For teachers and other educators, it has been a bumpy summer full of unknowns.
Used to delivering answers to students, they are now asking questions about what they can expect during the fall semester.
“It’s a lot of uncertainty,” said Jo Pustizzi, a high school teacher in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The one thing Jo and her husband, Jim, who is also a public school teacher in Colorado Springs, can rely on is the source of income they have been generating from their Airbnb.
Seven years ago, the couple converted their cabin in the Rocky Mountains into a place to stay for out-of-towners looking to escape.
“Jo had to really convince me to do an Airbnb, because we had put so much work into the cabin that I didn’t want someone to abuse it,” Jim said.
Jo and Jim are far from the only ones as well. Airbnb says it has seen more teachers turn to the service as a way to supplement their income.
In 2019, Airbnb says teachers raked in $230 million through rentals. About $81 million of that came during the months of June, July and August, when they were not teaching.
It is a big jump from 2017, when teachers brought in $160 million, $54 million coming during the summer months.
“It’s kind of like our own little business, too, so it is fun,” said Jo. "It’s fun just reading reviews or talking to people on the phone.”
It gives the Pustizzis a way to live their lives a little more loosely as they near retirement age and worry about their pensions amid the pandemic.
It also gives them a chance to look back on reviews knowing they did what they do best: share information and experiences.
"People enjoy the same things that we enjoy and it’s cool,” said Jim.
“It feels good knowing other people are feeling good,” added Jo.
For a couple whose profession and passion is in flux, what more could you ask for?