If you’re stuck at home right now, this guide is packed full of things to do during quarantine, including activities (for kids & adults) as well as easy meals, at-home workouts, ways to earn extra money from home, and how you can give back to the community. There’s even a free graphic you can save for later!
I don’t have to explain how strange and unprecedented of a time this is. I’m not going to ramble off statistics or give health advice. There are plenty of medical experts out there to listen to on that front.
But what we are experts in is creating super-informative content that is practical and useful. So that’s just what we’ve done…
Allow us to present to you a beefy, info-packed guide on how to make the most of your at-home time with things to do during quarantine.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know how important it is that we all do our best to stay out of the public and to STAY HOME*. And if experts are right, it’s looking like we all might be stuck at home longer than the initial 2-week recommendation.
This article is full of resources that will hopefully help as we all navigate this rocky time. We’ve rounded up tips for staying healthy, having fun, and ways to be extra productive even if we’re all stuck in one place.
*Quick note: We know “stay home” means different things for different people. There are many people out there that still must go into work physically. Healthcare workers, mail delivery, grocery store employees, city planners, journalists, construction and repair workers… we could go on and on. THANK YOU to all essential workers for continuing to do your important work.
Staying Home Survival Guide
We even created a graphic just for you with some of the top tips in this article. Feel free to share it with anyone you think could use it!
There are NO AFFILIATE links in this article. We simply wanted to create a space to share resources in the hopes that they will be helpful for others.
Additionally, the activities and resources we’re recommending are FREE. We know very well that this is a time when many people are worried about finances (ourselves included).
Share this article on Pinterest!
Fun things to do during quarantine at home
We work from home pretty often, but even still, this is the most at-home time we’ve ever had. A lot of people will use this time to binge on Netflix and drink cocktails. No judgement. You better believe we’ll be doing some of that as well!
But there is plenty more to do besides watch TV. Hopefully these ideas will get your wheels turning!
Being outside is therapeutic. Anytime we’re down, going for a walk usually helps boost our spirits. And this strange time is no exception. If the sun’s out, go soak up a little Vitamin D. Breathe in some fresh air.
Have your morning coffee outside (if weather permits).
Go for a walk (or run!).
Go on a lightly-trafficked hike.
Pack a picnic.
Go on a bike ride!
Do some stretching in your yard.
Have a bonfire.
String up a hammock in your yard.
Throw around a frisbee.
Just a quick note: If you’re getting outdoors, make sure you’re doing so responsibly. Avoid public playgrounds, don’t use public restrooms unless it’s necessary, and just in general, remember the rules and importance of social distancing.
Video chat with friends or family
Just because you’re home alone doesn’t mean you have to actually be alone… The wonderful thing about the Internet is that is allows us all to stay connected even when we can’t be in the same place at the same time.
Tips to spice up your Video Chat dates:
Play a game: Just because you’re not in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t play games! Some games will obviously work better than others, but get creative and have fun!
Psst! Here are some “Would you rather?” questions that might come in handy!
Have a night out (but in isolation!): Is this home-isolation cramping your Friday night plans? (Yeah, you’re not the only one.) It’s still possible to imbibe from the comforts of your own home, but bring up the fun factor a notch by video chatting your besties while sipping that “in case of emergency” wine.
Plan future travels!
I don’t know about you, but dreaming up travel plans is super therapeutic for us! Research dream trips you want to take. Create a Pinterest board or a Google Doc with notes.
At this point, we wouldn’t recommend setting a specific date, but instead, focus on the research and dreaming phases. We’ve got a ton of resources for planning trips, if you need a little guidance!
Insider Tip: We’re big fans of watching Anthony Bourdain’s shows about the place we’re interested in, and usually pair the show with a bottle of wine!
And if you’re looking for travel inspo, our site is chock full of it! Shoot us a message if you have any questions about our favorite destinations!
We also have some more general articles that will keep your wanderlust alive!
Lessons travel teaches: This is a personal piece I wrote a few years back, and it’s still one of my favorites today. I think most people who love travel can relate in some way, or will be reminded of their own lessons they’ve learned.
What they don’t tell you about traveling with a girl: Ben wrote this article (without my knowledge), and I’ve gotta say, he did a pretty good job! It’s both hilarious and sweet.
How traveling makes couples stronger: Personally, travel has strengthened our relationship in so many ways. We think it can
Romantic getaways around the world: If you want some romantic trip ideas, we’ve got plenty to help you brainstorm!
Best USA Road Trips: Maybe your summer vacation plans were canceled… Perhaps when it’s safe to move around more a road trip would be a good alternative. We’ve got lots of ideas for you!
What we don’t tell our parents about our travels: Some of the things that we are sure not to tell our parents until after our trips!
Psst… Love to travel? (Us too!)
While we’re on the topic of dreaming about future travels… Download our free travel budget e-book and we’ll send you our favorite ways to save money while traveling. That way, you’ll be all set for when it’s safe to travel again!
Board Games & Puzzles
There has never been a better time than now to break out the board games and puzzles. Wipe off that dust and nerd out! Plus, you know what goes really well with a board game…craft beer!
And who says you can’t travel while playing games?! Here’s a list of some fun travel games for adults.
Tip: If there are only 2 people in your household (like us!) some board games can be tricky to play. This list of 2-person card games might come in handy! Or play online trivia games — we love Sporcle for this! They have all sorts of quizzes, from geography to music to sports to Disney… basically, they have a quiz for everything!
Have a travel-inspired Happy Hour
Whip up a cocktail that reminds you of your favorite trip, and make it fancy (we have the time right now, after all!).
What are you in the mood for? A mojito with fresh mint that reminds you of sitting poolside in Bali? What about a grapefruit margarita like the ones you had at a craft mezcaleria in Oaxaca? Or how about a classic Old Fashioned like the ones you had at a cool, underground speakeasy bar on your last trip to Seattle? The options are endless.
Psst! When you’re toasting to your future travels, learn how to say “cheers” in the language of the country you’re hoping to visit next!
Whether you pick up your old knitting needles, design homemade jewelry or bust out your painting canvas, or create homemade cards, there are so many fun crafts that can be done at home.
Tip: Check out Pinterest for some at-home crafty ideas and inspiration!
If you’ve ever uttered the words, “I wish I had more time to write”, this is your chance! Break out that tattered notebook, or open your laptop and just start. There’s no rules or wrong way. Just put your words down.
Creative Writing: Distract yourself from what’s going on and indulge your imagination.
Journal: Sometimes putting your fears and anxieties into words can be incredibly therapeutic. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar or flow. Just write.
Gratitude: Keep your mood lifted and write down all the things for which you are grateful. Chances are there are a lot of things you don’t always remember to be thankful for.
Get outside when no one is around at night and tilt your head upwards to the stars. Whether you have your own telescope or are using an app like Star Chart or Night Sky to decipher the cosmos with your naked eye this can be a fun way to pass the time at home in the evenings.
DIY at-home spa
Don’t forget about self care during this stressful time. Sometimes a little pampering can really do wonders for your mental health.
Bubble bath: If you’re one of those lucky people with a bathtub, indulge in a soothing bath with candles, music, and all the goodies! (Can you tell I’m jealous?!)
Face mask: now’s the time to break out that face mask that sits in your bathroom and never gets used. Or make a DIY face mask with ingredients you have on hand.
Foot soak: pamper your tootsies by doing a DIY foot soak. Add some essential oils or epsom salts to a tub of water if you want to get real fancy! It feels ahhh-mazing.
DIY Mani / pedi: do the whole shebang — cuticles, filing, polishing — and you’ll feel oh so good!
A note on mental health: This can be an especially trying time for anyone already dealing with mental health issues. This is a pretty comprehensive resource (available in many languages) that deals with mental health during this time.
Binge a good Travel Movie
Did you have to cancel a trip? Yeah, us too. While it’s no consolation, here’s a list of the best travel movies out there for when your only travel plans are to your couch…
Get creative in the kitchen
Learn a new skill in the kitchen that you’ve been curious about… like how to brew your own kombucha or make your own hot sauce. (Two things we started doing this year and have been having lots of fun with!)
Here’s a guide we followed to start brewing our own kombucha.
Here’s an amazing hot sauce recipe for pineapple habanero hot sauce. We added a close of garlic and a bit more cilantro!
A little Googling and maybe some YouTubing can help you figure out how to do just about anything in the kitchen these days.
Insider Tip: You can get creative with your meal planning and prepping too. If you are unable to get to the grocery store, try an at home “Chopped” challenge where you have to come up with a meal using only the ingredients you can find in your pantry.
Easy at-home meals
If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, it’s likely that things look a little different than normal. Depending on where you are in the world, that might even mean empty shelves and freezer isles.
Whether you’re stocked up with lots of essentials or you’re trying to make due as best you can, we’re sharing some of our go-to simple recipes as well as some from our favorite food bloggers.
Healthy “Anything” Bowl
Essentially, you choose a grain, veggies and the protein of your choice. Make a dressing, and viola! This meal is all about using what you already have in your kitchen. (Our “burrito bowl”-inspired version of this is pictured above!)
Simple Vegetable Lentil Soup
This is such a simple recipe that it’s impossible to screw up. And the best part is you can literally use any veggies you have on hand. Great with garlic bread!
Find the recipe here.
With just a few ingredients — the main ones being eggs and canned tomatoes — this is a really simple meal that’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Top with cilantro (if you have it) and serve with bread.
More Easy Recipes
Here are some simple recipes that use staple ingredients you probably already have on hand. These are recipes we already love or are planning to try ourselves in the coming weeks:
16 Healthy Freezer Meals: This list is from one of our favorite food bloggers, Pinch of Yum!
Pantry Meals: This is a round-up of 16 meals you can make with stuff you likely already have in your kitche!
Vegan Chickpea Coconut Curry Soup: ready in 30 minutes, uses ingredients that you might already have on hand. We’re trying it this week!
Healthy Chicken Wild Rice Soup: one of our favorite comfort foods! Super simple too.
Chicken Pasta Bake: this one looks easy to make and freeze
Healthy Nutter Butter Cookies: Cuz we all know those sweet cravings will be creeping in… the good news is these babies have only 5 ingredients and are refined sugar-free!
Turkey Meatball Skillet: I just made this and froze it. When I’m ready to make them, it’ll be an easy thing to pop in the oven! I’ve made this one before (never frozen it though), and it’s delish!
Productive things to do during quarantine at home
We all wish we had “more time in the day” to get things done, and now that you have a little (errr, a lot!) of extra time at home, start digging into those projects you’ve been meaning to check off your to do list.
You’ll feel so much better if you can view this at-home time as productive.
Organize your house
Get a jump start on your spring cleaning… I mean, it is officially spring (in the northern hemisphere), after all!
And with all this extra time at home, you have no excuses not to binge on Marie Kondo and decluttering your home. It might be a good idea to start collecting items you want to donate, but keep them around until things are a little less crazy before heading to your local thrift store to drop them off.
Start a compost pit
We started a compost pit about 6 months ago, and it’s so simple and feels really good to know how much waste we’re saving from putting into landfills.
With a little extra time right now, it’s a good chance to get a compost pit started.
Wanna get started? Here’s a guide to starting your own compost pile.
Organize your photos
I don’t know about you, but I’m always saying I need to time organize my photos. Being that travel blogging is our job, I have more than the average person (waaaay more than 100,000, no exaggeration!).
So you and I should both get on that, shouldn’t we?! Take a little bit of this at-home time to sort through those pictures and finally get them organized (and backed up if you haven’t done that already!).
Start a garden
Depending on where in the world you live, you might be experiencing full on spring weather (if so, lucky you!). And it is getting to be that time to start thinking about your garden. Getting outside and getting your hands dirty will feel so good (and productive!).
DIY Natural Cleaning Products
We’ve tried eliminating as many chemicals as possible in our cleaning routine, and since you’ve likely got some extra time at home, why not try making some of your own products?! Not only will it save you money, but it’ll help eliminate some toxins from your home.
Our favorite all-purpose cleaner is super simple:
Save orange (or other citrus) peels in a big jar.
Add white vinegar to cover them, and agitate mixture every couple of days to make sure it’s evenly distributed.
After a week or two, pour the liquid (strain out any peels or solid bits) into an empty spray bottle (we like this one) and dilute it so it’s equal parts citrus vinegar and water.
I also like to adda few drops of peppermint essential oil.
Shake and spray!
You can also make natural “Windex”:
½ cup white vinegar
1 cup rubbing alcohol
2 cups water
Shake and spray!
Learn a new skill
Take this time as an opportunity to work on any hobby you’ve been wishing you had more time for.
This could be a perfect opportunity to finally buckle down and learn new skills. Dream up business ideas. Polish your resume. Or try a hobby you’ve always thought looked fun! We finally opened a watercolor set that I bought back in December, and it has been a fun thing to do at night instead of going straight to Netflix.
Painting or Drawing
Learn (or practice) a new language
Instruments: Pick up that guitar/harmonica/ukulele/[insert instrument here]
Macrame, Knitting, Embroidery
Graphic Design: Adobe Creative Cloud is free for the next 2 months!
Start a blog: we have a free course all about how to get started!
Do any of those things sound fun to you? Why not try one out! (Or brainstorm more hobbies that sound better to you!
Psst! YouTube tutorials are a great resource when you’re starting new hobbies! Skillshare is another amazing place to go for tutorials (while it eventually costs money, you can start for free).
I’m not gonna lie. I was really, really sad to pause our gym membership. We were just feeling like we were getting back into shape and really honing in on a good routine.
Right after we put it on pause, the gym announced that they were closing (which was the right decision), so we couldn’t keep going even if we wanted to.
I imagine a lot of people out there are feeling the same and not wanting to lose momentum or progress. While working out at home is definitely not the same as going to the gym, it is still possible to work up a (really!) good sweat and feel healthy on your own.
If you’re into running, lace up those shoes and get out there! But if you need a bit more of a structured workout, we’re sharing some exercise routines you can do at home. So now you have no excuses!
Fitness YouTube channels to check out:
Yoga With Adriene: She has flows for all levels, plus videos of varying lengths.
Sarah’s Day: Her 15-minute HIIT workouts are killer! Like, you’ll break a sweat right away. Plus, they’re really short, so you get a good workout in a short amount of time.
Tone it Up: Find a variety of different workouts depending on your mood. Plus the instructors, Karina and Katrina, have really positive vibes.
Blogilates: This channel has apartment-friendly workouts that won’t disturb your neighbors.
Popsugar: This channel has all sorts of different workouts to try for all moods and goals
Card Deck Workout
Our Orange Theory coach just posted this workout and we thought it was a fun one to share:
Grab a deck of cards and keep only the face cards.
Spade= Sit ups
Diamond= Push ups
Club= Jump squats
Joker= Jumping Jacks
The number on the card is the number of reps:
Shuffle and do the corresponding workouts until you’re through the deck. I dare you to try it!
Tip: Some gyms and fitness instructors are offering free virtual lessons right now. Some are even live so you can feel the accountability and community of a regular class. So if you’re already a member of a gym, check to see if they’re offering anything special during this time.
We incorporated meditation into our daily routine about 2 years ago, and it has been really amazing to watch the shift in our attitudes and how we talk to ourselves. It really can be a life changing practice. And during this time of uncertainty, it is a good habit to begin.
Meditation takes practice, and even after 2 years of doing it very regularly, we’re still very much learning.
Apps for meditation (there are free and paid versions of each):
Calm: With meditations for all moods and themes, this app is a gold mine for all levels. Bonus: They have “sleep stories” which are amazing if you have trouble falling asleep. There’s even one that was recorded by Matthew Mcconaughey.
Headspace: This app has cute videos that show how meditation can improve your overall well-being. However, we found most fo the meditations to be quite repetitive.
Simple Habit: With a variety of different coaches, you might find some that you like more than others. Our favorite meditations on Simple Habit were from Cory Muscara.
Our thoughts: We tried the 3 apps listed above over the last 2 years. They each have their pros and cons, and what’s best for us might not be best for you. However, if you’re just looking for a place to start, our favorite of the 3 has been Calm.
Youtube tutorials for meditation:
Meditation for Anxiety, led by yoga guru, Adriene
Basic Guided Meditation led by Kelsang Jampa at a TEDx Event
Psst! If you’re just feeling kind of “down” during this time, this is a good read that kind of explains some of the emotions you may be dealing with.
Our Book Recommendations
Don’t we all say we wish we had more time to read?! I know I do! Make a list on GoodReads and start checking off those books!
Psst! Remember, your local library has lots of online resources and books that can be checked out digitally.
Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
This was the most recent book I read. Beautifully-descriptive coming of age tale about how society is quick to judge and misunderstand those deemed “outsiders”. It also reads like a love letter to nature.
The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
A page-turning memoir about a young girl and her siblings growing up in extreme poverty with very dysfunctional (albeit well-meaning) parents.
A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
This is not a light read, but it is so, so good (if you’re in the mood). This story follows 4 friends who live in NYC and grapples with deep issues like depression, coming out, following dreams, sickness and loss.
Little Bee, Chris Cleave
This story begins when the paths of two very different women cross one fateful day. The connection between Sara, a well-to-do British woman, and Bee, a Nigerian woman seeking asylum, is something that unwinds as you flip the pages.
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
This funny account of one man and his ill-prepared companion’s attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail. A humorous and adventurous quick read.
You are a Badass, Jen Sincero
If you need a little motivation right now (I’m with ya!), Jen will give you the kick in the pants you need to stop doubting yourself. It reads like you’re talking to a good friend.
Psst! If you want some more travel-related reading inspiration, here’s a list of our favorite travel books!
How I Built This with Guy Raz (NPR)
This podcast does a deep dive into the stories behind some of America’s most successful businesses. Interviews with the owners give the listener a background and insights into the thinking behind these companies.
Favorite Episodes: Lonely Planet, Patagonia, Burton, AWAY Luggage, Canva
Science Vs. (Gimlet Media)
This podcast dives into major issues and goes over the FACTS of both sides of the argument, while incorporating humor. From immigration to essential oils to gun control, this is a great listen for science nerds and anyone who wants to do a little extra-curricular learning!
Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me (NPR)
A comedy & news trivia show that goes through the week’s news in a fun way (think games and celebrity guests!).
This true-crime podcast dives into all types of crimes — from gory murders from history to funny pop-culture crimes, like streaking. Each episode covers a different crime. Some are funny, others are gruesome and creepy. A good mix of both!
Favorite Episodes: Brownie Lady, The Chase (interview with a “professional” streaker)
The Dirtbag Diaries (Duct Tape Then Beer)
A podcast all about adventure — hiking, skiing, rock climbing — you name it! If you want to escape and pretend you’re out adventuring, this is the podcast for you!
Favorite Episodes: Mr. Hodges, All in the Family
RISE Podcast (Hollis)
In this podcast, business guru and NYT best selling author Rachel Hollis discusses practical ideas for entrepreneurs and interviews other successful business owners.
Favorite Episodes: Unlocking your potential using Grit and Google (recent interview with Colin O’Brady — super inspiring!)
At-home activities for kids
We don’t have kids, but we both used to work as camp counselors (best job we’ve ever had!). Plus, Katie taught high school English, and we both worked as English teachers in Korea. So we love coming up with activities for kiddos or teenagers (or both at the same time!).
Here are a few ideas we came up with (I got on a weirdly creative roll!):
*Many of these activities could be fun for adults too!
Go Camping (at home!)
Set up a tent inside (or in your yard) and have an at-home camping night! You could even make s’mores (if you have the ingredients on hand). They’re not quite as good in the microwave, but they’ll do the trick!
Plan a theme night
Staying at home day after day is going to start getting old. If you’re not feeling it already, you will soon. Why not plan a couple of “theme nights” that your whole family can look forward to!
Country-inspired theme night: Choose a destination around the world (maybe it’s the place you were going to travel for spring break and had to cancel…). This way you can travel without leaving your house!
Make a few simple dishes that are inspired by that country’s cuisine the best you can with ingredients on hand (or order takeout from a restaurant that’s offering this service).
Look up a craft or art form from that country and do a tutorial together.
Watch a movie, listen to music or play a game from that country.
Have a time-period theme night: Nineties night?! Hell yeah! Or maybe the 70’s or 80’s are more your style.
Get everyone in the house to dress in outfits from that time.
Play music from that decade.
Watch a movie/show from that period.
Discuss how things are different now than they were back then. How are they better? How are they worse?
Have a picnic
Whether you do this inside, in your yard or in an open green space (that’s far from other people), this can be a fun way to make an otherwise boring meal exciting. Have each family member make a dish to bring to the picnic (depending on kids ages, they might need help).
Don’t even get me started…
This is a game we invented with our friends in South Korea that is a good way to kill time and literally requires no materials to play.
Here’s how to play: Each person has 30 seconds to rant or rave on a topic. But here’s the catch… the group will choose that topic for them as well as whether they are going to rant or rave.
Here’s an example: I HATE ketchup (I know I’m weird). My team might tell me I have to talk about why I LOVE ketchup for 30 seconds. Or maybe your husband LOVES cats, but you’ll make him rant for 30 seconds about why they don’t make good pets.
It’s a funny way to get everyone to think out of the box, and what people say in those pressure-filled 30 seconds can be pretty darn hilarious!
Make your own March Madness Tourney
Bummed that March Madness is cancelled? Us too. But why wallow in sadness when you can create your own bracket! Each portion of the tournament can be a different game.
Work your way through to see which family member takes 1st place!
Visit a National Park without leaving home
Did you know you can do virtual tours of lots of USA National Parks?! (I’m just finding out about this too!) So if your spring break plans to a park were cancelled, do the next best thing… go there virtually!
… OR go to Disney World (virtually, of course!)
Shark Tank Challenge
Give them a problem that they need to solve with an invention. Give them time to create a presentation that goes over their invention and why you (as a “Shark”) should invest in it. You could even make it a competition between siblings, or you could have parent friends do it with their kids and compete via Zoom.
Personal note: I’m really excited about this idea and wish I had kids/students I could do it with, so please someone do it for me and show me how it turns out!
Play movie director
When I was a kid, my brother and I loved making our own “movies”. With cell phones and easy apps, making a “movie” is easier than ever.
Give your kids a theme and have them roll with it. Murder mystery? Makeover show? (I definitely did a makeover show movie on my little brother, and I would pay big bucks to see it today!)
More Resources for Parents
We hope the activities above get your creative wheels spinning! But if you’re also looking for some more fun and educational resources, we’ve gotcha covered.
BrainPOP: Free educational resources for all disciplines
ReadWorks: Reading comprehension activities for elementary through high school students
Belouga: This platform offers real-time collaboration with peers around the world on a variety of projects
Big History Project: Multi-disciplinary approach to helping older students create connections between history, our present and our future.
LiveScience: Just what it sounds like — cool activities related to science for kids
Tips for working from home
We work from home a lot, and we know there’s a learning curve for it. We’re sharing some tried-and-true tips that have helped us to be more productive on days when we work from home (which is a LOT!).
Create a dedicated workspace
If you don’t normally work from home, you likely don’t have a comfy home office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a makeshift one. Designate your work space and try to turn on your “work brain” whenever you’re sitting there.
Create a schedule
Even though you’re working from home, it’s important to stick to a schedule. It might look different than a typical day in the office, but creating a routine will help you stay productive and on-task.
Work in blocks
You may have heard of the “Pomodoro technique” or other names for this, but essentially, there is a thought that if you zone into “work mode” for a short period of time with frequently scheduled breaks, you’ll be more productive than if you try to work an 8-hour shift with no structure.
We like doing 50-minute blocks followed by 10-minute breaks, but some people prefer a 25-minute/5-minute model, depending on the type of work they do.
Take mindful breaks
Taking planned breaks is a good idea and can help you be more productive. But instead of hopping onto social media, get outside, do jumping jacks, prepare a snack, stretch. In short, get up and move a little bit. Let your eyes rest by taking them off of a screen, and change your surroundings (as much as is possible while staying home!).
Turn off notifications
Seriously. Turn them off. Or put your phone in another room. And close out any browser windows that will be a distraction.
Make it fun!
Instate a “company happy hour” (aka pour some wine when you finish your work!). This makes work waaaay more motivating for me… Anyone else?! If wine (or beer or G&Ts) aren’t your thing, find something that does motivate you. And use that as something to look forward to at the end of the day.
Be patient with yourself
I’m not going to sugar-coat it, it’s likely that you won’t be as productive when working from home if you’re used to being at the office. We find that we’re a lot more productive at coffee shops or co-working spaces than at home. So we feel you.
But treat yourself with patience and grace if you’re not getting quite as much done as normal. This is a new and unusual time for us all, and it comes with a big learning curve.
How to make extra money (from home!)
This is a really uncertain time for us all, especially those in the service industry, small business owners, or those who have been laid off in the midst of this crisis. And as travel bloggers, we are certainly not immune. Our job is to encourage and inspire travel, something that we certainly can’t do right now.
If you are in a situation where you need to find a side hustle and earn some extra income, here are some ways you can earn money from home:
Teach English online
VIPKID is a really great opportunity where you can teach English to children online. Set your own flexible hours and work as much (or as little!) as you’d like while earning up to $22 per hour.
Ben used to teach with VIPKID and wrote a huge guide all about it to help you decide if it’s for you.
Note: You must be from North America and have a bachelor’s degree to apply. If not, check out our list of the best companies to teach english online and the different requirements of each to find the best company for you.
Consider finding freelance work
This is where you do project-based work for a client. Jobs can vary a ton based on your skillset, but the most common jobs out there are writing, graphic design, data entry / admin tasks, and digital marketing.
I used to do freelance work a lot and had pretty good luck finding gigs on Upwork. You can also try Fiverr, Craigslist, or other freelance job boards. (It’s free to sign up, so it can’t hurt to look!)
If you want a little extra cash right now, sign up to be a website “user tester”. Essentially, you will record your screen and audio as you look at a new website and respond to prompts.
Each “site tour” takes around 15 minutes, and you’re paid $10. Ben used to do this every so often when we were traveling to earn quick cash.
Looking to try something totally new?
Are you really serious about working online? Perhaps you were just laid-off, or you’re finding that working from home is kind of your jam)…
If you’re in a spot to delve into a totally new (remote) career, we’ve got a super handy resource for you.
I interviewed 29 digital nomads and asked them to share about their jobs & advice they have for people who are looking to get started working online.[Oh, and P.S. I only interviewed women for this article because females are drastically underrepresented in the Digital Nomad world (like many industries).]
Tips for saving money
On a related note, we are master budgeters. There were many years where we had our hearts set on traveling, but weren’t earning much money, so we had to get creative with stretching the little we did bring in…
With some of our budgeting tricks, we even managed to save more than $44,000 between the 2 of us in just one year! (And we traveled quite a bit during that time.)
So if you’re looking for some budgeting tips and easy to stretch that money, we’ve gotchu.
(Note: This article is focused on saving money for travels, but really, pretty much all of these tips can work for saving money in general.)
Give back to the community
If you’re able, schedule a time to donate blood. Many blood banks are worried their supply may run low in coming months, so your donation is extra needed right now.
Write snail mail
Everyone loves getting physical mail, and in today’s world, we get so little of it. Why not take the time to write letters for any friends or family you haven’t seen in a while. Especially anyone who might be lonely during this time.
Review Small Businesses online
It’s no secret that small businesses are suffering during this time, so do what you can to help them out. Log into Google Maps, TripAdvisor, Yelp (or whatever platform you usually use!) and leave thoughtful reviews for any small restaurants or stores you’ve visited recently. We saw someone recommend this the other day (can’t remember where!) and we thought it was such a good idea.
Another good idea: Buying gift cards to your favorite small shop or restaurant is another way to show your support since it gives them capital now (when they really need it). And then you can spend the money later or get your Christmas shopping done really early this year!
Ask your neighbors if they need help
There are many people with compromised immune systems and they could use your help if you’re able.
Tip: If you need help during this time or you want to help others, check to see if your local area has a “Pandemic Facebook Group” (the names of groups may vary). In our town, there is a group with thousands of members and is a place for people to ask for help and for others to offer their time or resources.
If you have an excess of foods, consider donating them to your local shelter as this is a time where many people are in need and the shelters are running dry.
If you have some extra time on your hands, consider volunteering. Yes, there are opportunities to do virtually. This means you can do good while still staying home. Win-win.
Shop small (online)
Small businesses are suffering greatly right now. And the truth is, many small businesses can’t afford to have a few “bad months” in a row. Show your support even if you can’t be there in person. Order online, share their social media posts, buy gift cards (which gives them capital now, when they need it!).
Make care baskets
Band together with a group of friends and all pitch in to make care baskets for those in need or for health care workers to show your appreciation. Include things like coffee beans, granola bars, self care products (lotion, candle, chapstick), etc. And don’t forget to write a note with a nice message!
The restaurant industry is taking a huge hit right now. If there are restaurants in your area offering take out or delivery services right now (and you’re financially able), take advantage of it! Now only will you have a delicious meal without the prep, but you’ll be helping the restaurant at a time when they desperately need it.
If you’re in the lucky position where your industry has not been affected and you are able to comfortably work from home, soak in a little extra gratitude.
And if you’re able (and wanting) to support those who are really feeling the effects, here are some organizations that can use the extra help especially right now:
Kiva.org: This is a crowdfunding platform where you can help “back” a small business that has a focus on social good.
Feeding America: This org is focusing efforts on providing meals to children who are in need during this time when schools are closed.
Meals on Wheels: This organization delivers meals to seniors in need.
Local food & homeless shelters: They can use donations all the time, but now many of them are in an extra time of need.
Our Final Thoughts
Take a deep breath. We’re in this together. When life gets back to “normal”, I hope we can all look back and say we acted out of compassion and took responsibility for helping others.
Hoping you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.
And we hope some of the resources in this article are helpful to you in the coming weeks.
Finally, we can all use a little bit of sunshine right now. Okay, a LOT of sunshine would be nice. Below is a quote we saw recently that made us smile and resonated with this uncertain time.
“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”
-originally written in Italian by Irene Vella, translated to English by Kitty O’Meara
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