Here are our top tips on how to prepare for some quality downtime at home…
1. Do the chores before your holiday
Nobody wants to spend their holiday mowing the lawn. So set aside a few hours before your time off begins to cut the grass and carry out any other chores that need doing, leaving you free to enjoy the break.
Read more: 5 ways to keep your lawn pristine
2. Tell your neighbours
The last thing you need when you’re on holiday is your neighbour leaning over the fence rabbiting on about the escalating price of a sourdough loaf since lockdown began. So let them know you’re on holiday and hope they get the hint.
If you get on well with your neighbours then you could invite them round for a drink one evening to share the holiday vibe; if you really like your neighbours then you could even try asking them to water the greenhouse while you’re "away".
3. Rearrange the furniture
One of the great things about spending time in a hotel or rented cottage garden is that it’s different to yours and you get to explore it as new.
To help give the impression that you’re not really at home then shake things up a bit by shuffling the furniture, pot plants and any other moveable objects around. This will enable you to appreciate your outside space in a new light.
4. Treat yourself
Seeing as you’re saving a load of money by not staying somewhere else, why not treat yourself to something new for the garden to coincide with your staycation?
A picnic table, sun lounger or barbecue will all help enhance the holiday experience. Best of all, get a game of swingball for the lawn and wonder why you’ve not bought one before (a thought that is unlikely to last long).
5. Get some sand
A holiday isn’t a proper holiday unless there’s sand in your sandwiches, especially if you have kids. As a bare minimum, fill a bucket with sand, but also consider getting a sandpit installed.
You can buy plastic pits that can be stored away over winter, or you could even dig out a space in your garden and fill it with sand.
If you’ve had enough of sand when the holiday is over it’s easy enough to cover with pebbles and pots, making it a new beachy feature of the garden.
6. Plan some day trips
Even if you have the best holiday garden in the world, you still need to spend some time away for a proper break, so plan a few day trips.
Take a picnic by a river, climb a hill or explore a castle (we’ve heard Barnard Castle is worth a visit during times of global pandemics), and make sure to plot a route that includes a lengthy traffic jam to release some traditional holiday rage.
7. Cook outside
Resist the temptation to prepare every meal in the kitchen by cooking outside as much as possible.
You don’t need to do everything at pace when on holiday, so put those whizzy kitchen appliances away and dig out the camping stove instead—half an hour boiling a kettle for a cup of tea will be half an hour well spent. Now is also the perfect time to perfect your barbecue skills…
8. Eat and drink outside
We reckon you should also try to eat outside as much as possible, weather permitting.
Breakfast in the garden allows you to appreciate nature as it wakes with a chorus of birdsong, while a few drinks in the evening will give you a final lungful of fresh air to help you sleep more soundly (providing you go easy on the sangria). And make room in the schedule for at least one bag of fish n chips scoffed straight from your lap in a gale-force wind.
9. Pitch the tent
If you own a tent and have space in the garden then put it up for the length of your holiday to further minimise time spent inside the house.
Nothing evokes the feel of a campsite vacation more than a night time dash of bare feet on dewey grass when you’re woken at 3am by the need for the loo (we told you to go easy on the sangria).
10. Don't give up
We’ve all been on holidays where it can take a few days to get into the swing of things, so don’t expect the holiday mood to kick in as soon as you close your laptop and step outside.
Get used to the slower pace of life, learn to appreciate your garden more and gradually start to properly relax…
Read more: 10 Tips for restoring your garden furniture
Read more: How to paint a garden shed
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