Have you been planning your annual vacations, only to find yourself feeling a little unsure about how to go about this as a gig work driver? Just because you work as a gig driver doesn’t mean you’re any less entitled to a vacation than anyone else. With this thought in mind, we’ve outlined some of the key things you should know to help you plan your vacations easily without compromising your earnings or your gig driver account.
HOW TO PLAN FOR VACATIONS AS A GIG WORK DRIVER
Since around 16% of adults have earned through gig driver programs, it’s safe to say that working as a gig driver is becoming hugely popular. And, with over 50 million people in gig work at any one time, the scale of the gig economy is clear to see. But, as a gig work driver, it’s highly important to ensure you’ve planned for your time off carefully.
Of course, if you only work as a gig work driver on the side to earn a little extra income, this won’t be as critical. However, if you rely on your gig work for a substantial amount of your earnings – for example, half or more – you may need to plan a little more carefully to ensure you don’t end up out of pocket.
Indeed, in many cases, freelance staff find themselves struggling to take vacations. As many as 92% of freelancers and independent contractors have to work throughout their holidays to make it viable, while others can’t take a holiday at all. Plus, the average holiday use for freelancers is four days less than the minimum for employed staff. So, the issue at hand is definitely significant.
Can I Get Holiday Pay From Gig Work?
One common question many people ask is whether they can get paid holiday from their gig work. While it’s not a legal requirement for businesses to offer paid holidays, many do anyway. However, this is not the case with gig work apps since gig work drivers are independent contractors.
As such, since you are not employed, the gig app has even less incentive to offer paid holiday allowances – and so, if you want to have income for your holidays, you’ll need to work on the go.
Do I Need to Ask for Time Off From Gig Work?
Since you work as an independent contractor on gig apps such as Uber, you shouldn’t usually need to ask for holiday time. However, if you have scheduled shifts for your gig app, you may need to change these times to ensure that you aren’t supposed to be driving when you won’t be around. Remember: while you’re absolutely entitled to decline orders if you don’t feel like taking them on, this should only be used sparingly, as too many declines can jeopardize your account.
Can I Continue to Work as a Delivery Driver While on Holiday?
In many cases, people often want to continue their gig work – perhaps to a lesser degree – while on the move. This can be appealing, especially if your vacation includes a lot of driving time you’d like to monetize. Unfortunately, you may not always be able to work as a gig driver while on holiday.
Some gig apps may allow you to change your location quickly; others (such as Uber) require around two weeks’ notice for a location change. Meanwhile, some apps, such as GrubHub, may offer occasional deliveries outside of your main home region, but these could be few and far between. Finally, Lyft has a limit in place whereby drivers are only able to exceed their main coverage area by around 100 miles – not much when considering the common distance for a holiday.
As such, temporary city changes – i.e., for a vacation – will usually be impractical for the purposes of your gig work. While it may be possible to continue working as a gig work driver, other forms of gig work (namely, remote gig work) may be more possible to complete while on holiday. With this thought in mind, if you’re planning a vacation, it’s worth either staying within your gig HQ boundaries or looking for ways to fully clear your work schedule.
List of Available Cities
Here are a few on-demand gig work apps and where they currently operate:
THE BEST TIMES TO SCHEDULE VACATIONS AS A GIG WORKER
Once you’ve made the necessary preparations for time off from gig work, you’ll want to consider the best time to schedule a vacation. Of course, you can take a vacation whenever – but if you plan your vacation time around your gig work, you’ll be able to balance the books a little more easily and reduce the chances of missing out on amazing earning potential.
#1 Do You Need to Work?
The most important first thing to consider when planning your holiday is: do you need to work? While it’s always important to take time off, if this is going to put you at risk financially, it’s worth considering whether working a little during your holiday will prove important.
One of the easiest ways to check this is to consider how long your holiday will be, what you would usually earn from gig work during that time, and whether you could spread this over the course of weeks or months in advance.
For example, if you’re planning a week-long holiday and usually aim to make an additional $30 per day with gig work, that’s around $210 you’ll need to cover elsewhere. If this is money you don’t desperately need, you shouldn’t need to work during your vacation. However, if going without that money is likely to make bills less affordable, you may want to consider if you could make up the money before the vacation. For example, if you normally have half a year between holidays, that would equate to just another dollar or two per day during the rest of the year. It’s not a huge increase!
When You Still Need to Work During your Vacation
Of course, if you’re unlikely to spread this across the year in advance or if you have a sudden bill you know will need paying, you may still need to work during your vacation. In this case, planning a vacation locally within your normal working radius may help – for example, a luxury spa trip locally. While this won’t offer quite the same change of scenery, you can still enjoy an amazing holiday experience and continue to do a little work in the meantime. As such, this is well worth considering as part of your decision – but remember, if you’re feeling unsure, make sure to plan your vacation in advance.
#2 Avoiding Key Earning Times
Now that you’ve decided whether or not you need to work during your vacation, you can look at when to actually go on vacation. Indeed, it’s not always clear whether or not you should go on vacation at a specific time, but there are definitely certain times that are better from a financial perspective to go away.
What do we mean here? Well, if you want to maximize your earnings as a professional gig driver, you’ll want to plan your trips ideally around lower earning times, as these will usually be less lucrative. So, if you know there’s a potentially good time to be working – such as around a big match, which is proven to increase takeaways internationally by around 25% at least – you might want to hang fire on going away then. These are likely the times when gig apps will have lots of orders going through, and they may need “all hands on deck” to make the orders.
Of course, you have no obligation to work during these times of high demand if you don’t want to. So, if you’d like to go away for the match (for example), feel free to! However, you may need to work twice as hard after the vacation to make up for the missed earning opportunities, so it’s worth noting whether this is worth it. This point is especially notable if your main source of income comes from gig work.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TAKE OFF FOR FOOD DELIVERY DRIVERS?
If you’re a food delivery driver for apps such as GrubHub or UberEats, you’ll likely want to plan your vacation around times when there are fewer televised events and national celebrations. This means trying to go away during big events might be off the cards, as you’ll potentially lose out on lots of earning opportunities. Of course, this may not be the end of the world, but it’s certainly important to factor into your decision.
In addition to taking your vacation during quieter times of the year (when people are less likely to order a takeaway), it’s also worth avoiding wintertime holidays. Since many people are less inclined to go out to pick up a takeaway during nasty weather, it’s not really surprising that takeaway orders can also jump in the winter months.
Finally, if you’re going on a short trip, focus your holiday on weekdays. The weekends are often the most common times for people to order takeaways, and the weekdays are much slower regarding food delivery orders – and so much easier to take time off!
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TAKE OFF FOR RIDESHARE DRIVERS?
If you’re a rideshare driver, you may want to consider carefully when to plan your holidays, as demand for apps such as Uber and Lyft will vary significantly throughout the year.
Of course, there’s likely to be much more call for ridesharing around big events when people are likely to find themselves enjoying one too many glasses! So, as with food deliveries, you may want to avoid taking a holiday around the New Year if you really want to cash in on the event and the festivities. However, around Christmas Day and January may be a little slower since many people stay home during these times, so this is a great time to spend with your family as well.
But, of course, winter as a whole is generally likely to be busier – after all, who wants to be walking home in the rain when they could just call a rideshare car instead?
In addition, when it comes to which days to go away, you may want to avoid going away on the weekend. Unsurprisingly (think nights out!) Fridays and Saturdays are generally the busiest days of the week for Uber, so this is worth keeping in mind if you don’t want to lose out on orders.
MAKING SAVING FOR YOUR VACATION EASIER WITH THE PARA APP
If you are planning your next big vacation and want to treat yourself to an amazing experience, make sure you’ve gotten your savings in beforehand. Luckily, the Para gig driver app can help with this, offering a simple and lucrative opportunity to help make taking a vacation that little bit easier!
Working in advance of your vacation with Para is an excellent option. It allows you to earn more driver income to save money quickly by streamlining your deliveries and rideshare lifts. Para offers countless excellent features for its drivers accordingly. Plus, since you can multi app with Para, you’ll also be able to take on more tasks per hour, drastically increasing your holiday-saving goals.
Better still, Para is the ideal way to get back into gig driving once you come home from your holiday. Since Para allows you to see key information, you’ll know before you accept an order if it’s worthwhile – taking a lot of the thinking out of the job! For example, Para’s auto decline system can really take the headache out of the job when you’re not quite back to a working mindset.
We all need a little time off to ourselves from time to time, and this is equally true for gig drivers. However, when you work as a gig driver, you’re not actually in an employed role; this means that you won’t be able to get paid holiday from your work as you would normally. Instead, you may need to plan your work a little more carefully to ensure your account remains in good standing and your finances don’t end up slumping.
Fortunately, preparing for your vacation as a gig work driver isn’t massively difficult, but it does need a little thought. Fortunately, you should be in good stead by planning in advance and ensuring you’ve used the Para app to earn more gig work, helping you save for your holiday. And when you come back, be sure to use the renewed energy to put your all into your gig driving once more!