Sometimes vacations are more trouble than they’re worth. You spend a lot of money, travel far, and leave stressed.
Getaway, a hospitality startup launched out of the Harvard Innovation Lab in 2015, shakes up that routine by offering tiny houses for rent. It’s like camping, but with the creature comforts of home.
The company maintains a dozen tiny houses, ranging between 160 and 200 square feet, in remote, wooded areas of Massachusetts and New York. Guests can book them for around AUD$129 to $170 a night.
Founders and college friends Pete Davis and Jon Staff recently pitched their vacation startup on “Shark Tank.” The pair walked away from a $9.17 million investment because the judges offered a “lower valuation than we thought we were worth,” Davis told WTPO News.
We spoke with Staff, the CEO of Getaway, to see why tiny houses might be the future of tourism.
Getaway, founded by two Harvard graduate students, aims to provide a convenient and affordable way to disconnect from the daily grind.
'It's far enough (from the greater Boston area) that you can feel disconnected,' Staff says, 'but near enough that you don't spend all your time getting there.'
Tiny houses aren't usually occupied by more than one or two people, but the Ovida has two lofts and a sleeping nook, allowing for a larger group.
It comes equipped with snacks, classic reads, board games, and a portable music speaker. Food and provisions are stocked before the guests' arrival.
The Ovida looks a little quirkier than a typical tiny house. Staff explains that it's designed specifically for short-term guests, as opposed to full-time residents.
'We can worry less about storing four seasons of your wardrobe and a hundred kitchen gadgets,' Staff says. 'That frees us up to do these more whimsical things.'
For example, the Eleanor, located in New York, has a bed tucked away in the corner. Most tiny homes stack the bedroom about the living room in order to maximise space.
Designers crafted the Eleanor as an artist's escape, with a continuous work surface that stretches almost the length of the house.
Each of Getaway's 12 houses -- named for a team member's grandmother -- has a theme or serves an intended purpose. While the Eleanor suits those in search of 'me time ...'
The Maisie, also located in New York, is distinct because of a massive picture window in the bedroom.
New York's Isidore accommodates group vacations and family stays. Guests can expect 'lazy mornings (and) inspiring surroundings,' according to the website.
In true 'Swiss Family Robinson' fashion, it has three distinct levels. It offers plenty of space to hang out, eat, and sleep.
Though the homes are beautifully designed, Staff said he hoped guests spend as little time inside as possible.
He once lived in an Airstream trailer, and says its compact size forced him outside. 'I spent a lot more time out enjoying nature,' Staff said.
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