One Of This Year’s Top Travel Destinations … your Home & Garden!

We’ve known Stacey Sheppard for quite some time and can’t quite figure out, why we’ve taken so long to invite her to write a Guest Blog Post. Stacey is a very accomplished freelance writer and the Editor of the award-winning blog The Design Sheppard. She writes about residential interior design making her the perfect Guest here … on her own blog Stacey shares the latest trends (that’s good to know!), the latest products, interviews with designers, design-led hotels as well as top-tips and advice helping us all to create a home that makes us feel good.

Undoubtedly you’ll enjoy this feature and … you’ll be hooked so here’s where you can subscribe making sure not to miss any of Stacey’s advice & support …

8 Ways to Enjoy A Summer Staycation in your Garden

4m Sandstone Bell Tent With Zipped In Ground Sheet from Boutique Camping is perfect for creating a summer staycation in your garden

As soon as travel restrictions lift and the hospitality industry re-opens, I know many people will be looking to get those holidays booked in for Summer 2021. For us as a family, we’re not quite there yet and the thought of flying to another country while everything is so uncertain just doesn’t appeal. We will definitely be looking at staycations for the rest of 2021.

That doesn’t necessarily means venturing out somewhere different in the UK it might simply mean a summer staycation in your garden. And that’s ok. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy the experiences and feelings that a holiday can bring.

Research commissioned by BISHTA (British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association) and SPATA (Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association) in 2020 found that more than a third of 2000 homeowners polled were planning to holiday in their own garden. 60% of those questioned said they appreciated their gardens more than ever before.

Furthermore, 28% of those questioned said that the increased time outside recently has made them consider giving their garden a make-over, with more than a third using the time to update their garden. This includes a quarter of those buying new furniture, three in five purchasing plants and 26 per cent changing the layout completely.

Creating a summer staycation in your garden.

With these statistics in mind, I want to share eight ideas for how you can still enjoy a summer staycation in your garden. These ideas can be adapted for all budgets and the majority of them can also be done elsewhere if you don’t have any outdoor space of your own.

You can make them as simple or as elaborate as you like. The pictures in this post are for illustrative purposes only, because people read blogs that have lovely images. I’m not suggesting you have to buy a £9k garden pod or a vintage Citroen H van, but for those who have the budget, it may be an option.

1. Stage a Festival

Left and Right: Decorative outdoor lights by Lights4Fun

If we get a period of great weather like we had a couple of weeks ago, having a small festival in your garden is a really fun idea. You can pitch a tent or hold it in your summer house, you can pop out some deck chairs hang up a hammock or even just lay some blankets and cushions on the floor.

You can make some bunting or streamers, hang up paper lanterns or string fairy lights up everywhere. You need something that will create a festival vibe and atmosphere, particularly at dusk and into the evening.

Try getting creative with facepaint, create some statement artwork, set up a photobooth with fancy dress items for everyone to wear, the wackier the better. And do not forget about the music, I mean that’s the main focus of the event. Whether you opt for live music that you perform yourself for friends and family or whether you blast out your favourite festival tunes through a wireless sound system, it’s the music that is the most important component.

2. Garden Glamping

4m Sandstone Bell Tent With Zipped In Ground Sheet from Boutique Camping

If music isn’t really your thing, you don’t need to go down the festival route. You could just have a glamping experience in your back garden. Just enjoying being outside in nature and sleeping under the stars but with an added bit of luxury. Of course, one of the benefits is having your own bathroom and kitchen to hand.

Decorative outdoor lights by Lights4Fun

Like the festival, glamping is all about comfort, so you might want to lug your mattress into the tent to ensure a good night’s sleep. You’ll need plenty of cushions and lights, basically, anything that feels like a home away from home will ensure the success of your summer staycation in your garden.

3. A Wellness & Yoga Retreat

Luxury Rotating Lounger Garden Pod – Cuckooland

One thing that life-in-2020 flagged up for the majority of people is just how fast our pace of life was before the pandemic hit. We were constantly on the go, filling our time with things that we thought mattered to us and made us happy. This enforced period of downtime has given us all a much-needed opportunity to reassess what our lives are lacking and how we can address that moving forward.

For many of us, we realised that our mental health and wellness has been suffering due to the speed of life and the huge pressure to consume endlessly and to work non-stop in order to be able to afford to keep consuming.

So perhaps a nice idea for a summer staycation in your garden might be to dedicate some time to rest and relaxation in the form of a yoga and wellness retreat. Taking the time for some self-care and for doing those things that help us to feel more balanced and restored. Whether that be meditating, reading, doing something creative or just pampering yourself. We all deserve some self-care after the stress and worry of the past few months.

4. A Picnic

I’ve always loved a picnic and the beauty of it is that you don’t even need to leave your home to create a very special picnic experience in your garden. Of course, if you don’t have a garden it’s easy enough to find a suitable outdoor space as an alternative.

A picnic is a simple but very effective way to enjoy a summer staycation in your garden. An outdoor rug and a floor cushion or two to sit on for comfort, and a beautiful picnic basket (affiliate). Then all that is left is to pretty it up a bit. As you’re in your garden this may include bunting or fairy lights, festoon lights or lanterns, or maybe be a gazebo or a parasol. This picnic could be as simple or as excessive as you like. Obviously the more special you make it, the more of a holiday feel it will have. And make sure you splash out on some luxurious food so you feel like it’s a real treat.

5. Alfresco Entertaining

Garden furniture and outdoor dining accessories from John Lewis

We’ve already touched upon picnics, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy food with friends and family outdoors. The obvious one is BBQ’s which plenty of us have indulged in already during the lockdown. If you’re planning a summer staycation in your garden this year, it’s absolutely worth investing in a good quality sizeable BBQ for any outdoor entertaining.

Quan Quadro Large Wood-Fired BBQ – Cuckooland

Another great option if BBQ’s get a bit too monotonous is to have people over for a make-your-own-pizza party. There is always something so exciting about making your own food outdoors and I’m convinced that it tastes better, especially if you are using homegrown ingredients that you cultivated during the lockdown. Making pizzas is a great way to get kids involved as well. You could opt for a large built-in pizza oven or a more portable compact one, depending on the scale of pizza making you are going to embark on. You also need to choose between gas-powered or wood-burning stoves. Both have their advantages.

And finally, as we’re talking about holidaying at home and you have full access to your own kitchen, you could simply eat the meals that you have prepared out in the garden. Making a real effort to make the meal special will of course give it a more relaxed holiday feel. So lovely table cloths, vases of flowers, nice glassware and maybe candles or hanging festoon lights will all add to the atmosphere.

Left: Serveware and dining set from Kitchencraft. Right : Outdoor lighting from Lights4Fun.

6. Drinks at the Bar

Tiki bar from George at Asda

If you’re going to eat in the garden, odds are you’ll also be drinking outside. When pubs & bars everywhere are fully open, many people will still be apprehensive about social-distancing in enclosed spaces. Having family & friends over for dinner & drinks in the garden will probably be thought a safer option.

Investing in a garden bar will make the occasion feel a lot more special and will definitely bring those holiday vibes to the garden. Whether you opt for a cheaper Tiki style bar like the one above or go for something a bit more professional and luxurious, there are a number of different options so that you can play at being bar staff in style.

Even if you don’t have space for a proper bar, there are small portable options for chilling drinks so you don’t need to keep running inside for ice, like these cooler tables that can chill drinks for up to 16 hours.

7. Relax in the Hot Tub

Wood-fired hot tubs from Skargards

Once you’ve eaten and enjoyed a drink or two, what nicer way to relax in the garden than sharing a hot tub. Many of us specifically look for holiday properties with a hot tub, so there is no better way to bring those holiday vibes into the garden than with a hot tub. It doesn’t need to be an authentic Swedish wood-fired tub like the one above. Budget options do exist and may be a better investment if you don’t think you will get the use from it. But if you want to go all out you can always house it in its own garden structure to ensure you it is protected from the elements and you can use it all year round.

8. Outdoor Movie Theatre

Decorative outdoor lights by Lights4Fun

The final idea for creating a summer staycation in your garden is to host an outdoor movie night. As cinemas have been closed and are having to adapt to the new normal as they re-open, we have seen outdoor cinemas and drive-throughs becoming increasingly popular. This can also be done in the garden reasonably easily using a simple white wall or white fabric as a screen and a projector (affiliate). Some cosy seating options, blankets and atmospheric lighting and you’re all set. All that’s left is to argue over the movie that you’re going to watch.

So there you have it, 8 ways to enjoy a summer staycation in your garden. Will you be trying any of these this summer or are you planning to head off further afield for your annual holiday?

Thank you Stacey Sheppard … why did we take so long?!

If you would like to know more about Travel & Tourism Trends post 2020, to help you develop a resort, hotel, restaurant or to as a Home Builder with projects coming to fruition this and next year … get in touch with Phil know what your customer truly want so that you get the best Return on your Investment

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