Journey Jotters

Bitten by the travel bug

2020 will forever be a watershed moment, a time when our lives became irreversibly divided into the pre-and post-pandemic periods. Like most people, we spent the greater part of the year staying home, venturing out only for important activities like work, groceries, or nature walks. We booked and canceled cabin stays when cases became exceptionally high last summer. But the urge to find safe ways to get away remained. And thus, it was in September 2020 that I found myself paying close attention to Getaway cabin’s posts on social media. You know the ones: the iconic rectangular wooden cabin with a large window bringing the great outdoors in!

Our Getaway Cabin with the outdoor fire pit
Our Getaway cabin in the Piney Woods near Dallas

Getaway cabins are just that: a one-room cabin in an Outpost location, like the Piney Woods near Dallas or the Catskills in New York, designed to be a getaway from the hustle and bustle of work and daily demands, a retreat where one can disconnect from technology and focus on self-care and rejuvenation. There are currently thirteen Outposts across the US, each located within a two-hour driving distance from the nearest city. Multiple cabins are scattered across each Outpost in such a way as to ensure adequate privacy.

The cabins are small enough to accommodate either two or four people. They range in size from 140 to 200 sq ft, come stocked with necessities like pots and pans, cooking essentials. Two-person cabins have a queen bed with linen, pillows, and a throw. Four-person cabins have two queen beds, lofted. The signature large windows provide light and an immediate connection with the natural surroundings. Cabins are outfitted with A/C for summer months, heaters for cooler weather, an indoor toilet, and hot water for shower.

The mini-kitchens contain a stove, mini-fridge, a sink, pots, and pans. In addition, these basics are included: Bottle opener and corkscrew, can opener, knives, and scissors, cutting board, grilling utensils for the campfire, mixing bowl, and kettle, lighters, mugs, plates, bowls, cups, silverware, paper towels and dish soap, salt, pepper, olive oil, coffee creamer, sugar. In addition, provisions like coffee, tea, hot chocolate, insect wipes, log bundle, kindling log are available for purchase.

Outside each cabin is a fire pit, a grilling grate, chairs, and a picnic table. Getaway cabins have the following burn ban policy. Guests will be notified on the day of, if there is a burn ban in effect. If there is a county-mandated burn ban, no campfires are allowed. Fire bans occasionally happen at some Outposts due to wildfire worries at the state or county level. The use of fire pit or burning fires of any kind is not permitted during these events. There are no exceptions to the rescheduling/cancellation policies while the fire bans are active.

Pets are welcome, and the cabins provide dog bowls, treats, a waste bag, and an outdoor lead. A small cleaning fee is charged. Owners have to stay with their dogs at all times, keep them on a leash when outdoors, and always clean up after them. Owners cannot leave pets alone inside the tiny house.

Large window in a Getaway cabin
Inside our Getaway cabin, signature large window

Once a booking is made via the website, the exact location of the Outpost location is sent to the guest in the confirmation email. In addition, an email with the cabin name and personalized entry code is sent on the day the stay begins. Upon reaching the cabin, guests enter the digital lock code on the door, and the cabin is ready to go. At check out, guests press the lock button on the door before departing.

One of the critical goals of Getaway cabins is to enable guests to disconnect from technology. To that end, WiFi is not provided in the cabins. Many Outposts have spotty cellphone reception. However, each cabin has a landline for emergencies. A cellphone lockbox is provided in each cabin to disengage completely.

As far as cancellation policies, booking payments are fully refundable up to 15 days prior to the reservation. Partial refunds are provided for bookings 8-14 days prior to the reservation, but Getaway does not refund payments if you cancel less than 7 days prior.

Once I read through the concept of the Getaway cabins, I was intrigued. An outdoorsy trip is something we’re happy to do anytime. But especially during pre-vaccine COVID, going away for a weekend to a socially distanced location not far from Dallas sounded like a great opportunity. The only hitch was whether the kids would agree to a near-total disconnect from their phones and WiFi. I planned to travel during the Thanksgiving weekend when we would normally spend time with family in another part of the US. And I wondered if this would be a dealbreaker. But surprisingly, the kids agreed to give it a go! And so I booked a Getaway Piney Woods cabin in LaRue, Texas.

Join us tomorrow for our Thanksgiving trip to a Getaway cabin.

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