Bored at home? We get it. When we’re not traveling, we’re also plotting our next escape and next destination. And traveling is great but we love being home too. (That’s our not-so-little secret.) Hence, the name of our website!
But once in a while, we must be home beyond our comfort zone of max days before a trip. Whether it’s a self-isolation, home quarantine by choice, or government mandate, (or heck, maybe even a snow storM) we have ideas for things to do if you’re stuck at your apartment or house. (Especially when it’s been days, and lo and behold, you need ideas for what to do when you are bored at home.)
Trust us – we’ve tried these out!
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1. Play Cards
Good ‘ole cards! Do you have a deck of 52 playing cards? There are so many games you can play from poker, to “go fish” with kids, to spit, solitaire, and more.
Need to buy some cards? Just order them on Amazon. If you’re in a rush to get them and don’t have Prime, no worries about that! Because it’s easy to sign up for a free Amazon Prime trial to test out the service.
2. Do a Puzzle
One of our favorite pastimes is doing puzzles together. We used to do one every holiday season but they’re become “whenever” projects. They get us offline and have us participating in a shared goal (completing the puzzle of course). And it’s really good for your brain! We’ve even suggested it as one of our 25 Affordable Date Ideas At or Around Home.
Don’t own a puzzle? No problem. Though we usually support local (or even getting puzzles at Goodwill, exchanging with friends, or from Home Goods once in a while) if you can’t leave your house, we recommend buying one online that can be delivered to your doorstep.
We enjoy 1,000-piece puzzles because they take a little longer. However, completing this 500-piece Rainbow Popsicle Puzzle in just a few hours one Sunday was nice. We have our eye on this gorgeous mountain scene puzzle for our next one.
It reminds us of a Yellowstone National Park vacation! (If you’re really stumped on obtaining one and can’t get home delivery through Amazon, simply ask a neighbor if they have one you can do.)
Want more PRO TIPS for puzzles? We’re puzzle-obsessed, so we put together extensive information about them, including things to keep you organized.
3. Play Mixologist and Create New Cocktails
During pandemic times, we had to self-quarantine for two weeks after returning from a vacation to Spain. One of my favorite things about Spain is the fresh orange juice you can get at nearly every cafe or grocery store. And many restaurants too. So I ordered this citrus juicer for under $30 upon return and a recommendation from a friend.
Now we’re busy making grapefruit mimosas, fresh lemonade, and morning orange juice! It’s a blast, and no matter how long it’s been since the last trip to Spain, we get a kick out of reminiscing about our trip through all our senses.
4. Try New Recipes When you are Bored at Home
It’s SO easy to get into the same routine of making the same tried and true recipes. But some of those recipes were likely new once upon a time and something you tried for the first time. We cook at home a lot and we have to remind ourselves to try a new recipe every few weeks.
If you’re bored at home, what better way to kill time or experiment than with a new recipe, whether baking or cooking a meal? Try a spice you’ve never used or a protein that you rarely cook with.
We’ve taken to finding some meals we want to try on our friend’s food blog website, The Little Kitchen, like her Cheesesteaks recipe. We challenge ourselves to cook new things that aren’t our weekly go-to’s.
5. Organize Photos and Order Photo Books and Prints
We bet you have some photos that need editing from trips you haven’t looked at in a while. Or images you keep meaning to print but haven’t had the chance to do so. If you’re gaining time every day you would have been using to commute to work, for example, consider getting your vacation images printed.
We’re OBSESSED with these photo books we printed. So much so that we got four of them and have more in the works.
There’s no sense in having them live in a computer, digitally, forever. Print those babies!
- CanvasPop makes it SUPER easy to create stunning prints, like a triptych (that’s a three-canvas print) in a snap. Test it out!
- We also love getting square cards printed at Artifact Uprising. We periodically change the front card so we rotate what we see.
6. Tidy Up and Clean Your Home
Tidying up is always good. We nearly always have papers that need to be sorted through or a suitcase that has yet to be unpacked. (Okay, fine – that’s really Mikkel’s downfall and not Dan’s.)
It’s also never a bad idea for extra sanitation at home, like Windex cleaning mirrors and windows or vacuuming a rug and carpets. Mikkel even cleans all the baseboards and molding in every room by hand with paper towels and a cleaning solution.
7. Take a Walk
Nothing beats cabin fever like going for a walk in your neighborhood. Or even someone else’s neighborhood. Fresh air and vitamin D from the sunshine (no matter the cloud cover or blue skies) are great for your health.
If you’re tired of your own neighborhood, simply drive to a pretty area nearby, park your car and go for a walk. This is also a great idea if there are pretty parks nearby.
8. Dream of (and Begin to Plan) Your Next Vacation
Just because you’re bored at home now doesn’t mean you won’t be back tomorrow. Or next week. Perhaps it will be days, in a few weeks, or months. There’s no time like the present to dream about new vacation ideas.
Inspiration abounds, like Easily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, or seeing the Northern Lights in Norway.
Even if you’re US-based and you want to travel locally or nationally, consider road trips. When we’re in North Carolina, Virginia is super close. Even a staycation in Durham, NC, 30 minutes away, is nice! If you’re going on a road trip, be sure to buy some travel games for the road.
Be sure to look through our categories by continent or even our Travel Tips category, which will definitely help no matter where you go.
Two more tips to dream about and plan your next vacation:
- We have a free, downloadable Bucket List Vacations Planner available to our readers in our 25 Affordable Date Ideas At or Near Home post.
- This post rocks, highlighting a few amazing travel subscription boxes to try. Everything from spices to beauty products from other countries to books will help transport you abroad.
9. Send Handwritten Cards (Including Thank You Notes)
Never underestimate the power of a handwritten note. We love sending family and friends cards and we typically send them for every holiday. (This includes Halloween; our mothers are the queens of cards for every occasion, so we try to return the kindness.)
But we also love sending our friends “just because” cards. In such a digital age and world of hundreds of emails, handwritten cards are appreciated entirely differently.
It’s always a good idea to have generic blank notecards and thank you cards on hand. (Psst – we have love sealing ours with a wax seal, which is really easy to do with “wax” from colorful glue gun sticks! We use our “with love” seal a lot.)
You can also get a custom wax seal on Etsy (which we’ve done).
10. Review Businesses and Vendors You Love
Have you been to a great restaurant recently? Or visited a doctor whose demeanor and professionalism you appreciated? What about an event a great planner helped you pull off in the past two years? Do you have a local bakery you enjoy visiting? Small businesses, especially, benefit greatly from a little love.
Mikkel’s a destination and luxury wedding photographer and reviews are invaluable. Think about reviewing someone or someplace positively today. Here are some review sites that we turn to when we’re searching for reviews or contributing:
- Zoc Doc
- Google Business (you can review any site with a business listing – simply Google the business name, and a box should show up on the right of the search results linking to Google Business information and reviews.)
- Facebook review (there should be an area to review a business page within Facebook)
11. Have a Date Night When You are Bored with the Same Old Routine at Home
If you and your partner are home a lot shake things up. Decide on some date nights, even if they’re in the comfort of your own home. For example, Dan plans one night, then I plan the next date night.
Come up with a creative date night idea, then surprise your partner with the results. Or come up with them together. This could be a homemade dinner by candlelight. Or a special movie night with popcorn and craft cocktails.
There is no time like the present to bring some more romance into your relationship!
12. Listen to an Audiobook or Podcast
We rarely have time to read magazines and books unless we make a point to while we are on vacation. Take the time to do so while you’re at home.
If audiobooks or podcasts aren’t generally your thing but you’ve been wanting to listen to some, now is a great time to explore these media mediums. (If you’re into cruises, we have the best list of cruise podcasts for you!)
Be sure to sign up for an Audible membership for the best prices on thousands of titles. Many audiobooks are read by the authors (even celebrities), which is another cool feature of audiobooks.
13. Read a Book or Magazine
Now is as good a time as ever to dig into a good book. You can browse Kindle titles to try something new or enjoy a Kindle membership with tons of free titles to download. Don’t have a Kindle? Order one today and have it within days!
14. Craft Your Way Through Home Boredom
We’re crafty people. Dan’s a painter, and I love creating jewelry with semi-precious gems or greeting cards with scrapbook supplies. Now is the perfect time to reconnect with our creative and crafty sides.
15. Play a Board Game
What to do if you’re bored at home? Play a board game! (Haha, pun intended.) We always have board games at our place, under our coffee table, ready to take out at a moment’s notice.
We love Qwirkle, and it’s one of two board games we always gravitate towards playing. It’s perfect for two people, four players max. The other game we love is Ticket to Ride. It’s always a good idea to own the game, Monopoly, too. It’s a classic crowd-pleaser!
16. Connect by Calling a Friend
Remember the old-fashioned way of staying in touch with people before social media? The good ‘ole days of just picking up the phone to call friends? Why not do that now?
Pick up the phone, call a friend, and ask how she or he is doing if you’re bored.
With quarantining, especially, it’s a great way to reconnect and be social. Or use technology to your advantage and FaceTime or Skype them. We love doing that with our nieces and nephews!
17. Educate Yourself and Learn Something New
There are SO MANY resources for learning out there. If you think of a topic you’re interested in and go to YouTube, type the topic into the search bar. You’ll be amazed by the results.
Now is as good a time as any to learn a new skill or expand your knowledge for whatever field you’re in – or wish to join.
We also have great articles about photography, where we reveal what camera gear we minimally travel with, how we edit and organize our images, and travel questions answered:
- Most Asked Travel Photography Questions and Answers
- How to Organize and Edit Your Travel Photos: Part 1
- Our Maximum and Minimal Travel Photography Gear Lists
18. Clean Your Closet When You’re Bored at Home
You don’t have to wait for “spring cleaning” to clean out your closet. Or the cupboard, or bookcase, etc. for that matter. It’s SO refreshing and rejuvenating to get rid of old things, declutter, and make space for new things on the horizon, whether travel souvenirs, new clothes, or simply more space!