Modern days are full of stress, tension and uncertainties. Hence, it is quite obvious that we need a break from our work, business and even our children need to take a break from their studies. The first thing that comes to our mind whenever we plan to take a break is going out of town for a holiday. There is nothing more enjoyable than spending a holiday far away from the mundane and noisy urban life to a countryside destination. If you can do it with your family, there is hardly any doubt that it could go a long way in unwinding the mind and body of your family members and of course you. But this may not always be possible. In today’s work environment, taking a break from work may be not so easy. Further, all members of the family may not be able to get a break from their work, studies or school at the same time. Hence, many holiday plans fall-through before they even get started.
Apart from the above, cost is an inhibitory factor for many when it comes to taking a vacation out of their homes. Hence, they have no other option but to look for other options. Many of us have individual homes with a good and decent sized backyard. The question that often comes to our mind is whether the backyard could be used for that much needed vacation or holiday? Yes, it is very much possible and there are perhaps many reasons for choosing this option rather than going out of our homes. In this article, we will learn more about the various aspects of a vacation in the backyard. Does it make sense? Will it be enjoyable? Will it help the family members to unwind their bodies and minds? These are some of the common questions that come to the minds of many people. We will try and answer these questions and also look at other interesting aspects of such a holiday.
We need to understand such holidays from the new perspectives that have arisen over the past nine or ten months. Let us not forget that the world is going through one of the toughest times because of the covid-19 pandemic. Life has never been the same for millions of people not only in our country but across the world as this pandemic continues to play havoc with our economic life, social life and even personal lives. The word lockdown has perhaps been used more number of times over the past few months than it was ever before. Thousands of families have been forced to remain shut indoors for weeks and months at length. Hence the question of taking a break, and freaking out in a countryside holiday destination remains a distant dream for many of us even today. As the world struggles to overcome the impact of the first wave of Covid-19, there are many countries, regions and provinces that are bracing for a second wave of infection and therefore there seems very little chance to move out of homes.
In such situations, it is quite obvious that taking a vacation in the best available option is perhaps the most sensible and logical thing to do. Hence, there are many families who are happy having an enjoyable vacation in their own backyards. This certainly makes sense and therefore it would be better to explore more about such an idea. Let us get deeper into this and get to know more about it over the next few lines.
Why Is It Nice To Go On A Holiday At Home?
For the purists and for those who love excitement and adventure, the very thought of going for a holiday at home, sounds a bit of out of place. However, there are certainly a number of reasons why it may make sense to go for a holiday at home. Let us try and list down a few reasons why more and more people are beginning to understand the various reasons for taking a holiday in their homes, making use of their backyard, garden and of course their homes.
· It is safer when one looks at the present day situation. This is perhaps one of the biggest and most obvious reasons why staying at home and enjoying a vacation in the home is a smart and intelligent decision. The Covid-19 pandemic is still a big threat to health and wellness for millions of our countrymen. As the number surges on a daily basis, the authorities are struggling to contain the disease. In such a situation, moving out long distances even in one’s own vehicles is laden with risk and uncertainty. Even the slightest of carelessness could land the whole family into trouble. Hence, many families are happy enjoying their holidays in their homes and also making the best of what they have including the backyard.
· It is less expensive. Holidaying to destinations far away from home is certainly a very expensive proposition. In today’s world of job losses, business uncertainties and other such things, not many people have the money to spend on lavish holidays. They would rather cut down on these expenses and save something for the rainy days.
However, at the same time, they are happy making use of the backyard as best as they can and enjoying a memorable holiday with their family members. Unlike common perception and belief there is no doubt that there are quite a few good things when it comes to making use of the backyards for holidays. We will look at it in more detail and we believe it will clear many doubts that may linger in the minds of many of our readers.
· You can avoid unnecessary travel across long distances. You also can adhere to the social distancing norms because these are so very important for keeping your and your family in the best of health and cheer.
Hence, when we look at the above things, it is much better spending a holiday, at least for this next year and perhaps the next year in the comfort of our homes and also making the best use of our own backyard.
How Can You Design Your Backyard So That You Feel Comfortable There During Your Vacation?
Many people believe that enjoying a vacation in their homes by making good use of the backyards is not the best option. However, there are reasons to believe that such thinking is born more out of opinion rather than based on facts. Hence, it would be a good idea to find out how best the backyard can be designed so that you and your family members feel comfortable and happy spending their vacation in it. We are pleased to list down a few things that could go a long way in making your home backyard holiday memorable, full of enjoyment and something that could help each member of the family when it comes to unwinding body and mind.
Choose the right season
This is perhaps the first thing you must bear in mind that whenever you are planning for a home based vacation. This applies also to vacations outside your home to some distant countryside holiday location. The season that you choose should preferably be warm and sunny and the nights must be free from rain, snow and other such things. You must be able to spend quality time with your family in the backyard. While proper designing of the backyard is important, you must make sure that you choose the right season because that is the starting point of a memorable and enjoyable holiday or vacationing.
It Makes Sense to Hang a Hammock
Spending time in a hammock is certainly a wonderful experience. Yes, your children will certainly relish it and find it exciting but as grown up you also should have an experience of spending a few hours or perhaps a night in a hammock. You could spend time napping, hanging around or reading. The unique swinging motion of these hammocks is certainly a great stress-buster. There are enough research studies to show that spending some time in a hanging hammock could help create the same brain waves in babies and adults. Babies tend to fall to sleep and as far as adults are concerned it could help in improving concentration.
Add some Water Features
You could make your backyard holiday a memorable experience by spending some time, money and effort having the right water feature. There are reasons to believe that water features could help in creating an atmosphere that is relaxing to the mind and body. It also could help in lighting up memories of the time you may have spent in the beaches with the waves splashing against the coast. There are many water features that could also help negate the sound of cars and neighborhood activity. You also could make beautiful fountains and use pumps for the purpose of recirculating water instead of adding water to it. This will help you to save water especially during summer times when water conservation may be required. You also can make use of solar energy and at the end of it all you could come with an environment friendly and ecologically sensitive fixtures and fittings for your backyard. You also must ensure that the maintenance of the same is as simple as possible.
Pay importance to Landscape Lighting
Spend money on spotlighting your backyard landscaping. You could focus on layers of plants and tall trees. These could be extremely interesting and could lure your family members, neighbors, relatives and others who you would like to be a part of the backyard vacation. You may need to hire the services of an expert in lighting and the money is worth-spending because of the obvious benefits and advantages associated with it. These professionals will be in a position to strike the right balance between accent, final finish and overall looks and appearances. There is no doubt that well-thought out accented lighting could leave behind a wonderful impact. You may have to do some shopping for picking up the right rope lights that can line the trees, steps, fencing and other such places. You also could go in for intelligently thought out hanging bulbs and umbrella illuminations.
Importance of Creating Kids Play Area
No holiday or vacation is complete unless the kids are happy. As parents, if you can make kids happy, you also will feel quite happy. A good idea would be to create the right play area for kids in your backyard or garden. The size does not matter and you need not bother if the backyard is not too big. Children would be delighted to have an exclusive play area for them. You can spend some money on the right toys, water slides and various other in-ground features that could make use of water. During summer, kids would certainly enjoy getting wet in these water slides. However, make sure that they do not overdo it and end up catching a cold. You also could add quite a few outdoor games if you feel that you do not have the luxury to waste water. In fact, there are many ways by which water can be recycled and by this water wastage can be avoided to a great extent. Try setting up the right environment for outdoor chess games, croquet and other such classic games. You are only constrained by your imagination and if you spend some time and effort, you will be able to come across dozens of such options for your children.
What about an Activity Center
If space and fund permit, you also could think about an activity center. This could become the hub for each and every outdoor activity as far as your kids are concerned. The activity center could also be used for storing various games that have been mentioned above and also the ones that you may have in your mind. You could also have a chalkboard with the list of games available and the kids can choose the ones that they would like to play. You also could have some juices and snacks in the activity center to take care of the hunger and thirst pangs of the children and also for you as adults.
Plan for After-Sunset Lounging
Fire pit is another important addition that one should take into account. They are extremely useful and perhaps even dispensable if you wish to spend some quality time after sunset. You can get these fire pits in different budgets and also after taking into account lifestyles and the size of the patio of the backyard. The fire pit can help the guests, you, your children and family members to hang around the backyard for a longer period of time. It certainly will be a great way to unwind the mind and body and can help all concerned to temporarily forget the stress and rush associated with our daily lives. You can use your imagination for coming out with the best of outdoor living space and it will certainly go a long way in making your backyard vacation a memorable one for a long period of time.
Outdoor Bar or Bar Cart
No backyard vacation can be considered as complete without outdoor dining and drinking. You will have to plan quite extensively for this. You can easily add an outdoor bar and it will not cost you much. You have many options such as sinks, insulated wine refrigerators, keg taps and many other such things for creating the right outdoor bars. If you can come out with a bar cart with wheels, it certainly would be a great idea. You can move it around from one place to another to the delight of your family members, relatives and neighbors if they are a part of the whole vacation experience. Do not be too stingy when it comes to stocking the bar cart with a good mix of liquor so that you are able to cater to the varying needs of family members and your friends. You also could try and learn something more about preferred cocktails and this could add quite a bit of variety to your overall vacation experience.
Always Dine Outside
Make it a point to dine outside and have a proper table for the purpose. Make it professional in terms of looks and have dinner the same way you would have had it if you were visiting a restaurant. Try to avoid paper plates and make use of porcelain and other such plates to create the right environment.
Keep the Planting Areas Clean
The planting areas should be clean and neat. You can use your imagination or even take professional help to create the kind of landscape that goes well with the place and location. There are many creative ways by which this can be done and as mentioned above, professionals can help create a stunning landscape because of their experience and expertise. It may come with a cost but it is worth it.
Do not underestimate the importance of placing orchids as generously as you possibly can. They should survive quite well in a humid environment and since you will be having your holiday vacations mostly during summer, you should not face too much of a problem planting orchids as widely as you possibly can. If you can create a special area where filtered sunlight is available, the effect will be stunning.
How do you Turn Your Backyard into a Vacation Paradise?
When you are settling for a vacation making use of your backyard and giving your regular countryside vacation a goby, you have to ensure that you and your family members are able to enjoy it as best as they can. There is no doubt that the above few points could have helped you to understand about the various fixtures and fittings that could change your backyard into an ideal vacation spot. We will go a bit deeper into the subject and try to identify some out of the box ways that could convert your backyard into a vacation paradise.
The Importance of Setting the Mood
The backyard should not be drab and dull and for this to happen, you must be able to create the right mood. Different members of your family may have different tastes and preferences. However, there is one thing common about them all. They would love to relax in the evening in their backyards forgetting the stress and tension that is associated with daily life. If you are able to create the right atmosphere and mood, it certainly will work wonders. You could do quite a few things about this and come up with soft outdoor lighting. This could really do wonder and may help in totally transforming the backyard. It could help convert it into a retreat that has everything that a resort may have to offer. It also will make it dreamy and you, your family members and others will certainly enjoy it and go back with some great memories once the backyard vacation comes to an end.
Try & Create a Theme and Stay By It
If you look at resorts closely, you certainly will learn a thing or two. Most of them depend heavily on an underlying theme or design. This helps the resorts to ensure that there is an amalgamation of multiple outdoor spaces and it also aids and helps in giving that cohesive and uniform look. If you are planning a holiday vacation in your backyard, you must always keep this in mind. It does not take too much of an effort to create a theme for your backyard. If you are not sure about it, you could look up the internet and other sources of information. You will be able to come across dozens of themes for your backyard and you can choose the one that is close to your mind and heart.
You have many options to choose from. It could be based on the Mediterranean theme, the Bali themes, or even some unique themes from Morocco. You also could create themes based on hill resorts, beach resorts and much more. As mentioned above, you are bound only by your imagination. In case you feel so, you could also hire the services of a pro for creating the unique and wonderful theme. But this is not exactly necessary because you and your family members can come out with some beautiful themes and the same can be implemented.
Stay away from typical Seating
There is no doubt typical dining chairs are not bad. They are comfortable and ideal for sitting beside an outdoor table. However, in case you wish to create a lounge-like experience or hanging swing or even poof then you will have some thinking to do. You must look for furniture that is not only attractive but also comfortable. They should be able to act as unique focal points throughout the backyard. It would be a good idea to go in for pool lounges. These can be half-submerged in water and you also can dip your toes in it and recreate a resort-like experience.
Spend some time and look for accent chairs that are globe-shaped so that you are able to create a beach-club like atmosphere. There are many outlets that stock and sell outdoor lounge chairs in your neighborhood and you can easily find one. Many of them may also offer it on rent and this could help you to save money on investing on it on a permanent basis.
The Importance of a Hammock
We have written quite a bit about hammock in the above few paragraphs but would like to reiterate on the same again. There is no doubt that a hammock that is swinging gently in the shade is a perfect place for relaxation. Make sure that the hammocks are placed in the right location. Ideally it should be tied to two strong and sturdy trees. You also could go in for a hammock that comes with a stand. However the former is a better option because it helps create that special atmosphere. Also ensure that the area below the hammock has soft landing grass, mulch, or ground cover plant that makes it easy to walk. You also could use a bit of gravel if you feel it is necessary.
Spend time in Creating Resort-Style Accents
Invest time, money and effort to have a few decorative umbrellas and other such things placed in your backyard. You also could think of having throw-pillows of different colors and other types of stylist and unique furniture. This can certainly have a magical impact and could convert a standard backyard or poolside into a fantastic at-home resort. If you can merge these furniture and fixtures with the theme that you have decided, you would have certainly converted the backyard into a fantastic place for enjoyment. Pay attention to choosing the right kind of linens, furnishings, and umbrellas that come with fresh color palettes. You will find it in many resorts and you can take an input or two from these. Simple tips like rolling up fresh towels and having them put up near poolside baskets could also help in creating a near-resort like environment and feeling.
Create a Tropical Landscape in the Garden, How?
If you are staying in a warm place, then you have the luxury of creating a tropical landscape right in your backyard or garden. This is because the climate will easily support tropical landscaping. Yes, you would do well with some humidity or precipitation. But this should not deter you from creating a tropical landscape and make your backyard vacation even more special and memorable. Tropical landscapes can be of different types. You could recreate the ones that are seen in the Caribbean or in Hawaii. There could be others who may be satisfied with a simple tropical landscape because they may not have got the chance to visit these distant places. You can make your choice because topical landscaping gives you the flexibility and versatility. However, it is important for you to follow the tips that are being shared below.
Be Bold & Go Big
Tropical gardens are the ones that obviously have vibrant leaves, that are large and they also have bright blooms. However, there are some trees and plantations that are typical of any tropical landscape. Palm trees, without any doubt, are considered extremely common and important for creating a tropical landscape. They are a must in your backyard. They could help create that real atmosphere.
Find Out Ways to Control the Chaos
If you really want to create that natural tropical vibe, you will have to be ready to recreate a jungle or wild rainforest. However, at the same time, you do not want to end up creating a cluttering environment which the guests may find tough to accept. Moving around could become a problem. Hence, you must find out ways by which you are able to manage the chaos as best as you can. You have to keep larger palms and plants as close to the walkways as possible. This will help in creating that unique canopy feel. At the same time it also will not be too close to block your way or make use of the hands to find your way through the backyard.
Mark & Define Outdoor Living Areas
While creating a rainforest, jungle and other such things are essential for bringing about that tropical feel and environment, make sure that it does not overwhelm the entire yard. Make sure about a few important things. Ensure that the living areas are well marked with borders that are low-growing. You also could help create ground covers that are able to create the right space between larger plants. You could also invest in smaller tropical plants that come in containers and these can act as a border that could clearly define the areas where entertainment activities take place.
Buy Plants that are Close to Home
You have to bear in mind that most tropical plans will not be in a position to tolerate frosts or freezes. Hence, it would be a good idea to buy the plants from outlets that are close to your home. This will ensure that you will be buying plants that can survive and grow well in the areas where you live.
The Importance of Palm Trees
Palm trees are easily available and they are considered a must for any decent tropical landscaping of your garden or backyard. In fact in many homes, you could have a few palm trees already growing in your backyard. If this is the case, you will save money and your landscaping budget will get reduced to that exact.
The Importance of Water Features
Pay attention to water features that have a tropical vibe built into it. The quality of the water features would depend on the budget and space that you have. You have many options to choose from. It could be a beach entrance, waterfall or even a Baja shelf. You must ensure that it looks as natural as possible because this will enhance the tropical vibe by that much. In case you do not have the space or budget for this you would rather go in for a pond or even smaller water body and make it look beautiful by adding an artificial waterfall to it.
Bamboo could make a big Difference
You also could look into the possibility of adding bamboo that is fast-growing. This could help create beautiful tropical backyards. It also could help create a veneer or privacy screen. It is effective in blocking views that could disturb your personal backyard vacation celebration. Bamboo can also work well when it comes to filling spaces and also help to provide a wonderful backdrop that could create that unique tropical environment. Even outsiders will be astonished as to how beautiful bamboo could make the entire backyard look.
Pay Attention to Your Hardscapes Too
You also must use your mind when it comes to choosing the right hardscapes. Many people go in for bricks but wee that they are too traditional and common. On the other hand, concrete is too modern and contemporary. They are not considered to be ideal choices for walkways nor can they help create the right environment as far as the backyard with a tropical theme is concerned. It would be better to go in for wood decks or stone walkways because they will match and complement the look and feel of a typical tropical garden.
Make use of Lava Rock
If you are looking for an easy way out for creating that wonderful tropical theme, understand the importance of lava rock. If you have areas in your backyard that look sparse and barren, you could fill these spaces with lava rocks and make them look natural. However, do it discreetly and one should not be able to find out that you have used these lava rocks for camouflaging purposes. They are not expensive and will not make a big hole in your pocket.
Incorporate Your Theme into the Entire Decor
Finally, if you have a decorative theme in mind, make sure that the same is incorporated or merged with the overall tropical looks and feel that you have in mind. There are many things you could do to make this possible. You could pay attention to the color of the cushions apart from the shape of the string lights that you put up around the patio or on the edges of it. Pay attention to each and every detail and ensure that it helps in creating that island décor that is so commonly associated with the tropical environment. Simple things like hanging a hammock between strong trees, putting up Tiki torches as a part of the overall lighting design could make a big difference. Go in for patio or backyard furniture that is made from wicker, rattan or teak. If space is not a problem, it would be a great idea to go for a tiki bar and this would look even better if it is constructed below a palapa.
Turn Your Garden into a Caribbean Landscape
Here are a few things that could perhaps help in turning your backyard or garden into a near-perfect or natural Caribbean landscape. If you have missed out on that much-awaited Caribbean tour, then your backyard could bring that experience to a large extent.
- Help create pathways that are generous and not constrained for space. The pathways should have enough space for two people to easily walk side-by-side. If you are planning to have plantings that are tall or even structures that flank the walkways, then the path for walking should be wider.
- Make sure that the stairways and outdoor steps ascent gradually and avoid abrupt ascendancy. If they are steep it could look daunting. This is all the more true in tropical climates where the steps often can be quite slippery. Ensure that the steps are at best around 6 inches or perhaps even lesser.
- Give enough importance to outdoor entertaining. You could come out with interesting levels and for this purpose you should choose decks and patios. These two spaces are considered to be the best. Ensure that it has enough space and room for accommodating mingling and dining. The size would depend on the number of hosts that you would like to entertain in one go. Make sure that each person has at least 4 square feet of space without which it could become crowded and crammed.
- The paving should be checked regularly so that it offers secure footing. Stay away from slick surfaces or even pavers that are set loosely. These tend to wobble and when you use smooth outdoor material like polished granite, you could end up creating a highly slipper surface when it is wet or humid.
- Also make sure that there is enough headroom under arbors, arches and pergolas. Ideally the headspace should be around 7 feet and having trailing plants over the structure would also be a good idea.
- Also allow the plants the right room to grow. Stay away from the temptation of planting trees that grow into a full landscape within a short period of time. If you do this you will end up making the whole space crowded within a short period of time.
- If you have plants that are around 36 inches tall or more, place them giving a gap of around 2 to 3 feet from patio or walkway edges. Else, you could again be crowding and cramping the space. Yes, make it a point to stay away from thorny plants too close to the pathways.
- Many of us have the temptation to try to recreate a lawn that is British-style, though Caribbean in style and looks. It would be better to drop this idea. This is because it is cost-prohibitive, labor oriented and you also need to spend a lot of water which often is a scarce and precious commodity. It would be a much better idea to stay with the idea of a native garden that is full of local styles and species.
- Flowers are a great idea but at the same time you also must not ignore plants that offer much more than blooms. Learn to look behind the use of flowers. Go for intelligently thought out foliage, bark, and fruit. This will ensure year long form, color and also texture. As mentioned quite a few times above, there is no doubt that palms can look gorgeous in a small and simple garden. The trees of course are the main heroes and heroines and they obviously will steal the show.
- Many states and counties do have rules and regulations when it comes to major changes to your backyard or garden. Don’t ignore building codes as far as outdoor structures are concerned. If you are not sure, get information and knowledge. At the end of the day, you must make sure that you are on the right side of the law.
Beach Party For Friends In The Backyard, How To Design The Backyard?
When we talk about beach parties for your family members and friends in the backyard, we mean that we will be bringing the beach to the backyard instead of the concerned people going to the beach. The following beach party tips could be useful.
- Make use of water efficiently, intelligently and judiciously to create that beach effect. You could create waterfalls, look for avenues where the water splashes against the rocks and concrete creating those pleasing wave-like noises and so on.
- Have sand and gravel in the backyard so that you are again able to create that natural beach like environment.
- Be innovative when you send out invitations to your friends for the beach party in your backyard. The beach is coming to our backyard and phrases and sentences like these could help in adding that extra bit of excitement when you send out the invitation to your friends, relatives, neighbors and family members.
- The food that you arrange should be in line with the theme of the party. The food should be the same that you would have taken for a real beach party. Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, snack foods such as chips, pretzels and vegetables could be a part of the overall food list.
- Drinks of course play a big role but make sure that they suit the occasion. Beer is an important drink for beach holidays. Also make sure that you have enough non-alcoholic drinks available.
- Decorate your backyard and make it interesting with posts or signs that help recreate that beach like environment.
- Plan a number of games that are inspired by beach parties. They could include paddle tennis, volleyball, mini-nets with soccer, just to name a few.
How to Escape the Stress of Everyday Life?
Stress has now become an integral part of our daily life. Hence, it cannot be wished away. The best way to handle stress is to understand that it is going to be there with us. Once we know that we will be able to find ways and means by which we can overcome everyday stress. Here are a few tips that may help in managing stress effectively.
- Identify the reason for the stress. In a family, different members could have different reasons for stress. Stress for school children could be completely different from stress for job goers and businesspersons. Hence it would not be right to paint stress management with the same brush.
- Take breaks from work and studies. This is a great way to unwind the body and mind and keep stress at bay. The above article would have given a good idea about taking a much needed break without having to travel hundreds of miles for a holiday. Your backyard could help you in managing stress effectively.
- Do not try to control things that are not controllable. There are a few things that cannot be changed and you have to accept it and learn to live with it rather than fighting against it. For example behavior of people and certain situations and circumstances are not in our control and therefore we should know how to manage it and live with it. This will make our lives happier and less stressful.
- Exercise, meditation and yoga are good stress busters and make it a part of your daily life. They help in keeping our body and mind in the right condition and also help us to remain emotionally stable.
Some Backyard Vacation Ideas
Here are some beautiful backyard vacation ideas that you could plan the next time around.
- Cool pool is a good option if you do not have enough space in your backyard to have that dream swimming pool. You could go in for blow up pools that are readily available in the market and you could create a makeshift pool quite easily in your backyard.
- Reading nook. If you have bookworms in your family, you can create a special corner or nook where these family members can escape with their favorite books. Make the space interesting by having the right flora and vegetables and make use of water fountains and other such things.
- Waterbed retreat. This is nothing but a water blob made from plastic sheeting. It could create the right atmosphere in your backyard for children especially during summers.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, certain events post-covid-19 have made it impossible for people to move out normally for holiday and other such outings. In such a situation, there is no doubt that planning a vacation in your backyard could be one of the best options. The information given above could be useful to you in more ways than one.