Philipps It is pretty easy to believe that Busy Philipps is a spontaneous person. As her 2 million Instagram followers know, the former Busy Tonight host isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind, and she always seems to be up for an adventure.
Fittingly, Philipps recently partnered with the website Hotel Tonight to launch a contest that is all about spontaneous travel. Self-professed “planners” are encouraged to enter from now until December 4, and five lucky ones will be selected to win a trip to a mystery destination in January. Architectural Digest was able to chat with the This Will Only Hurt a Little author on the day of the contest’s launch, and she revealed that she has been a proponent of last-minute vacations since she was 17, when she and a pal drove from Arizona to San Diego in the middle of the night just to feel the sand between their toes.
In her adult life, booking trips at the last minute has been a way to create fun family memories with her husband, screenwriter Marc Silverstein, and their two daughters, Birdie, 11, and Cricket, 6. On top of that, it has allowed her to discover luxe hotels with chic design elements, something that’s also important to her eldest. See what Philipps had to say, below.
Architectural Digest: What do you look for in a hotel?
Busy Philipps: On the Hotel Tonight app, it gives you a thing in the corner that will say “luxe” or something, and those are the more design-y hotels. Or you could do “basic” if you’re in your 20s. That’s not me. Basic is not for me. The app is good because you’re not inundated with a billion hotels. I had been overwhelmed looking at other sites and things previously because I feel like it’s too much and I don’t know how to wade through it. You just get this very curated list of places that you know are good, and in my experience, they have been really good.
AD: Can you tell us some awesome hotels you’ve discovered through the app?
BP: First of all, the Gramercy Park Hotel. Our room is beautiful and has floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the [private] park—plus, you get the key to the park. We also used the app in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara. In Palm Springs we stayed in this hotel called Korakia Pensione. It is so cool—the best. That was just me and Marc. It’s like Moroccan mint tea every afternoon. It was such a cool vibe.
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AD: What is the best part of spontaneous travel?
BP: It’s just that the expectations are lowered, so you’re able to kind of enjoy it more and you’re not putting so much pressure on it because you don’t have this whole full itinerary of things that you feel like you have to accomplish. You can just relax and let things happen and be like, wow, I didn’t know this weird museum opened, should we go check it out. Oh, this is the perfect example: In Palm Springs, we found this weird teddy bear museum. It was above another store and you had to call a number and this woman would let you in. It was very wild but it was so cool. You could buy some teddy bears and then she had a full teddy bear museum in, like, two rooms. There’s no way we would have planned to do that, and if my husband had found that online, he would have been like, “Absolutely not.”
AD: You love bringing your kids on last-minute trips, but what would you say to people who are nervous about doing that?
BP: I have a lot of friends who are like that. I think that especially as the kids get a little bit older, being able to involve them in travel and having them be participatory is part of the memory for them. I will have Birdie look at the hotels, like, “Okay, look, Birdie, these two hotels are available this weekend.” And she will say, “I like the modern one, I don’t like shabby chic.” I swear to God. She is very into the design.
AD: That is so cute!
BP: My interior designer, Sarah Shetter, who has been featured in Architectural Digest, has been one of my close friends for over 20 years. We’ve known each other forever. And Sarah always says, “Birdie is going to work for me when she’s in high school. I just know it.” Birdie knows design elements and she has always loved home shows. She’s just very into it.