Summer is nearing its end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in one or two more relaxing weekend getaways before winter sets in. The past several months have demonstrated ways by which the travel industry has changed, possibly irreversibly, but not all change is adverse change. We have been tasked with reimagining what safe travel looks like and what it might be moving forward. So far, the simplest solution seems to be that we should be focusing on contained, intimate travel experiences rather than typical, crowded ones.
But, what exactly does that mean? Generally, U.S. travelers have turned away from multi-room hotel facilities and public transportation in favor of road trips in personal vehicles, camping, and small getaways with family or a few friends. Of course, if everyone decides to go camping with their friends and family, we face a new problem of overrun public lands and crowded campsites which ultimately renders our safe-travel strategies relatively useless.
However, there are other options. Instead of packing into your family vehicle only to realize that your imagined intimate camping trip looks, in reality, more like something resembling a neighborhood block party, why not level up to glamping? We’ve written several stories on this topic, but the amount and variety of glamping accommodations are truly worth discussing in detail; especially as we attempt to make our vacations as safe and contained as possible.
Previously, we discussed GlampingHub and its repository of refurbished, stand-alone RVs and Airstreams that you can rent. However, GlampingHub and a number of other sites also feature a ton of other types of accommodations from tipis and yurts to geodesic domes and tiny houses. For this feature,, we’ll spotlight a few tiny homes that you can rent for a unique, private getaway with a friend or family member.
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As with all travel this year, you’ll want to check for up-to-date COVID trends before making nonrefundable or inflexible plans. Johns Hopkins breaks out trends by state and cumulative cases at the county level to help you make an informed decision.
In some cases, the safest decision may be to not travel at all, especially if you are currently in a region with cases that are trending upward. The safety of the residents of the place you visit is as important to consider as your own. This list is meant to provide you with some inspiration for when you and the destination’s local medical/government experts deem you can safely travel.
Don’t forget to confirm with local businesses about potential closures or reduced service levels as well as health and safety policies.
Tiny House in North Carolina
One of our favorite places for a getaway is Asheville and its surrounding hills and forests. The end of summer is a great time to visit because the forests have greened out, but we also really enjoy this region in October and November because of the spectacular fall colors. If you’re looking for an idyllic forest retreat for yourself and someone special, this tiny house is an excellent choice.
The property itself is a testament to the skills and crafts of local makers, with handcrafted touches almost everywhere. Guests enjoy several snug nooks inside, an 18-foot ceiling, and an indoor swing facing a window featuring stunning views of the forest outdoors. The house also includes a modern bathroom and a well-stocked kitchen area. Use this property as a home base for National Park or downtown Asheville adventures, or utilize the WiFi for a working retreat while immersed in the natural beauty of the area.
Tiny House and Mini Donkey in New Mexico
If you like both your animals and your lodging in miniature, check out this fun offering nestled in between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Set on a small horse harm that also hosts a pint-sized donkey, the attached porch and expansive views will give you a sense of wide-open spaces even though your housing is diminutive.
This tiny house gets high rankings for cleanliness and for the little touches like the skylight over the queen sized bed that allows nighttime views you can’t get anywhere else. While two cities are within easy driving distance, Corrales is a tiny hamlet that allows you plenty of social distance and few distractions if all you want to do is catch up on your rest…as long as you’re ok with a sunrise wake-up call by a rooster alarm clock.
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Hot Tub in Texas
Deep in Texas hill country sits a lovely tiny home on 3 acres of private land, ready to offer stillness and quiet when you need it the most. This is a wonderful place for a retreat because even though it is located far from the demanding buzz of Austin, you’ll still be able to contact the outside world if necessary.
This property features a king-sized bed, a fully stocked kitchen, blackout shades, and a comfortable couch. The separate bathhouse features a bathroom and outdoor shower, plus a lovely sitting area on the deck. Additionally, guests can enjoy a BBQ and campfire just a few steps away from the home. One of the coolest things about this property is that it features a private hot tub with plenty of space to share with your travel buddy; ideal for relaxing and counting meteors as they shoot across the Texas night sky.
Treehouse in Illinois
On brand with the tiny home vibe, treehouses offer the same coziness with an added threshold of integration into the surrounding nature. We especially like this treehouse because, besides being quintessentially Midwestern, it gives travelers a reason to visit this otherwise unassuming area of Illinois/Iowa borderland.
Inside, besides the obligatory buck mount, you’ll find plush couches and fluffy armchairs in a space illuminated by wide windows. The treehouse features a queen-sized bed, a bathroom with a composting toilet and washbasin, and an outdoor BBQ. This pet-friendly property is ideal for up to four glampers looking for a cozy, rustic forest retreat.
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Cabana on a Pier in Maryland
Solomons Island, Maryland made our list of Mid-Atlantic getaways due to its laid back lifestyle even with proximity to many large cities. Outdoor pursuits on the water are the star in Solomons, with kayaking and fishing easily accessible. Or if you prefer your fish already cooked, you’ll find some of the freshest fish, crabs and oysters anywhere if you come at the right time of year.
There are a couple of hotels in Solomons, but if you prefer privacy here’s a lovely option: A private cabana built at the end of a pier on the Patuxent River The placement of the house guarantees amazing sunsets. This tiny house features access to a private beach and pier along with usage of kayaks and bikes. Just be careful if you want to take a swim: The waters are full of jellyfish.
Prairie Minimalism in Wyoming
Located just south of Grand Teton National Park lies a prairie paradise perfect for travelers looking to destimulate, reset and gaze at some of the best Milky Way views that the west has to offer. This minimalist tiny home is ideal for up to three guests and features a queen-sized bed, an extra sofa bed, a fully equipped kitchen and a full bathroom.
This tiny home, which resembles a sauna with its pine construction, is lovely to use as a home base for your National Park adventures, with its direct proximity to Grand Teton and its indirect proximity to Yellowstone. For those who choose to delay their trip until the winter season, it’s also a decent base for skiing in Jackson if you’d like to avoid staying in Jackson proper. Regardless of the season, this relatively secluded spot provides the opportunity for guests to soak up some of the spectacular starry skies that can only be seen from Wyoming.
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Traveling as a small family, with your significant other or with one or two friends is likely to be the norm for the foreseeable future. But with so many opportunities to book intimate, tiny accommodations with all the amenities you could need, there are still plenty of adventures to be had outside of the usual tourist hotspots this season.