One of my goals is to make an extra $200 a month. Today, I'm $53 closer to that goal and I feel like I didn't have to do pretty much anything to get it, other than clean my house.
We started traveling with AirBnB back over the summer. It's a really neat networking program that has you stay with people in their homes instead of in hotels when you travel. If you have a spare guest room, you can set a price and rent it out. We stayed in a lovely home in San Diego back in August for a few days and it was really great. It was less expensive and it was neat to stay somewhere where we were the only guests and we were treated like family. After that experience, we decided to try and see if we could host too. We have an office with a fold out sofa and, since we live near a pretty major tourist area, we figured that we might be able to make it work.
So far, we're hosted twice. Last night, we had guests who were traveling in from Switzerland. I cleaned up the house, made up the spare bed, stocked us up on breakfast food, and then went to work. My other half let them in at midnight, they crashed out, in their room, got up in the morning, took a shower, ate some fruit and then carried on their way. It was so very very easy.
I know that we are lucky in that we had pretty much the perfect guests, and I know that some people aren't as easy as those two. But I am very happy that we've started doing this.
You can vet your prospective tenants pretty well. They provide profiles and usually they have Facebook so you can see if they really exist. We've hosted twice and travelled twice and both times it's saved or made us money, and been a pleasant experience.
I've been thinking about a similar program that lets you rent out your car when you aren't using it, but I'm not sure yet and I need to do more research.
So, check out AirBnB if you want to travel more cheaply or if you have a spare room that you want to rent out and make a little side money from.