Small Town Living On The Go: A Guide To Creating Cozy Travel Experiences

Small Town Living On The Go: A Guide To Creating Cozy Travel Experiences

by Esme Addison

You might think as a cozy mystery author, that my interest in the cozy lifestyle is just on the page. But it’s not. I love living a cozy life. And I have always unconsciously tried to recreate cozy experiences while traveling. For example, I usually stay at a bed and breakfast or an Airbnb in a charming area of town that is walkable to the cute destinations I want to visit. Or it has scenic views that calm and inspire me to write.

I also love to visit mom and pop shops, and find hidden gem restaurants for local fare along with exploring the local history and culture of the area all the while recreating cozy experiences that refresh me, and just… make me happy. I recently had cozy travel experiences in Colonial Beach and Williamsburg, Virginia, Kilkenny, Dublin, Clayton, North Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. Sharing images and videos from those trips to illustrate some of my favorite elements of cozy travel.

But before we get started… maybe you’re wondering what cozy travel is exactly?

Cozy travel is an extension of cozy living, where you create a comfortable and relaxing travel experience that feels like home. This can involve staying in cozy accommodations, Cozy travel often involves staying in comfortable accommodations such as cabins, rustic farms, coastal cottages, or mountain retreats. It also involves engaging in activities that promote relaxation and connection to nature. For example, you may spend your days hiking, reading by the fire, or enjoying a home-cooked meal.

My recent trip to a new favorite travel destination, Colonial Beach is an excellent example of cozy travel.

I booked a beautiful historic home in walking distance of the Potomac River and the downtown shopping area.

I had no goal for this trip except to relax in a cozy, homey environment, work on my novel and take relaxing walks by the water.

Solo writing retreats are common for published authors when they need to get work done, but also want to be in an environment conducive to writing. That can be different things for different people.

For me, I prefer to be in a cozy environment with beautiful views.

So cozy and so amazingly refreshing. While I was there, I discovered several wineries and historic sites I want to visit on my next trip.

There are are also several B&B’s I’d like to see as well.

Exploring the Relationship Between Cozy Travel, Slow Travel, and Cottagecore Travel

Let’s get some clarification on cozy travel and similar travel trends. As more people seek to escape the fast-paced, stressful lifestyle of modern times, two travel trends that have gained popularity are slow travel and cottagecore travel. While both of these types of travel share some similarities with cozy travel, the question remains: are they the same thing?

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Slow Travel

At first glance, cozy travel and slow travel might seem like two sides of the same coin. Both prioritize a slower, more relaxed pace of travel, and focus on immersing oneself in local culture and natural surroundings. However, while the two approaches share some similarities, they also have some important differences that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between slow travel and cozy travel, and clarify some common misconceptions that often arise between the two.

Slow travel is an approach to travel that emphasizes taking the time to fully immerse oneself in the local culture and natural surroundings of a destination. Slow travel often involves spending longer periods of time in one place, rather than rushing from one attraction to the next. It may involve taking local transportation, staying in locally-owned accommodations, and engaging in local activities that help you connect with the community.

One of the biggest misconceptions about cozy travel is that it is just another name for slow travel. While cozy travel and slow travel share some similarities, they are not interchangeable terms. Cozy travel is more focused on creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, while slow travel is focused on fully immersing oneself in the local culture and community. Cozy travel may involve shorter stays in one place, while slow travel often involves longer stays.

Another common misconception is that cozy travel is only suitable for certain destinations, such as rural areas or mountain retreats. While these types of destinations may lend themselves well to a cozy travel experience, cozy travel can be enjoyed anywhere. A cozy travel experience can be created in a bustling city or a quiet beach town, as long as the focus is on creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Cottagecore Travel

Cottagecore travel is a type of cozy travel that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves immersing oneself in a romanticized version of rural life, often inspired by the aesthetic of vintage farming and nature. While cottagecore travel is a subset of cozy travel, it has its unique features and characteristics.

Compared to cozy travel, which is all about finding warm and comfortable accommodations, activities, and experiences, cottagecore travel has a focus on a specific aesthetic and lifestyle. Cottagecore enthusiasts often seek out quaint cottages or farmhouses in rural areas, where they can enjoy a slower pace of life and connect with nature.

The charming cottage I stayed in at War Hill B&B Williamsburg, VA

However, you don’t need to choose between cottagecore and cozy travel. You can have a cottagecore experience while still seeking out cozy accommodations and activities. For example, you can rent a cozy cabin in the woods and spend your days enjoying activities such as hiking, reading by the fireplace, or stargazing at night. You can also seek out local farmers’ markets or farm-to-table restaurants to connect with the local community and enjoy fresh, locally sourced food.

Incorporating elements of cottagecore into your cozy travel experience can add a unique charm and sense of nostalgia to your trip. You can bring along vintage-inspired clothing, read classic literature, or even learn traditional crafts such as knitting or embroidery.

So, now that we understand the differences between slow travel, cottagecore travel and cozy travel, let’s take a deeper look at how and why you should consider cozy travel for your next trip.

The popularity of cozy travel has been on the rise, driven by a growing desire among many people to escape from the chaos and uncertainty of modern life. In recent years, there has been a societal and political upheaval, leading many to seek comfort in the simple things. Cozy travel is a manifestation of this trend, offering a way to disconnect from the stresses of the world and find solace in nature, warmth, and relaxation. The concept of cozy travel has been around for a long time, but its recent resurgence is a reflection of a broader cultural shift towards a simpler, more grounded way of living.

So, How Does One Travel Cozy?

Traveling cozy is not just about finding a comfortable place to stay. It’s about creating an experience that is cozy, comforting, and enjoyable, much like the feeling of being in a small town.

Small towns are known for their charm, hospitality, and slower pace of life. Incorporating small town living into your travel plans can help you create a cozy and relaxing experience.

When planning a cozy travel experience, start by researching small towns that appeal to you. Look for places with quaint shops, locally-owned restaurants, and friendly locals.

Consider staying in a bed and breakfast or a cozy cabin instead of a large hotel chain. This will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the charm of small town living.

While in a small town, take advantage of the slower pace of life. Go for a stroll down Main Street, visit a local park, or sit in a cozy café and enjoy a cup of coffee. Take time to relax and appreciate the simple pleasures of life.

By incorporating small town living into your cozy travel plans, you can create a memorable and rejuvenating experience.

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4 Cozy Travel Planning Tips

If you are looking to embrace the cozy travel lifestyle, here are four strategies to help you get started:

  1. Choose cozy accommodations: Instead of booking a generic hotel room, look for cozy accommodations such as bed and breakfasts, cabins, or boutique hotels that offer a homey and comfortable environment.
  2. Plan cozy activities: Instead of filling your itinerary with tourist attractions and high-energy activities, plan activities that are cozy and relaxing. This could be anything from reading a book in a cozy café to taking a leisurely stroll through a park.
  3. Bring your favorite comforts from home: Whether it’s a favorite blanket, a scented candle, or a travel pillow, bringing a few comforts from home can help make your travel experience feel more cozy and familiar.
  4. Embrace slow travel: Cozy travel is all about taking things slow and enjoying the journey. Instead of rushing from one destination to the next, take your time and savor the experience.

By incorporating these key elements into your cozy travel itinerary, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere that promotes relaxation, connection, and a sense of home away from home.

7 Benefits Of Cozy Travel

Cozy travel offers many benefits for travelers looking for a more relaxed and comfortable experience. Here are some of the benefits of cozy travel:

Relaxing on the porch of my cottage at War Hill B&B
  1. Reduced stress and increased relaxation: Cozy travel allows you to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, which can help reduce stress levels and increase feelings of relaxation.
  2. Connection to nature: Cozy travel often involves spending time outdoors and connecting with nature, which can have numerous physical and mental health benefits.
  3. Increased creativity: By stepping outside of your routine and experiencing new surroundings, you can stimulate your creativity and open yourself up to new ideas and perspectives.
  4. Enhanced relationships: Cozy travel is often a shared experience with loved ones or friends, which can strengthen relationships and create lasting memories.
  5. Improved sleep quality: Cozy accommodations, such as cabins or cottages, often provide a peaceful and quiet environment, which can help improve sleep quality.
  6. Greater sense of well-being: Cozy travel can promote feelings of comfort, warmth, and happiness, leading to an overall greater sense of well-being.
  7. Unique and memorable experiences: Cozy travel allows you to create unique and memorable experiences that are tailored to your interests and preferences, rather than following a standard tourist itinerary.

When planning a cozy travel experience, the importance of cozy accommodations and activities cannot be overstated. Cozy accommodations provide a comfortable and inviting environment that helps travelers feel relaxed and at home, while cozy activities and experiences offer a sense of comfort and familiarity that can make the travel experience more fulfilling. Let’s take a closer look at these two important elements of cozy travel planning.

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What Are Cozy Accommodations?

Cozy accommodations are accommodations that provide a warm and inviting atmosphere, with an emphasis on comfort, relaxation and intimacy. They can be found in a variety of settings, from small cottages in the countryside to urban apartments with a homely touch. Unlike traditional hotel rooms, cozy accommodations often feature unique decor, personal touches, and a more intimate setting.

What makes cozy accommodations different from traditional hotel rooms?

  • Personal touches: Cozy accommodations often feature unique decor, personal touches, and a more intimate setting. This can include handmade quilts, local artwork, and vintage furniture.
  • Intimacy: Cozy accommodations often offer a more intimate setting than traditional hotel rooms. They can be found in quiet locations away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and often provide guests with a sense of privacy and seclusion.
  • Comfort: Cozy accommodations are designed to be comfortable and inviting, with soft lighting, comfortable furnishings, and plush bedding.

5 Popular Types Of Cozy Accommodations

The view at War Hill B&B
  1. Cabins: Cabins are a popular choice for cozy accommodations, offering a rustic and homey atmosphere that is perfect for a relaxing getaway. Cabins are often found in wooded areas or by the water, providing a peaceful and natural setting for guests.
  2. Bed and Breakfasts: Bed and breakfasts are another popular option for cozy accommodations, offering a personal touch and a warm atmosphere. They often feature unique decor, homemade breakfasts, and personalized attention from the owners.
  3. Cottages: Cottages are small homes that provide a cozy and intimate setting for travelers. They often feature a fireplace, a porch or deck, and a kitchen, making them a great option for longer stays.
  4. Farm Stays: Farm stays offer a unique opportunity to experience life on a farm, with cozy accommodations and farm-to-table dining options. Guests can participate in farm activities such as milking cows or harvesting vegetables, providing a hands-on and authentic experience.
  5. Treehouses: For a truly unique and cozy experience, consider staying in a treehouse. Treehouses offer a secluded and intimate setting, with beautiful views of the surrounding area and a sense of being immersed in nature.

Where To Find Cozy Accommodations?

The rise of sharing economy services like Airbnb and VRBO have transformed the travel industry, particularly when it comes to cozy travel experiences. These services offer a wide range of cozy accommodations, from quaint cottages and cabins to luxurious apartments and homes, often at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotels. While you can simply do an internet search for the type of cozy accommodation you desire, try services like Airbnb and VRBO.

One of the key advantages of these services is the ability to find unique and authentic accommodations that may not be available through traditional lodging options. This can be particularly appealing for travelers seeking a cozy and intimate travel experience. Additionally, many of these accommodations are hosted by local hosts who are often eager to share their knowledge and recommendations about the local area, which can further enhance the cozy travel experience.

To utilize these services effectively, travelers should consider their travel needs and preferences, such as the desired location, budget, and amenities. It’s important to read reviews and communicate with the host before booking to ensure that the accommodation and host are a good fit. Some hosts may also offer additional cozy amenities such as fireplaces, hot tubs, and outdoor spaces, so it’s worth exploring these options when planning a cozy travel experience.

Another advantage of sharing economy services is the ability to find cozy activities and experiences offered by local hosts, such as cooking classes, nature walks, and cultural tours. These activities and experiences can be tailored to suit the traveler’s interests and provide an opportunity to connect with locals and learn more about the local culture.

7 Types Of Cozy Activities

When planning a cozy travel trip, it’s important to not only consider the cozy accommodations but also the cozy activities that will make your trip truly relaxing and rejuvenating. From enjoying the outdoors to indulging in cozy indoor activities, there are plenty of options for creating the ultimate cozy itinerary. One of my favorite cozy activities is taking nature walks, like I did in the video below when I visited a smal town outside of Dublin.

Here are some ideas for cozy activities to add to your next travel adventure:

Get Outside and Enjoy Nature

  • Go for a leisurely walk in a nearby park or nature reserve
  • Rent bicycles or go on a bike tour
  • Take a scenic drive or go on a road trip
  • Go on a hike or guided nature walk
  • Take a picnic with you and enjoy the scenery

Indulge In Cozy Self-Care

  • Book a relaxing massage, facial, or body treatment
  • Take a soak in a hot tub or hot springs
  • Try a yoga class or meditation session
  • Take a dip in a pool or sauna
  • Book a beauty treatment, such as a manicure or pedicure

Enjoy Cozy Indoor Activities

Take mindful breaks from devices, and:

  • Read a book by the fire or in a cozy nook
  • Play board games or card games
  • Do a puzzle or crossword
  • Take a cooking class or attend a wine tasting

Or, catch up on television and movies.

  • Watch a movie or binge-watch a TV series

Explore Local Culture and History

  • Visit museums or art galleries
  • Attend a concert or theater production
  • Take a walking tour of historic sites or landmarks
  • Attend a local festival or event
  • Visit a local farmers’ market or food fair

Indulge in Comfort Food and Drink

  • Dine at cozy, home-style restaurants
  • Visit a local brewery or winery
  • Take a cooking class and learn how to make comfort foods
  • Enjoy hot drinks like coffee, tea, or hot cocoa
  • Try local comfort food specialties

Embrace the Season

  • Go apple picking or pumpkin picking in the fall
  • Take a sleigh ride or go ice skating in the winter
  • Enjoy springtime activities such as flower picking or visiting a botanical garden
  • Go swimming or enjoy beach activities in the summer
  • Attend local seasonal festivals and events

Relax and Unwind

  • Take a nap or simply rest in a comfortable spot
  • Practice cozy self-care and indulge in a bubble bath or face mask
  • Listen to calming music or a guided meditation
  • Write in a journal or practice gratitude
  • Take a nap in a hammock or under a tree
  • Do nothing

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Finding The Perfect Cozy Travel Destination

Cozy views from my cottage in Asheville, NC

Cozy travel is all about finding towns and cities that offer a sense of warmth, comfort, and relaxation. Whether you are looking for a cozy cabin nestled in the mountains or a quaint bed and breakfast in a charming small town, there are plenty of destinations that offer the perfect backdrop for a cozy travel experience. In this article, we’ll explore how to find towns and cities that are appropriate for cozy travel and some of the key factors to consider.

  1. Research the Local Climate and Scenery – When planning a cozy travel experience, it’s important to consider the local climate and scenery. Look for towns and cities that have a reputation for mild weather or stunning natural landscapes. For example, a town nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains might offer a cozy retreat during the winter months, while a coastal village might be perfect for summer getaways. Additionally, consider the local scenery, such as forests, lakes, or mountains, that can add to the cozy ambiance of your trip.
  2. Consider the Local Culture and Activities – Part of what makes a town or city appropriate for cozy travel is the local culture and activities. Look for destinations that offer cozy activities such as hiking, skiing, or visiting local wineries or breweries. Additionally, consider the local art scene, museums, and historic landmarks that can add to the cozy atmosphere.
  3. Look for Cozy Accommodations – One of the most important factors to consider when planning a cozy travel experience is the accommodations. Look for towns and cities that offer a range of cozy lodging options such as cabins, bed and breakfasts, or boutique hotels. Additionally, consider the amenities that are available such as fireplaces, hot tubs, or private decks.
  4. Check Reviews and Recommendations – When considering a town or city for cozy travel, it’s important to read reviews and recommendations from other travelers. Look for online forums, social media groups, or travel blogs that discuss the local atmosphere, culture, and accommodations. Additionally, consider seeking recommendations from friends or family who have had a cozy travel experience in a particular destination.
  5. Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations – Finally, consider exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations when planning a cozy travel experience. Look for small towns or hidden gems that are not as well-known as popular tourist destinations. These destinations often offer a more authentic and intimate experience that can add to the cozy atmosphere of your trip.

Finding towns and cities appropriate for cozy travel requires careful research and consideration. Look for destinations that offer mild weather, stunning scenery, cozy activities, and a range of cozy accommodations. Additionally, check reviews and recommendations from other travelers and consider exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations. By keeping these factors in mind, you can find the perfect destination for your next cozy travel experience.

Cozy travel offers a unique and rewarding experience for those seeking a more relaxing and comforting vacation. It promotes relaxation, offers a unique cultural experience, and fosters personal growth and self-discovery. If you are interested in cozy travel, research and plan ahead, pack for comfort, and plan cozy activities and experiences. Bring the cozy home with you and incorporate cozy elements into your everyday life. Give cozy travel a try for your next vacation, and experience the comfort and warmth that it can offer.

The featured image of this article shares cottage lodging at War Hill B&B in Williamsburg, Virginia. Learn more about them at their website.

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