The way we travel is changing. Until recently hotels were the go-to business for accommodation while on holiday. Now, with the growth of sharing-culture, represented by companies such as Uber and Airbnb, travelling is now transforming into a much more personal experience. A local driver will pick you up from the airport, then take you to your stay within a residential area, and you may then choose to visit a nearby home to experience a private cooking class. Businesses within the travel industry are handing over control to residents instead.

There are many reasons for this change. Individuals are able to earn money by welcoming visitors into their homes and cars. Competition, as a result, has increased, lowering prices, making accommodation options overall cheaper. Furthermore, as more options for transport, entertainment, and overnight stays appear, travel increases to previously undiscovered or difficult to reach areas, welcoming greater levels of tourism. While this is great news for your next holiday, it might also be great news for your own home and income.

It can be difficult for many to come to terms with opening their home to regular visitors, but doing so doesn’t have to compromise your personal living space. Websites, such as Airbnb, allow you to customise your listing, from its availability to restrictions on room access. However, if you consider your garden, you can operate a private getaway space while maintaining your own privacy too.

Constructing a space in your garden and turning it into a bed & breakfast is straightforward. Nowadays, it’s also relatively affordable too. Some of you may already have an annexe or summer house, (even a large shed!), that could potentially become a welcoming room for guests. It is even better if the building is able to be accessed around your home since potential visitors will have free access to come and go.

Some people are often shocked at the demand for stays in their area. Both urban and rural residences see demand and, while your home might not appear to be in a generally common tourist spot, there are many niche events that constantly attract visitors around the country all year round. If you’re unsure, visit an accommodation website and check out your own area at different times of the year – you may be surprised!

There are initial costs, of course. For your space to be desirable, it needs a certain standard of living. A pleasant design, kitchen and bathroom amenities, and, importantly, a comfortable bed. You can expect smaller, ongoing costs too. While some may be optional, it is important to keep in mind that your guesthouse will be reviewed and rated. So, while it may be an extra cost to offer basic toiletries and a bottle of milk, they can make a huge difference to the impression you make.

The start-up and running costs of your garden stay, however, are minor in comparison to the potential income you can generate from a successful and regular staycation destination. With staycations and sharing-culture continuing to rise in popularity, demand for diverse and casual accommodation is certain to grow. So, if you’ve got the space in your garden, it might be beneficial to think about welcoming a guest or two.