One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to go into a new city and walk around alone. I usually pick a hotel or an Airbnb close to museums or other tourist zones. That way, I can walk to where I want and be safe. Having never lived in a metropolitan city, I soak in the feeling of anonymity and picture myself as a member of the bohemian community living there.
A few summers ago in New York City, I had to climb the steps of a brownstone to make way for a huge group of people passing on the sidewalk. It was dusk in August and the heat and sun shimmering reflections had begun to die down. I felt awkward at first. What if the owner came out? As I began to peer down the road in front of me, I couldn’t help but notice, there was one three to four-story uniquely architected building after another. Yet somehow they all belonged together in harmony. That’s how NY has always felt for me. I breathed in and imagined I was the owner out on my porch on a lovely night.
In the era of COVID, at least in 2020, those memories of densely populated cities are all that remain. Most people I know opted for driveable remote vacations this year. They rented homes to socially distance in. That’s if they went on vacation at all. Will we rethink the concept of going back to those busy places?
It seems that for many Airbnbs and VRBOs of the world, that would be OK.
According to Tom Canton of AirDNA “In truth, vacation rentals are simply becoming the preferred lodging type in an ongoing era of social distancing, The amenities, the ability to cook, the ability to rent entire-home listings, the supply in remote locations, the availability of larger, 2+ bedroom properties that accommodate entire families — all this points towards vacation rentals rebounding, even given the current state of the world.”
.Let’s face it unless you are in the hotel business, that might not be a bad thing.
I’ve certainly regained an alignment with nature. We took one trip to the scenic southern Rockies and a few day trips to rivers and lakes in Wisconsin. There’s a sense of stoic calmness when you get off the grid. Many of us overworked, overstressed, always playing catch-up with time, family and kids had a moment to breathe. Don’t get me wrong, there’s an awful pandemic going on right now. Though I ask, why would you go through life without (sometimes) trying to find the silver lining?
That brings me to the ultimate joy we’ve found over the years in single-family accommodations. Relatives and friends, I love you but sometimes a family just needs a space to chill out in on their own. I don’t miss the buzzing lobbies or pools of screaming kids. Nope! It’s freeing to walk through the door of my very own short term vacation rental. I can eat when I want, breakfast in my underwear, if I so desire and at night, my husband, children and I can have the hot tub all to ourselves.
Now, this makes me sound very antisocial, I realize. I assure you I am not. It’s the excursions and the big meals that I want to host and share with you. Truth be told, most of the time, I volunteer to do the cooking. For me, sharing food and creating memories with friends and family are what vacations are made of.
Have you found any silver linings in family travel this year?