Summer is here, bringing another season of vacation bucket lists and weekend getaways. In fact, NerdWallet’s yearly summer travel survey found that 45% of Americans plan to take a trip this summer that requires a flight or hotel stay, averaging over $3,500 on travel expenses.

But you don’t have to travel far or break the bank to soak up the season. Much like planning a vacation, turning your home into a summer oasis starts by reflecting on your preferences, dreams and budget.

Read on for affordable, practical tips on how to make summer memories from the comfort of your own home.

Bring the season indoors ⌂

These quick and easy ideas will help you bring the smells, sights and tastes of summertime into every corner of your living space and maximize the season’s joys.

Brighten with blooms

Whether you have a formal garden or access to wildflowers, grab some scissors and start snipping—or head to your local farmer’s market for fresh cut blooms.

Be creative with vases. Mason jars are perfect for informal bouquets, or you can hit your cocktail cabinet: Shot glasses and stemless wine glasses work well for dainty single blossoms and can be placed in smaller spaces for a pop of joyful color.

Got mint growing outside? Cut some sprigs and place them in a glass on your kitchen counter. The fresh smell may inspire you to brew a pitcher of sun tea or simply lift your spirits while skewering kabobs for the grill.

Spritzers for sipping

Consider serving summer spritzers at your next backyard BBQ, or enjoy a refreshing beverage on the porch while the grandkids chase fireflies.

Daiquiris, mojitos, and slushies—oh my! Refresh your palate with these sparkling and fruity drink ideas. Or skip the alcohol and stay happily hydrated with these healthy mocktail recipes.

Bonus tip: Fill a large decorative bowl or clear vase with lemons for a lively centerpiece that sends you to Italy’s Amalfi Coast or the lemonade stands of your childhood.

Sunny decor

Time to break out the seasonal dishes and linens—plates, napkins, tablecloths, and glassware—for as many al fresco meals as the weather allows. Perk up your inventory by heading to your favorite thrift and home goods stores for a few new items.

Don’t forget hand towels for the bathroom, soaps and candles in summer scents and pretty patterns, and kitchen cleaner sprays in citrusy florals that smell nice and look cheery on the counter.

In the bedrooms, position mason jar bouquets or seashell collections on a nightstand, dresser or window sill.

Wash your summer sheets and hang them in the sun to dry; pick up a sunny yellow throw pillow or a new lightweight blanket for the bed.

There are so many ways to bring summer inside and make your home an oasis for the next few months of extended daylight.

Play outdoors ☼

There are countless ways to make your outdoor space a summer getaway, whether you have a postage stamp yard or a sprawling 10 acres. A strategically placed hammock and some tropical plants can go a long way!

First, assess all your outdoor spaces. Maybe you have a small backyard but a huge front porch—you can work with both. Do you have a corner that has potential to be a reading nook or flower garden? Perhaps you’d like to host vibrant dinner parties on the patio, or maybe you’re imagining intimate gatherings with a few close friends.

Ask yourself these questions to map out your summer oasis priorities:


Where do you spend most of your time in the summer?


When you’re outside, what do you enjoy doing the most?


What do you want to do more of this summer?


Who will be spending time at your home this summer?


How much do you want to spend?

Books, birds and BBQs

Block off sections of your outdoor space for different purposes, whether you’re eager to fire up the grill or sit back with a good book and an iced coffee.

Set up a corner of the yard for building fairy gardens with your grandkids or enjoying a wine and cheese picnic with your partner.

Place bird feeders of all shapes and sizes around your home—it’s amazing what an afternoon of birdwatching can do for your health. Studies have shown it alleviates anxiety and depression, encourages restorative time in nature and nurtures mindfulness, to name a few benefits. Consider a feeder that you can attach right to your kitchen window, so you can spot hummingbirds and other feathered friends while doing the dishes.


Relaxation in nature

Whether you’re retired or still working, caring for aging parents or navigating life with boomerang kids and grandkids, we can all agree on one thing: Life is busy. All the more reason to create peaceful, refreshing spaces in your home this summer.

To start, consider setting up a hammock. If you can’t hang one between two trees, don’t sweat it—there are a number of standing options. From permanent to portable, check out some of the top hammocks here.

Solar lights are a cost effective way to bring warmth to your outdoor space, creating a romantic, cozy mood without any effort.

Surround yourself with plants that feel lush and luxurious, even if you don’t have tons of space or a green thumb. Not sure where to start? We have a guide on low-maintenance indoor and outdoor plants that will thrive anywhere, with surprising health benefits.


Entertain al fresco

Expecting visits from grandchildren? Have fun in the sun by stocking up on bubbles, investing in a baby pool, soccer ball, or butterfly nets, turning on the sprinkler or simply asking if they want to accompany you with harvesting herbs or veggies from the garden. Eating outside instantly makes the meal a memory.

Finally, set the mood with a portable Bluetooth speaker. The right playlist can transport you to simpler summer times or places you traveled to years ago. Just make sure it’s waterproof or set back from your sprinkler!

Tell us how you’ll be making your home a summer oasis in the comments below!