Jetting off into the sun may seem like a luxury in these tough economic times, but here are five ways you can make money from your holiday...
1.) Pay for your holiday through a cashback website
As an avid fan of cashback websites, one great way to make some quick cash is to book your holiday through them.
Sites such as Quidco and TopCashback offer you a percentage of what you pay for your flights, hotels and other add-ons such as car hire, back as cash into your account.
But as tempting as cashback is, bear in mind that for flights especially, online travel companies such as Expedia and Opodo charge a commission, which generally makes it more expensive to buy a flight from them rather than direct from the airline's website.
For this reason, it's wise to check the airline's official website for a quote as well.
If buying direct from the airline does turn out to be cheaper, check if it offers cashback. Popular airlines including Virgin, BMI and KLM all offer money back, and even when an airline doesn't, it's always worth getting a quote, as it could end up being cheaper than opting for a cashback deal anyway.
2.) Review your holiday for cash
Fancy yourself as the next Bill Bryson? Aspiring travel writers can now share their experiences and get paid for it with Simonseeks.
Simonseeks is a place where travellers round the world can share holiday hints and tips you wouldn't find in your regular Lonely Planet guidebook.
To start earning, write a destination guide (of around 500 to 1,000 words) and post it on the site. You can be as specific or as broad as you like about what you review, and add photos to make the post more appealing.
Once you submit your guide, the Simonseeks editorial team will check it, and if it cuts the mustard, post it up on the site for other users to rate.
The higher the rating, the more likely people will want to read your post. And the more people who read your post and click on the advertising links next to it, the higher the earnings potential.
3.) ...and tell your mates about it too!
Another way you can make money from your holiday is by sharing your experiences via the joys of social networking.
With nearly 900,000 members signed up, Yuwie is fast becoming the Facebook for entrepreneurs. You can connect with existing friends and make new contacts as usual - but the difference with Yuwie is that you'll earn money at the same time through a share of the advertising revenue.
Every time someone looks at your profile, you'll notch up a page view. The more page views you get, the higher the earnings potential, so it pays to load up your profile with lots of content and photos. Recommend a friend and you'll make money off their activity too.
Unfortunately, the site isn't very aesthetically pleasing, and personally, I think it looks like one big pop-up ad.
But if the earnings potential is anything to go by, it could be the next big thing. For more, this enthusiastic American chap explains all.
4.) Sell your photos online
Calling all budding photographers, why not upload your creative holiday photos to one of the many sites which will help you sell your snaps for cash?
Sites such as Photobox, Alamy, Fotolia, PictureNation and 123.RF.com all let you upload your pics in the hope of a sale, although if you do manage to sell any snaps, you'll have to relinquish around half your takings to the retailer as commission (although Photobox only takes 10%).
That may sound like a large chunk, but if a hobby turns into a money making venture, why not give it a go!
5.) And finally...
By now, most of you will already have booked your summer holiday, but here's some food for thought to save money on your next trip.
My friend recently got back from Spain and told me about a site she'd used called Couchsurfing, where, you guessed it, people around the world offer you a couch - or if you're lucky, sometimes a bed to sleep for the night free of charge.
With more than a million members in over 200 countries, the site has fast become the quirky alternative to booking hostel and hotel accommodation.
I'm not suggesting sleeping on a stranger's couch is for everyone, and this sort of arrangement is more for the intrepid explorer than your family holiday to Disneyland. But it's still a new way to network and meet people...for nothing!
To join, you set up a profile telling other people a little bit about yourself and where you're located. You don't have to offer your own couch if you don't want to, and you could even use the site to network and meet new people around the world.
Hosts won't expect any payment (though if you're a decent guest, you should probably offer to do the washing up), and you'll also get the benefit of staying with a local person, which let's face it, money can't buy.
There is a system in place to ensure you won't be staying with (or hosting) any old Tom, Dick or Harry, with verification processes and references available to give other users a better idea about the person behind the profile.
If you're interested, or perhaps just curious, read these surfing safety tips for more information on how to have a safe couchsurfing experience...although most of the time, getting the most value out of your trip while staying safe is usually just a matter of common sense.
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