How to turn your backyard into the best vacation destination
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May 06, 2013 | 18078 views | 0 0 comments | 246 246 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - It’s a widely known “secret” that family vacations aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Traveling can be a costly hassle with too many negatives that overshadow the fun. That's why a growing number of Americans are rediscovering the fun that can be had at home, and taking steps to make their backyards as inviting and enjoyable as any far-off vacation destination.

Summer vacation travel costs the average American family about $1,180 per person, according to an American Express survey. Imagine if a family of four invested the cost of this summer’s vacation into upgrading their backyard with the addition of a swimming pool or hot tub. They could create an oasis of family fun that they’ll enjoy for years, not just for a week in the summer.

Saving money and avoiding travel hassles are far from the only benefits of spending more time at home. Quality time together helps families bond, and can even improve physical and mental wellbeing. Purchasing a pool or hot tub is the kind of investment that will provide your family backyard enjoyment for years to come.

There’s a reason why virtually every great hotel in a great location has a pool and hot tub: people love recreation and relaxation. When it comes to creating a resort-like vacation experience in your backyard, nothing fits the bill better than a swimming pool or hot tub.

A swimming pool is one home improvement that pays for itself in multiple ways, from increasing your home value and reducing travel costs to improving relationships with loved ones. The majority of pool owners (75 percent) say their swimming pool turns the backyard into an everyday vacation spot, according to research by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. Four out of five pool owners say it’s a great way to entertain guests, and nearly half say it’s the perfect place to connect with family and guests.

Hot tub owners feel the same way. Among owners, 57 percent consider the backyard their sanctuary and believe their hot tub promotes entertaining and fosters quality time with loved ones. What's more, 77 percent of owners say time in their hot tub is one of the few things that truly relieves stress.

Though the economy continues to be a factor for improvement-minded homeowners, swimming pools and hot tubs are a natural fit for those opting to stay put and improve their current homes. And while adding an installation can be a serious investment, a family of four that would normally spend the average amount of $4,750 per summer on vacation travel could conceivably pay for a pool or hot tub by foregoing those travel costs for a few years. If you’re considering adding a pool or hot tub to your outdoor living space, rely on APSP’s online member locator to find an APSP Certified Professional in your area.

Demand for outdoor living spaces continues, with the American Society of Landscape Architects listing pools and hot tubs as hot trends for 2013. Refining outdoor living spaces with improvements such as built-in cooking facilities, composite or wooden decks, patios and natural landscaping can further enhance the usability and appeal of a swimming pool or hot tub.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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