Here’s How to Cash in on the Leaves Changing Color in Your Backyard
I don’t care where you live, who you are or how old you are: When the leaves start changing colors, that’s pretty darn exciting.
It’s a sign the brutal heat might let up soon, football is in full swing and the most beautiful, warmest colors will take over your commute.
Unless you live somewhere where the leaves don’t change.
That’s me, here in Florida. When I was a kid and we’d road trip to North Carolina in the fall, it was a dream. Or if we weren’t able to, my grandma sometimes mailed me a pressed vivid red leaf from South Carolina as compensation.
If you’re one of the lucky ones and live in an area that showcases the beautiful in-between colors of summer and winter, you’re in luck.
You could be in the perfect position to make some extra money.
’Tis The Season for Colorful Roadtrips
According to a new AAA survey, the classic summer-road-trip season is seeping into the fall this year.
More than 1 in 4 Americans plans to hit the road sometime between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
Why? Many people cited favorable conditions: fewer crowds and kids; weather is A+ and the cost of their trip is more reasonable (than that of summertime spikes).
And of the folks who responded, 26% say they’re taking a trip to view the fall foliage across the U.S.
Do You Live Among the Best Fall Foliage Routes?
Last year, popular travel resource Fodor’s Travel shared its picks for the 10 best fall foliage trips across the U.S.
See if your area made the list:
- Aspen, Colorado
- The Catskills, New York
- The Berkshires, Massachusetts
- Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
- Green Mountain Byway, Vermont
- Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico
- Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee
- Upper Peninsula, Michigan
- Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
- Glacier National Park, Montana
Of course, you can have grade-A fall foliage even if you don’t live in these areas. Fodor’s Travel is just saying these are the best.
How to Make Money As Folks Flock to See Your Fall Foliage
Road trips are fun and all, but these people are going to need a place to sleep, right? (Unless they have one of those really cool on-top-of-the-car camper things.)
That’s where you can come in handy.
Here’s some inspiration for you: John Potter set up a four-person tent in his parents’ Mountain View, California, backyard. It was originally a joke, he admits, but he made $1,380 in one month — from a tent.
If you want to get paid to have guests stop in, sign up as an Airbnb host.
If you don’t have any clue where to start or what to charge, its website has a built-in calculator. Just type in your information, and it’ll let you know how much you could get for your room or house per week.
You can also select your availability, so if you don’t want to be binded to, say, a whole month of visitors, you can pick and choose what works best. You can set your own house rules, too. So if you don’t want pets, for example, then that’s just fine!
Pro tip: If you sign up to be an Airbnb host now, you’re in the perfect position to make more money from holiday travel, too!
Now, please go enjoy that foliage for us Floridians.
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves Florida, but seasons would be nice.