Who the hell doesn’t need a vacation? It’s (still) winter, it’s cold, you need a break from real life. But that takes two things that aren’t always in high supply: money and time. Thankfully, we have the perfect solution. It’s affordable, you don’t have to leave your place and you’ll come back feeling like you’ve been far, far away. We’re talking about the Binge Vacation!
All you really need is a TV or a computer and access to Netflix or Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus and/or On-Demand on your TV, and away you go. Hours melt away like butter on a subway platform in August. Whole days and nights disappear like you’ve been lying on some remote beach and forgot where you were and where you came from.
However, to make it a really special trip, we have a bit of advice.
Be creative! For example, your choices of Binge Vacation destinations don’t just have to be one specific TV series; you can mix and match as though you were touring different locales. You can even choose films or TV series from specific cities, countries or continents. Or curate your own Sundance Film Festival with eight hours of indies.
How about conjuring a theme for your Binge Holiday? Binge TV shows from seminal times of your life and recapture the feeling of your freshmen college years, your anniversary, your breakup. You can land in a specific culture, subculture (bikers, women in prison, foodies) or even fetishes. Hell, you can even throw a bon voyage party for yourself on Friday night and have a Binge Weekend that will definitely take you away from your ordinary life.
Need some inspiration? See below for a wide range of choice binge destinations that are great for short day trips, overnighters and even plan multi-day getaways—plus some suggestions for maximizing that getaway feeling. Pack your PJs and snacks, buckle up and don’t feel one ounce of guilt over these guilty pleasures. Bon voyage!
Law and Orders (including SVU)
The lowdown: Ripped from the headlines and peppered with heroin
Best for: Realist crime-procedural-addicted insomniacs
Travel advisory: Warning – highly addictive.
Packing list: An alarm clock to let you know that it’s time to land, go to bed or work
Suggested menu: Coffee, donuts and more coffee, donuts
High point: The signature gong-like “gung-gung” before commercials
The shakedown: Lovably fucked-up Southie saves LA’s glitterati underbelly
Best for: Those who can’t read James Joyce but love Catholic angst
Packing list: Guilt, sex and redemption, an expensive shirt, boxing gloves, a heavy heart
Suggested menu: Jameson, clam chowder, corned beef and cabbage
Added research: Read Seamus Heaney; Watch Chinatown, Spotlight; Go to confession
House of Cards
The scoop: The Clintons on meth
Best for: Cynical political junkies
Travel advisory: Take many showers; bring deodorant
Packing list: Men – boxy suits. Women – sexy suits
Suggested menu: Shrimp cocktail, Martinis
High point: Creative, mind-blowing acts of smarminess
The setup: Hawaiian Punch-brained detectives hang five
Best for: The sun deprived and mind-numbed
Travel advisory: Avoid using heavy machinery
Packing list: Surfboard wax, coconut oil, ukulele, mai tai mix, tiny umbrellas
Suggested menu: Cheetos, poi, SunChips, weed
Local attraction: Hyper-colorized waves
The skinny: All about nothing (wink wink)
Best for: The burned-out in need of a funny pallet cleanser
Travel advisory: Travel light, clothes optional
Packing list: You don’t even need your toothbrush
Suggested menu: Lots of your favorite cereal (Rice Krispies, Cheerios, Cap’n Crunch for the diehards)
High point: Multiple storylines of creative chaos amazingly concluding satisfyingly.
The Walking Dead
The dirt: Zombies are the least of their problems
Best for: Horror freaks, philosophers, humanists
Travel advisory: Nightmares, avoid rare meats
Packing list: A sturdy stomach, very torn jeans, tranqs
Suggested menu: Doritos, M&M’s, anything comforting
Best way to handle the tension: Booze, pills, Dramamine, blindfolds
The facts: Provincial Swedish detective in need of Zoloft
Best for: Depressed procedural freaks who like Kierkegaard.
Packing list: Sweaters, aspirin, sunlamp
Suggested menu: Ikea Swedish meatballs, uppers and lingonberry jelly
Between episodes: Deep breathing, Zoloft
Sons of Anarchy
The jist: Hamlet on two wheels
Best for: Lovers of chopped motorcycles, tattoos, guns and betrayal
Packing list: Sunglasses, skull rings, leather vest
Suggested menu: Jack Daniel’s and blood-red meat
What to do between episodes so you don’t turn into a vegetable: This kickass prison workout, which would help even Bobby Munson get ripped