How to Profit From the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse

Photo by supot phanna /

Untold numbers of travelers are preparing to flock to a particular stretch of the U.S. to witness the total solar eclipse in August.

For some Americans, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse without having to travel too far. As we recently noted in “13 Best Spots to Watch the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse,” the Aug. 21 event marks the first time in decades that a total solar eclipse will be visible along such a long path across the U.S.

If you live within or near the path of the total solar eclipse, the event also marks an opportunity to supplement your income by renting out part or all of your home on a vacation rental website.

Location, location, location

A partial solar eclipse will be visible from every continental U.S. state on Aug. 21, but trying to observe one can cause eye damage. So Americans must be within the narrow path of the total eclipse on Aug. 21 if they want to be able to gaze up at the phenomenon safely.

The total eclipse will be visible from within a 70-mile-wide path that will sweep across the country, from Oregon to South Carolina. It will be visible from parts of 14 states:

  1. Oregon
  2. Montana
  3. Idaho
  4. Wyoming
  5. Nebraska
  6. Iowa
  7. Kansas
  8. Missouri
  9. Illinois
  10. Kentucky
  11. Tennessee
  12. Georgia
  13. North Carolina
  14. South Carolina

Check out NASA’s handy eclipse maps to see exactly where the total eclipse will be visible.

Earning extra money via vacation rental websites

Vacation rental websites enable you to list part or all of your home for rent for short-term stays, generally for a nightly fee. For example, these websites help you make your spare bedroom available to travelers who are looking for lodging in your area.

So, if you live in or near the path of the total eclipse, consider listing your couch or spare bedroom on a vacation rental website.

Airbnb is probably the best-known example of a vacation rental website, but it’s hardly the only one. Some such sites are geared toward specific audiences, for example.

Other examples of major vacation rental sites include:

  • VRBO, short for “Vacation Rentals by Owner”: This is a veteran vacation rental website, founded in 1996 — 12 years before Airbnb. As the New York Times said earlier this year, VRBO is among few companies that have “long worked with travelers looking for vacation homes ranging from ski condos in Vail, Colo., to beach houses in Tulum, Mexico.”
  • This relatively new vacation site has been around since 2013. It distinguishes itself by catering to travelers with tight budgets. “offers a network of accommodations in over 150 countries where hosts offer affordable lodging, breakfast and local intelligence,” the Times reported.

For everything else you need to know to start turning your extra room into extra money, check out “15 Steps to Profit by Renting Your Home to Visitors.”

Do you plan to travel to catch the upcoming total eclipse? Let us know below or on Facebook.

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