lot of families, offer babysitting for busy parents whose kids are out of school, or tutor kids or take on a side gig at summer camps.
Many people who travel out of town during the summer need someone to watch their pets and/or house. For a new side hustle, the summer months could also be a great time to try offering dog boarding through Rover or looking for house sitting gigs.
In some areas and industries, summer is a time when people take time off, things slow down, and it’s more acceptable to be disconnected, Mulcahy says. If you need more income but aren’t sure what type of side hustle is best, this extra time and space can give the opportunity to think about what side gigs to take on and start trying some new ones to find the best fit, she explains.
“Take advantage of the summer to be a little more strategic and experimental,” Mulcahy says. “You can be thinking about, ‘what are the side gigs I could be doing?’ and ‘is there a way I could use some of this downtime to experiment or get something off the ground?’ Or if you already have a side gig, maybe to try a different one.”
For example, those who’ve only ever done food or grocery delivery but don’t love it? Now could be a great time to try something different, like walking dogs on Wag or finding miscellaneous jobs on TaskRabbit.
Have a knowledge-based skill like graphic design, writing, coding, or social media management? Doing this on a freelance or consulting basis in the summer could be an ideal time to start building a business or finding gigs on sites like Upwork.
Wherever you call home, summer can be a busy time perfect for picking up seasonal side work, or be a slower time that gives some breathing room to explore new work opportunities. Regardless of the time of year, you can find a new side hustle on the Steady app.