People are doing more traveling this summer, jumping in the car to visit Grandma, taking a family vacation to a favorite theme park or heading to a new destination. According to USA Today, one of the reasons for this rise in travel is a drop in gas prices. On May 15, 2015 they reported that this will be the cheapest driving season in 6 years. Further, they indicate that the typical American household will spend $675 less for gas this year as opposed to last year, an additional financial incentive to travel. But what if one plans yet another way to make vacation time more affordable?
Jancyn Evaluation Shops suggests that cash-strapped families use mystery shopping to subsidize their travels. According to Vicki Dempsey, Vice President of Jancyn, “Mystery shopping as you travel is a great way to earn some extra cash as you make your way across the USA. Our Project Coordinators are experts in assisting shoppers to create mystery shopping routes to fit their travel plans.”
Ms. Dempsey continues, “Most shoppers sign up with several companies in order to increase their chances at having multiple projects to choose from and to find projects that best fit their personal needs. The MSPA maintains a list of member companies you can be sure are qualified and reputable. When it comes to incorporating mystery shopping into a family vacation experience, get the kids involved too! Asking them to help look for key project details, such as the name of their server or the cleanliness of a restroom, hones their observation skills and turns it into a fun spy game! Not all shopping assignments allow children, but many do.”
Many companies, including Jancyn, offer self-assign job boards where shoppers can select assignments along their planned route. Depending on the mystery shopping company, shoppers may find assignments that will reimburse for meals, gasoline, attractions and activities, hotels and more.
To get the most opportunities, apply to as many companies as you can. Refer to my list of 200 legitimate mystery shopping companies. Contact any schedulers you have relationships with to let them know you want assignments you can do while you travel. You may be able to pick up some shops that they are having trouble filling, and that will make you one of their favorite shoppers. You may even be able to work out a bonus or two.
Incorporating a bit of mystery shopping into your vacation can stretch your budget and make vacationing more affordable. Of course, if you spend all of your time mystery shopping it isn’t really a vacation; however, you can certainly work in a few shops to help cover your meals, hotel and other expenses. Have fun!