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11 Ways to Make Money at the Beach and Still Have Fun

I meet with business owners both locally and internationally and share what I learn to help readers generate more income.

Summer Jobs at the Beach

Summer Jobs at the Beach

How You Can Make Money at the Beach

Need a job but want to be at the beach instead? Perhaps you can combine the two and make some money while enjoying time at the beach.
There are often jobs available for the asking in beach bars and cafes. They will have a high turnover of people, so you will have a job throughout the summer if you are prepared to work. There are also other more entrepreneurial avenues to look at as well. I have listed just a few. Take a look and see if any of these appeal to you.

1. Sell Cold Water/Drinks on the Beach

You're at the beach and are dying for a drink of water or a soft drink. You should have brought more, but you didn't, and the line at the drinks counter is so long, you could die of thirst waiting! But wait, here comes someone with an icebox full of drinks.
Imagine the happy customers you could have by providing them with this service. If you think it isn't possible to do this and make a profit, let's do the math.
I have just seen a 48 pack of 8 oz bottled water at Sam's Club for $5.88.
$5.88 ÷ 48 = 0.1225 or 12¢ a bottle.
We'll assume you can chill your drinks beforehand. Either your parents (roommate, wife, etc.) will allow you to use their refrigerator/freezer. If not, you will need to factor in a bag of ice into your costs.

What would you pay for an ice-cold bottle of water on the beach? $1.00? $1.50? Let's go conservative and say $1.00 a bottle. 48 bottles for $1.00 each 48 x 1.00 = $48. Remember you paid $5.88 for your 48 pack of water. $48.00- $5.88 = $42.12

If you think that isn't that much, you don't stop at just one pack. If you come to a family on the beach, that could be 4 or 5 bottles in one transaction!
This is just an example, but you can see that you could make some big money doing this. It looks like the drinks are on you.

Beach Equipment Rental Business

Beach Equipment Rental Business

2. Rent Beach Umbrellas and Shelters

Depending on which beach you are planning to go to, you may be able to rent out beach umbrellas or beach shelters. In their excitement to get to the beach, families often don't realize that they may be sitting in the blazing hot sun without any shade available for hours.

They are your target market as you can have a selection of beach umbrellas for them to rent for the day. You can do this two ways:

  • Take the pro-active approach. Go up to people and ask if they would like to rent one. If you have a business card, they will feel this is a professional business and, as such, will be more likely to rent one from you. The people to approach first will be those with small children or elderly members of the family. They will be more likely to rent one as this enables them to stay at the beach longer without their nearest and dearest cooking like a piece of bacon in a hot frying pan.
  • Have an area set up to rent them from and let the customers come to you. If you can rent a beach hut to use as an ideal base, even offering them out of a VW bus with logos would be cool.

You'll want to check ahead to see if you'll need any license or permission to do this. Some cities are more strict than others. Doing it the right way will save you headaches later. Plus, many people will be deterred by the red tape and give up. Don't be that person; get started on your beach business now before the summer begins.

Beach Bar Jobs

Beach Bar Jobs

3. Work at a Beach Bar or Cafe

This is an obvious choice. Beach bars are always looking for fun and outgoing people. Often a bar will be frequented not just for its location but also for its staff. If you can get a crowd fired up, whilst being polite and serving drinks promptly and precisely, you will do well in this type of job.

Some of these will be selling drinks, waiting on tables, or working in the kitchen. Outside the bars are often outgoing people touting for business. This can pay quite well and often you'll be working at night and can spend your day, on the beach. That's a win-win situation.

Windsurfing Lessons

Windsurfing Lessons

4. Teach Surfing, Kite Surfing or Wind Surfing

Do you surf, kitesurf or wind surf well enough to teach it? Look into the qualifications, if any, in your area that would enable you to do this. Or alternatively, arrange a private lesson with friends who wish to improve their technique.

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Read More From Toughnickel

This is a skill that you could use not just in summer where you currently live but also around the globe. You could travel, teach and surf to your heart's content.

This is something we see many people doing where we live in Brazil on a casual basis.

Sell books

Sell books

5. Sell Paperback Books

Often people go to the beach for the day and in their haste in packing they forget their summer reading. Or it can also be they don't want to expose their electronic readers to the salty air and blowing sand. This is where you come in. If you have a selection of used paperback books, you can sell these to people who want something more than just the sand and sea.

These can be acquired from sales at the library, garage sales or even your own used books. Having a good selection on an easy to push cart or large satchel will have them flocking to you for something to read.

Also, consider coloring books and colored pencils for the kids. These can be just a few sheets and pencils or crayons they return at the end of the day. This could be done on a donation basis.

6. Sell Burgers

Raphael Marques da Silva Krás Borges started selling his vegetarian burgers, called HareBurgers, on the beaches in Rio De Janeiro. He became famous for claiming his burgers were the best in the galaxy. Below is a fun commercial about his burgers. He now has opened a vegetarian restaurant In Rio selling his famous burgers and more.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not need permission to sell food on the beach. Check with your local city council for clarification on any laws regarding this.

Where I live we often have people selling cooked shrimp and other various food products walking from person to person on the beach.


7. Become a Lifeguard

Anyone who has watched Baywatch or other similar programs will know there are worse jobs to have than being a lifeguard. If this appeals to you, there are courses you can take to become a lifeguard. The pay is between $8-$20 an hour depending on where you live, and when you aren't working at the beach, there are indoor swimming pools that will need lifeguards as well.

Sell Ice Cream

Sell Ice Cream

8. Sell Ice Cream

You may have seen people walking up and down the beach with an insulated cart selling ice cream. They buy it wholesale and bring it down to the beach. Ringing a bell alerts beach-goers of your presence. If not, you can always call out, "Ice Cream, Get your ice cream here." As in the example of the chilled water above, some people will pay for the convenience. Target those people with children.

Kayaking at the beach

Kayaking at the beach

9. Rent Out Water Sports Equipment

Think of the equipment people would use on the beach, surfboards, bodyboards, kayaks, swim fins, masks, kites, and plastic buckets with shovels. You could rent them out to the people on the beach. You will probably need a large van or a small booth.
Combine this with your beach chairs and umbrellas, as mentioned earlier, and you will make yourself a tidy sum at the weekends or school vacation times.
Where I live, there is a man who does just this, and people flock to him. They find it much easier than bringing their own. Whether you buy new or used equipment, you'll find that the equipment will pay for itself many times over.

10. Become a Local Tour Guide

Is your favorite beach loaded with interesting historical facts? Does your beach attract many tourists or is it mainly the locals who visit? If you're knowledgeable about the local sites, you could hire yourself out as a tour guide and take groups of people along the beach and the near-by area.

This could be as simple as an hour's walking tour. You could include talks about the local area, history, the beach, shells, fishing, birdwatching, pollution the changing landscape of beach life etc.

If you are a bit rusty with the history of the local area, go to the library or online and study about it, not only will this be beneficial to your new role as a tour guide, it will be interesting as well.

Rent out beach huts

Rent out beach huts

11. Rent Out Beach Huts

If you have connections with some of the owners of the local beach huts, you could rent these out for them. They would earn from the rental as would you. The guest would pay half when they make a booking and the other half when they arrive. This could be for just one day or for a weekend. The huts are always in demand and often many just stand empty every weekend. Finding the owner could be done via a search on the internet or at the land registry office.

Place your advert either on the beach hut, or create a simple website to better show what is available. Many stand vacant and could be earning for both you and the owner.

Good Luck!

I hope this has given you a few ideas of how to make money and enjoy the summer sun. To find other opportunities, when you are at the beach, look around and ask yourself, "What would make these people happy".

If you would like to leave a comment, another idea or have a question, I would love to read them.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Can I sell shirts at the beach?

Answer: That would depend on where in the world you are and which beach you're on. If there are regulations in place, you would need to get permission and licenses beforehand. Check with your chamber of commerce. It could be that a simple stall or stand wouldn't be objected to, but approaching beachgoers might be offputting. Ask the chamber of commerce for advice about your specific location.

Question: Can I sell alcoholic drinks at the beach?

Answer: That will depend where you live and the regulations that are in place. Check with your local chamber of commerce, council or other governing body to ask. Where I live, free enterprise is less regulated and people offer drinks, ice cream, cooked shrimp, and even handmade jewelry!

© 2012 Mary Wickison


Mary Wickison (author) from USA on October 15, 2018:

Thanks Ajay,

I wanted to give a good overview for different areas. In some areas, permission will be required for these activities. In some countries free enterprise is still alive and well.

Glad you found it useful.

Ajay Walia on October 15, 2018:

Nice article and usefull for all......

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on September 17, 2018:

Hi Dale,

Glad you think so. I hope it is a profitable venture for you.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 17, 2018:

Sell Paperback Books...this is a GREAT idea! I have a boat load (literally) of paperback books and I have come up with creative ways to pass them on. But I never thought of this. Thanks for the tip, I am definitely going to try it.

senthil on September 04, 2018:

its an great article for those who have idea for this and also create a great impact in me.

Ted Khan R Juanite from Iligan on June 18, 2018:

Great article. Opens up some innovative ideas.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on March 12, 2018:

Hi Mark,

That's great. When you start thinking with an entrepreneurial mind, ideas come flooding in.

I guess we'll see you at the beach then!

Thanks for reading.

Mark Findlay on March 12, 2018:

Great article,you have me thinking!

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 09, 2018:

Hi Readmikenow,

Yes, you're right, I already mentioned it in the second section. It is always a good idea to get those permissions in place beforehand.

Depending on the area, some city councils are strict and others more accommodating. If you don't try, you won't know.

Thanks for your comment.

Readmikenow on February 09, 2018:

This is a good article. It needs mentioned that some beach communities require people to pay for a permit to sell something at the beach. The permits may not cost much. In some places if you don't have a permit, you'll get a fine. Before selling something, I'd suggest stop down at town hall and see if you need a permit. Many people get away with selling stuff at the beach every day without paying for a permit. I guess it's a judgement call.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on February 09, 2018:

Hi Jd,

The article wasn't written to be specific to any country. There are of course different regulations in different regions.

The popular US beaches are probably heavily regulated. I can understand that they want people to open a retail outlet, then, of course, the local area receives tax revenue from them.

If renting a small kiosk is out of the question, consider wholesaling to an established business. If it is competitively priced and different than the stock they already have, you could be on to a winner.

Check to see if your local beach has an open market day or crafts fair. These stalls are much cheaper to rent. If there isn't one, suggest it or organize one yourself. Some councils don't see the benefits or want the hassle but if you can show them how successful it is in other places, they may take action.

The other option is online places such as Etsy. You don't say what type of souvenirs but if it is art, consider Zazzle. I am a designer at Zazzle and love it. It's free and you don't have to buy the item so there is no outlay other than your time.

I hope that has given you a few more ideas.

Jd on February 08, 2018:

Just curious are you talking about American beaches? I'd love to sell some souvenirs but every beach I've tried said I was not allowed to sell retail on their beach? Any suggestions

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on January 20, 2018:

Hi Noah,

You're welcome, I'm glad the information was useful to you.

noah mcfarland on January 20, 2018:

thank you very much! it helped me a lot!

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on July 31, 2017:

Hi Dave,

That is a great idea. I have never seen one but I know they are very popular. Let us know how you get on.

dave on July 31, 2017:

do you not need a licence to do this on a beach i was thinking of selling spinners , i live in tenerife and its really busy at the moment.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on August 12, 2015:

Hi Star,

Excellent advice. I also have a hub about earning from a boat and you have illustated how easy it can be.

Clearly the potential to earn isn't just limited to the shore, thanks for highlighting that.

Star Lopez on August 11, 2015:

If you have a boat that works give out boat rides around the water. Trust me my friend has been doing it all summer for $2.00 per person. In the first week she got over $3,000.

LetitiaFT from Paris via California on July 07, 2012:

Blond logic indeed. Makes me miss my beach blond days...

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on July 06, 2012:

Hi Lipnancy,

Thanks for the vote and sharing. I think everyone secretly wishes they could be a beach bum.

Glad you liked the ideas, always a pleasure to hear from you.

Have a great weekend.

Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on July 06, 2012:

What great ideas for the beach! Always wanted to be a beach bum. Voted Up and Shared!

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on July 06, 2012:

Hello Mr. Roychoudhury,

Thank you

This is something I see here in Brazil. If there is a need for something, someone is filling it. Here, there are many small business that start up on a shoestring budget. We have one man who makes broom heads out of palm leaves. He and his family make them and then he delivers them on his bicycle to local shops.

'Necessity is the mother of invention.'

Thanks again for your comment.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on July 06, 2012:

Hi GoGreenTips,

Thanks for the vote. Selling paperbacks is definitely preferable to hardbacks. Can you imagine trying to carry a hardback copy or War and Peace through soft sand! LOL

Take care.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on July 06, 2012:

Hello Mecheshier,

I am pleased you like this hub. Thank you for the vote.

Have a great day.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on July 06, 2012:

Hi Tipstoretireearly,

Thank you for your comment. Dream, I do it daily, usually in a hammock in the middle of the day.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mary Wickison (author) from USA on July 06, 2012:

Hi Wetnosedogs,

Thank you for your comment, I am glad you liked it. I enjoy the video each time I see it. He is quite a character here in Brazil.

H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on July 05, 2012:

It is not only a great hub you have written but also it is full of information and a gesture of incentive for living free creating own means of survival without depending upon others.

Greg Johnson from Indianapolis on July 05, 2012:

Great Hub! Interesting ideas! Voted up. I like the idea of selling paperback books at the beach, would have never thought of it. .

mecheshier on July 05, 2012:

Great Hub. There are some wonderful ideas here. Thank you for sharing. Voted up for useful.

tipstoretireearly from New York on July 05, 2012:

Nice hub. We can always dream!

wetnosedogs from Alabama on July 05, 2012:

Wow, this is a great informative hub. Metal detecting sounds like fun. I have a lot of books, too, if I dare myself to get rid of them.

Love that video.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on July 05, 2012:

I think you are on to something here. Next time I go to the beach, I should take all my old paperback books and cash in. Thanks for the idea!

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