As we approach one year of battling COVID-19, traveling is still a very sensitive subject. However, one company's approach of tiny-house cabins is a great way to disconnect, reflect, and escape into nature: Getaway House!
Here's what it's like to spend a few days in the Getaway House: a COVID-friendly travel option.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information. I was not paid to write this post nor did I receive any contribution from Getaway. I am sharing my honest opinions of a destination I loved in the hopes that you can enjoy a similar stay sometime soon.
Getaway House: A Great COVID-friendly travel option
Writing About Travel During a Pandemic
It seems so odd to be writing a post about travel.
Sure, I had lots of plans for writing about travel in 2020.
But then COVID happened.
So it's a bit strange for me to be writing about travel once again. But I'm welcoming it with open arms, and looking back on it like an old friend I haven't seen in many years. I'm hopeful for future travels in 2021 on the domestic side, and keeping my fingers crossed that as the availability of the vaccine spreads, we'll be back to traveling abroad sometime soon.
Here's a look at what it was like going on a small vacation during COVID times, and how you can take a trip just like it with Getaway House.
Last month, Dylan and I, along with my lovely sister-in-law Lindsay, spent a few days at Getaway House Blake Brook in Southern New Hampshire. Lindsay has previously accompanied us on lots of travel adventures around the globe. We spent a total of two days & two nights in New Hampshire and absolutely loved our time there.
COVID Safety for Visiting New Hampshire
As the reality of life with COVID changes quite frequently, it's important to pay attention to and adhere to the safety restrictions and guidelines for traveling.
Currently, there is no travel quarantine requirement for visiting New Hampshire from a neighboring state in New England. Since Dylan and I live in Massachusetts, we are able to travel to New Hampshire without issue. Additionally, since my sister-in-law has been fully vaccinated against COVID, that also made the process easy for us - she did not have to quarantine. She got tested anyway before coming to New Hampshire, just in case.
For more information on visiting New Hampshire and the current COVID guidelines, please read through this information, and please be safe. Remember that the guidelines are changing frequently and that your requirements to visit New Hampshire may be different from ours.
Accommodations: Getaway House Blake Brook
Travel is certainly changing due to the pandemic, and accommodations like Getaway House make it easier to adhere to social distancing. With locations all over the country, Getaway House offers a secluded and private escape into nature. In addition to New Hampshire (Known as the Boston Getaway location), Getaway House also offers escapes from Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, D.C., Oregon, Illinois, and California.
The staff at Getaway House provide contactless check-in and check-out procedures, with a code to enter the cabins when you arrive. There's no interaction with anyone. Also, the cabins are deep cleaned by staff in PPE in between guests, and they are strict about check-in times to make sure the cabin is fully prepared for your arrival.
You have the option for 1 bed or 2 bed lofted cabins at Getaway House. Each cabin is spaced out 50-100 feet away from the next and comes equipped with AC, heat, and hot water. We barely saw anyone during our two-day stay, and they enforce quiet hours at all times to ensure you are relaxed.
The cabins are beautifully furnished and include tons of amenities. There was a small collection of books and games, a kitchenette with a two-burner stove and minifridge, cooking utensils, tea kettle, & dishware, a dining table, a small bathroom with towels & shampoo/body wash, plus a cell phone lockbox to encourage you to disconnect. Each bed was like a cloud - fluffy pillows and blankets, and with the large window that overlooks the outside, it creates such a magical atmosphere!
Outside, there's a picnic table, fire pit with a cooking grate, and chairs. We even found a complimentary mini s'mores kit with a welcome note on the table when we arrived! Firewood, fire starters, and sand (in case of ice) were also located outside the cabin if needed.
Getaway Blake Brook is also pet-friendly!
Activities in New Hampshire
We absolutely love New Hampshire and enjoy visiting it year-round. Since it was winter when we visited Getaway House, we had to be mindful of our activities. We monitored the trail conditions and weather for two hikes and wore microspikes on our hiking boots in the snow. In general, we were blessed with sunshine and nice weather during our escape.
While my favorite times to visit are the spring and summer, the winter has plenty to offer as well. Here are some of our favorite things to do in New Hampshire, that are all within driving distance (1-2 hours) from the Getaway House location.
Winter Activities: Hit the slopes at one of the many ski resorts/mountains in the area, explore the frozen Flume Gorge, or hike Mount Major for views of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Spring Activities: Check out these great spring hikes, or stroll through cute towns like North Conway. Grab a gluten-free burger at Wicked Fresh!
Summer Activities: Strawberry picking at Schartner Farms, hike Franconia Notch, go swimming at Lower Falls along the Kancamagus Highway, or check out Mount Washington by car, foot, or train.
Fall Activities: Leaf peep your way along gorgeous trails at Cannon Mountain and Lonesome Lake, grab a coffee or hot chocolate at a local cafe in Wolfboro, or just go for a scenic drive, to admire the colors!
The benefit of traveling somewhere like Getaway House is that you can easily prepare simple meals that are gluten-free. Remember to be cautious when eating in a kitchen not your own, and follow some safety guidelines.
The kitchenette of each cabin provides plates, bowls, cutlery, a tea kettle, salt, pepper, olive oil, tea, coffee, and some wooden spoons. You can bring your own kitchen from home if you prefer, or wash with soap and water. A clean sponge is also a good idea!
For breakfast, we had granola bars, fruit, or eggs. For lunch, we had cold cuts, sandwiches, and snacks. I brought KIND bars and Canyon gluten-free bread from home, as well as some bananas. For dinner, we made pasta with bolognese sauce - mine being gluten-free, regular pasta for Dylan and Lindsay. After dinner, we enjoyed s'mores with our own skewers we brought from home and my Pamela's gluten-free graham crackers.
These measures worked well for me. Please be aware that everyone's tolerance and comfort levels with celiac disease or the gluten-free diet are different. What works for me may not work for you, and that is okay. I refer to Beyond Celiac for the proper measures in avoiding cross-contact. You can read more of their guidelines here and here. DO what's best for YOU!
And if you'd rather dine out during your Getaway, check out my gluten-free dining guide to New Hampshire to see what tasty places are waiting for you!
Cost & Budget
The Getaway Blake Brook is a little on the pricy side. Splitting the cost with my sister-in-law helped, as well as going during the week, and the special discount they were doing for healthcare workers, as Lindsay works in the healthcare field. (Thank you, healthcare workers!). The midweek price is around $230/night, and the weekend prices range from $350 - $360 per night.
While this might seem like a lot, the trip didn't cost us very much. We primarily cooked our own food, our activities were all hikes (free), and for transportation, we paid for gas to drive up from the Boston area. Overall, this trip cost Dylan and me roughly $600-$700. Not bad!
This was the perfect chance to connect with family, with nature, and finally take a small trip somewhere. I think this style is going to be popular for the time being, especially due to the fact that social distancing is easy to do at the Getaway House locations.
I'd love to go back in the spring, summer, or fall! I can already taste the gluten-free s'mores.
Would you ever take a vacation like this?
Let me know in the comments below!