Summer is upon us, in case you hadn’t noticed *wipes sweat off forehead for the millionth time today*.  The sun’s out, schools are closed soon and the nights are lighter and warmer.  And nothing says Summer like a beach holiday.

But that isn’t always the case for some of us.  Sometimes money is tight, the flights don’t work, or you simply don’t fancy going abroad this year.  Instead, using that well earned annual leave at Home Sweet Home is an excellent alternative.

Here are my top ten ways to bring the holiday to your home this Summer.

1               Have a declutter

Oh yes, I one hundred percent agree that this sounds like no fun at all, but there are lots of ways you can do this first one and make it great fun!  Doing a bit of Mari Kondo or Feng Shui to your space can take planning, time and effort, but once you’re in the swing it really gets that buzz going!  And you can get the whole family in on it, too. 

Have a fashion show in the living room and decide together which clothes stay and which clothes go.  Have a treasure hunt or set challenges while you go.  Get the smart speakers synced up to your favourite music and dance around the house!

 2               Have a "mahoosive" baking day

This one will make sense once you’ve read the rest of the ideas!  Basically get a menu of you and your family or friends’ favourite sweet treats, and get baking!  And I mean the whole day, like the oven never goes off.  Make cakes, cookies, trifles, sticky toffee puddings, custard, biscuits, the whole lot!  Make enough treats to last you a week, or longer if you can freeze them.

3               Movie Marathon

You see why you need so many treats?  Whether it’s the Harry Potter series or the 50 shades of grey series, build a fort out of as many cushions as you can fit, grab the good booze (or the non-alcoholic delights, if you prefer), get those sweets out of the fridge, and settle down in your comfies and spend a day in front of the telly.  Blankets and fluffy socks recommended, but not necessary!

4               Get into the garden

It is Summer, after all, I think at least one of these ideas should be out enjoying the sun!  A little bit like decluttering the house, time spent sorting the garden out is a great way of getting that accomplished feeling.  Yes the weeding at the start might feel a bit laborious, but once that’s out of the way you can start to plan your beds, think of ways to invite pollenators (butterflies, bees and birds) into your garden, and organise how you want it to look, and for the next point you’re going to want it to feel calm, welcoming and beautiful.

5               Did someone say BBQ?

Is it really Summer if you didn’t host a barbecue?  Seeing as this is your staycation and therefore not a bog-standard run-of-the-mill affair, we recommend going the whole hog (pun not intended).  We’re talking good quality meat, marinades, rubs, a good selection of drinks, garden games, upbeat music, good chat and great friends.

6               Spa Day

After being the host with the most for number five, you’re going to want to unwind with a good old fashion pamper day

Make sure your favourite robe is freshly washed and fluffed up, get a good podcast on or your tablet next to the bath, and get the bubble bath flowing.  Light candles, do a face mask, really treat yourself. 

This is another time when that baking day you did comes in handy, but if you don’t fancy taking a chocolate éclair into the bath with you, a fancy box of chocolates really rounds the whole day off.

7               Get yourself organised

Another not-so-fun sounding one, but again, the feeling you get when you’re in flow is so nice.  Having time at home with nothing lingering over you is a great time to start reflecting and planning

Taking stock and seeing what you’re grateful for and what needs to change can place you in a feeling of motivation and determination, but also offer you time to plan and set goals for yourself. 

Not happy with your job?  You staycation is a great time to work through those feelings and see what you need to do. 

Feel like upskilling?  Take a day to research courses and books to improve your knowledge. 

Feeling absolutely amazing and in no need to change?  Amazing!  Take time to reflect on how amazing life is and how grateful you are for the good things.

8               Blind taste test night

This one’s a bit of a scary one, but it really spices up an evening! 

Have everyone in the house prepare one course of a meal each, and eat each meal together blindfolded! 

This is a great way to work on eating mindfully, and connecting with your family and friends through food. 

You can also do this with drinks too!  Have your friends make cocktails or mocktails and try and work out the ingredients.  You can even do a Come Dine With Me event and score each other!

9               Stay in bed day

Harder than it seems, but the basic rule is stay in bed all day. 

You can leave to use the bathroom, but other than that you have to be prepared. 

Get your snacks into the room ready to go, grab a flask of hot water for brews, make sure your laptop is charged up, and those shows you’ve wanted to binge for ages all queued up and ready to go.  Treats essential.

10            Day Out!

OK, OK, not technically a staycation in the truest sense of the word, but what a great opportunity to explore where you live, right? 

National Trust locations are always great, or perhaps there’s a cute village you always drive through but never manage to stop in? 

What about a kid’s day out to the park or soft play, or even a trip to a theme park!  Do your homework and really make the most of the day out.

So there we have it!  Ten ways of making this year’s staycation everything you need it to be.  I’ll be waiting at the letterbox for my movie marathon invite!