For most people in the UK, taking a free-spirited weekend break to Europe or a holiday to the beaches of Bali seems increasingly out of reach. As we begin to see regional lockdowns return, the government continues to roll out wider restrictions that serve to prevent the spread of the COVID virus. These restrictions have a downside, however, and, the more they are both enforced and neglected, a nationwide concern of the virus grows.
This means that, even after lockdowns are ended and businesses begin to open up, many people remain cautious. Certain businesses, such as cinemas, are beginning to take long breaks, closing their doors for six months or more, until a sufficient custom can be assured. And, one sector that has received a substantial loss of business is the tourism industry.
During the summer of 2020, as the initial lockdown was gradually eased, we were able to see the effects of the virus on our travel habits. It was like having a window into the future. Since we could no longer bask in the sun of Greek beaches, we frequented our own. Holidays were taken to countryside towns and saw more people travel across the country than ever before. Staycations were the hottest trend in travel.
It is likely that, even after travel restrictions are lifted, which seems not yet likely to happen in the coming months, people will remain cautious, further fuelling the staycation culture. Our tourist destinations will become busier, new ones will be chosen, and new businesses will be born.
What does this mean for your home? Well, depending on your proximity to places of interest or the likelihood you’d like to venture around the country yourself, it may mean a lot.
Many homeowners are now capitalising on growing tourism by renting out their homes. While those who can afford second homes are now finding themselves in good fortune, others are turning to summer houses instead. Summer houses, or annexes, or any rental space within a safe distance from your house can tentatively be transformed into a source of income by accommodating the new wave of travellers around the UK.
As more people begin to escape their residences to explore the British landscape, various locations are now becoming popular for travel and don’t yet have an abundance of hotels or hostels to accommodate. By looking on websites, such as Booking, or the now-ubiquitous Airbnb, you can see what stays are offered in your area, as well as estimate the type of value each stay earns.
But this isn’t the only reason behind summer house popularity. There are still many residents who can’t or don’t want to travel in the same way, yet still wish to have a private space, outside of their home that they can relax in. As our lockdowns have revealed, an outdoor space or one that gets us out of our houses is something crucial for our wellbeing. Summer houses have been popular in the past and, as a place to escape to, they’re now coming back into fashion.