Taking a vacay during these tumultuous, inflationary hard times, has got to be almost impossible for many. Determined to still be able to go on a vacation this holiday, my husband took out a ruler and a local map and charted out a new course for us and a new direction. Owning an RV at this time of high gas prices is going to be challenging. Nonetheless, my husband calculated that if we stuck to a 100 mile radius around our home, we might be able to find someplace to get away to and save our vacation plans. Since we live in the valley of the Catskill Mountains, we also live in close proximity to both the Adirondack Mountains in New York State and the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. We’ve been to almost every corner of New York, so hubby chose the Berkshires as perhaps a good choice to take a vacay. Hubby didn’t disappoint.
My husband found a privately owned campsite, sitting at the base of one of the highest peaks in MA, that was low cost AND had a heated pool! (The campsite was only 80 miles from our home and based on round trip and gas for towing, our fuel costs came to $129. I also had $25 coming to us in gas award points, so the bottom fuel figure is $104) All the campsites (110) were mostly shaded, had good coverage between sites and boasted of serene privacy, peace and quiet. The sites had water, electricity and grey water services but you had to either disconnect or pay a fee to have your black water taken care of. We were super judicious and were able to take care of the black water ourselves, so no extra money was spent. *For only $225 we were able to secure a site for a whole week!* (prices are $45, $55 and $65, depending on square footage). Since our RV travel trailer is smallish (under 25 feet), we fared very well with the less expensive site.
*Note: many of our friends went on a vacation too BUT they stayed in hotels. The cheapest hotel one of our friends stayed at was $297 a night! The others paid between $300 to $500 a night (Cape May, NJ and Newport, RI to name a few destinations)
Since our RV has a full kitchen (3 burner gas stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator with a generous freezer) one of the many benefits of RVing for us is that we can prepare all of our meals onboard, thus saving ourselves a heap of money! Sometimes we use an electric frying pan to cook some of our foods (like French Toast in the morning). I always use my rice cooker when preparing a dinner. I even have a smallish slow-cooker and we did make a pulled pork one evening for dinner. I bought this fancy, washable, fabric-like tablecloth for our picnic table. (at Aldi for $9) Setting up a fancy table for our meals makes it all the better. There was a lake nearby, so we packed a lunch and took in the view. There was also a Rail Trail (next time we will bring our bikes. Oh yeah! There will be a next time). There were several hiking trails going up the mountain. You can also drive up. We chose to drive up. The road had several photography stops along the way, which I utilized. I’ll show the ride up in tomorrow’s post.
Note: we also discovered there was an Aldi grocery store only 9 miles away. If we ran out of anything or needed any more food, Aldi was there, as always at a low cost to us. We only went out to eat once, for a Greek chicken pita, for a total cost of $25 with tip. The entire weeklong vacation (RV site and fuel) cost us a total of $354. The packed food came out of our monthly budget. The only additional thing we bought while there were two bundles of firewood, for a total of $14.
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