Educational tours are a great way for students to learn all kinds of lessons in responsibility, including how to earn and save money to help pay for the trip. Here are some suggestions for ways preteens and teens can invest themselves in the student travel experience.

I’ve heard many parents say they offer to pay for a certain percentage of the trip and the balance needs to be earned. This is a great place to start because it sets a goal to be achieved. It also means kids need to keep track, so they learn math and accounting skills in the process. They also learn how to socialize and promote their skills and services, as well as how to provide customer service.

And now, a list of ideas for how students can raise money for their trip.

1. Collect Donations for a Neighborhood Clean-Up

Neighborhood clean-ups are a great way to get involved in the community, do something good for the environment, and raise money for a good cause. You can go door-to-door in the neighborhood to collect donations for the clean-up, or you can collect recyclable items and take them to local depots in exchange for money (if that’s an option in your area). 

Remember to thank people for their generosity and provide some information about why you are collecting money so they know their donation is going toward a good cause.

2. Pet Sit

Summer means vacations, which leaves people wondering what to do for the pets they leave behind. Being a pet-sitter is usually a short-term commitment, but it does require being responsible for taking care of animals as directed, possibly changing a litter box or birdcage, or changing water and refreshing food.  It’s a good way to make money and develop maturity in the process.

3. Be a Parent Helper

When school is out for the summer, parents have less time to get things done and they may appreciate help with younger children. Being a helper means a parent is home if needed, but you’re keeping the kids busy so they can check a few to-dos off the list. It’s also great practice for developing babysitting skills they might use in the years to come.

4. Host a Movie Night

Offer to show a movie outdoors for kids and families in the neighborhood for a small admission fee. Set up a projector with speakers and use a wall or a hanging sheet as a screen. Sell or serve popcorn and drinks to add to the experience. If you’re theatrically inclined, put on a play instead. 

5. Walk Dogs

This is a great way to get exercise and make money at the same time. Because animals have personalities like people, make sure you and your child meet with the owner and dog in advance to make sure they are compatible.

6. Be Crafty

Try letting out your inner Picaso and raise money by hosting an arts and crafts sale. The possibilities for what students and even teachers can make are endless. You can even ask friends and family to contribute their crafts for the sale if they are interested. 

Here are just a few ideas for what you could make and sell:

  • Knitted goods
  • Paintings
  • Photography
  • Pottery
  • Handmade cards
  • Jewelry

If you host the sale during the holidays, you can make things like handmade ornaments, Christmas cards, candles, and decorations. You can even charge a gift wrapping fee to wrap everything up for the buyer to raise extra money.

7. Hold a Rummage Sale

Similar to the used book sale idea, a rummage sale is another way to raise money by selling gently used, secondhand items. Ask all your friends, family, and neighbors for donations to the sale. Possible contributions include clothes, toys, DVDs, games, record albums, electronics, jewelry, shoes, home goods, and even furniture.

8. Be a Companion

There are many older people who long for company and help with simple tasks that kids often do as chores. Ask friends and neighbors if they know anyone who would like help, or put up a flier, with permission, at church, the grocery store, or in a nursing home in your area.

9. Recycle

You can earn money and be a good global citizen in the process. Search online for where you can take cans, plastic, glass, and other recyclables for cash.

10. Resell

Again, you get to clean out and do good for the environment. Look for video games, CDs, and clothing in good condition. If you ask nicely, parents may be willing to take your goods to a resale store for you if you do the cleaning and packing.

11. Use Crowdfunding

Thanks to social media and the internet, crowdfunding has become a popular way for people to raise money for just about any reason. Students can set up their own crowdfunding campaign to raise money individually, or whoever is in charge of the trip can create one large crowdfunding campaign for everyone. GoFundMe is the most well-known crowdfunding site, but remember to share and promote your fundraiser on social media as well to spread the word. 

NationsClassroom also offers an option to donate directly for tour trips using our Gift of Learning form; you’ll get a link to this from your student travel expert when you book a trip!

12. Be a Reading Buddy

Young kids may need help with continuing to develop their reading over the summer months. Your job is to be a good listener and a role model. This is a great job if you have young kids in the neighborhood.

13. Bake Dog Treats

Bake dog treats and sell them at dog parks, pet stores, and groomers.

14. Hold a Book Sale

We’ll bet you or someone you know likely has some old books lying around that they don’t plan to read anymore. If so, gather as many used books as you can and hold a used book sale to raise money for the trip. 

You could even partner with local businesses like a coffee shop to host the sale inside or in front of their business. Who doesn’t love a hot coffee and a good book to read?

15. Bring The Festival Fun

Who doesn’t love a good festival or local carnival? There are numerous ways you can collect money at these kinds of events, including:

  • Ticket sales
  • Game booths
  • Face painting and temporary tattoos
  • Food and drink booths
  • Raffle items
  • Mazes and funhouses

You can also sell fun items like balloons and glow necklaces to people walking around the festival. Just make sure you promote the festival before it happens to raise awareness and post plenty of signs explaining what the proceeds will go toward.

These are just a few of the many different ways you can raise money for your student trip. If you are a teacher or some other adult involved in the planning process, contact one of NationsClassroom Tours’ Student Travel Experts today so we can help you plan a memorable, one-of-a-kind trip for your students.

Are there more ways for students to raise money during the summer that we’re not thinking of? Please let us know in the comments below!

For information about the educational tours we provide, please Browse Our Tours.

Originally published March 2017, updated April 2024.