When I had a job, we had money and no time. The renewable income paycheck was right around the corner but my precious vacation days were very limited. We’d plan a trip, hop on a plane and buzz off to the destination and fly back at the last moment and go right back to work. Now that we are retired, the reverse is true. We have time and no money! Sure, another Social Security check is coming and the pension is paying, but nothing like the working income we had in previous years. Which leads us to ponder, when we travel – is the satisfaction in the travel itself or is it what we do while we are there? Is it the journey or the destination?
No matter how you cut it, a trip across the country is still cheaper if you fly. But now that we have the time, wouldn’t it be more fun and interesting to drive and actually see the landscape we’ve been soaring over all these years? Why not stop in those little towns and take in a museum? Go to a local festival and shop in a farmer’s market? We could learn something new about the heartland instead of just being in such a hurry, we miss the fabric of the land? Being retired means we have all the time in the world!
When you add up the fuel prices, hotels, and meals in restaurants, a road trip is not a cheap way to go. So after a deal of pondering and much prior planning, we decided to make our retirement road trips cheaper. Several years before we retired, we purchased a Ford F-250 pick-up truck and a 27.5 foot 5th wheel trailer. Both units were gently used and we bought them as a unit.
We joined two camping clubs to get discounted campground rates – sometimes as low as $10 a night! Now we can cook our own meals, sleep in our own bed, take as much stuff as we want (and the dog) and live on the road. The trailer has all the comforts of home – a tub, microwave, satellite TV, memory foam mattress. With gas prices at an all-time low, expect to see plenty of RVs, 5th wheels and travel trailers out there this year. We use the 5th Wheel enough every year to more than justify the cost of the campground memberships.
So for Bill and I, it’s both the journey and the destination. We’re retired and we can have both!