I Stayed in a Tiny Home Cabin With My Mom — and It Brought Us Closer Than I Expected

Getaway House's Eastern Catskills location was the perfect one-night escape from New York City for this mother-daughter vacation.

Exterior of a tiny Getaway home

Courtesy of Getaway

I've always loved traveling with my mom, whether that means trying out a new restaurant in a neighboring town or taking a trip across the globe. Since I was young, we've always treasured our Girls' Nights (a trademarked event when my dad and brother were out of town), Girls' Days (day trips to New York City or Los Angeles, depending on where we were living at the time), and, of course, Girls' Trips (that one is pretty self-explanatory). And since it's been about 10 years since I've lived at home, I relish every chance I get one-on-one time with either of my parents. So when my mom and I booked a trip to the Getaway House Cabins in the Eastern Catskills of New York, I had no doubt we'd have fun.

Located just outside the town of Catskill, this cluster of Getaway House cabins, as with the rest of the company's tiny homes and campgrounds, is just remote enough to feel like a true escape. The cabins are, unsurprisingly, quite small (between 140 to 200 square feet). Ours featured two queen-size bunk beds (although one queen bed is also available), a table and chairs, a kitchenette, and a bathroom, with just enough room for two people to stand. We moved about the cabin with relative ease, in part, I suppose, because we know each other's habits and can practically predict the other's movements, a sort of mother-daughter superpower, if you will. 

Interior bunkbed tiny home

Courtesy of Getaway

To book: getaway.house

Related: The 10 Best Mother-daughter Getaways in the U.S.

I imagine it would feel much smaller if I were in one of these tiny homes with a stranger or even an acquaintance. But, it was that petite space that made the experience so unique.

My mom is one of the people in my life with whom I’m closest, emotionally, so it was interesting, almost surreal, even, to experience more physical closeness with each other than we have in years.

During our one-night stay in the cabin, we sat at the table with our laptops to go over a writing project I’d been working on over a glass of wine, cozied up in our respective sleeping areas, and chatted from our bunk beds. In the morning, we sat in the Adirondack chairs outside and sipped some coffee before hitting the road. Since there was nowhere to go except the one room we shared, it was a chance to get deep and talk, laugh, ask questions, and tell stories without interruptions or distractions. And, if you really want to commit to unplugging, Getaway provides a cell phone lockbox to prevent the temptation to check Instagram while you’re out in nature. (We chose to trust ourselves to scroll in moderation.)

Would we have gotten on each other’s nerves if we’d stayed another night? I want to say no, and I’m sure we’d have been fine, but, respectfully, one night was just enough time (and mom, if you’re reading this, I know you’d agree).

Two women sitting on steps of tiny home
The author and her mother outside their Getaway House Cabin.

Madeline Diamond

During the rest of our trip, I felt much more aware of my surroundings than I probably would have if we had stayed in a traditional hotel.

When we visited Opus 40, a sculpture park in Saugerties, New York, the morning after checking out of the cabin, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by the sprawling meadows and mountainous stone structures built in a bluestone quarry. The vastness of the nature we experienced at the sculpture park and during our drive back to New York City was not lost on me, which left me feeling extra appreciative upon returning to my own rather small Brooklyn apartment. 

I don't imagine that I'll be spending all my upcoming vacations in tiny homes, remote cabins, or a combination of the two; there's just so much more of the world that I'd like to see, and, of course, a little extra space is nice. But the night I spent cozied up in bunk beds with my mom was an unexpectedly beautiful way to reconnect. And for that, I'm more than grateful.

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