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RV Life in Review – 2020 Travel & Costs

As this wild year of 2020 ends, we wanted to share some of our yearly stats with you. I know most people are looking back at 2020 as it being chaotic, horrible, insane, crazy, and sad. We are choosing to look at 2020 as one of the best years of our life. That’s not to say we aren’t compassionate for anyone who was affected by the virus. Either personally, or through a family member. 

Just two days into 2020 I (Stacy) helped welcome our first grandchild. The love we have for our children is a love only parents can truly feel. But when your daughter has a child … well, it’s just hard to even put into words. This little girl has me completely smitten. Her smile melts my heart. 

So our travels slowed way down this year, both because of the restrictions in travel, but more so because our heart was pulled to family.

Click here to check out a much more detailed look at our 2019 finances where we break down our fuel costs, and so much more.

2020 Miles

You can see our complete 2020 travel map here. Every year we share all the overnight places we stayed, and most include pictures, cell phone readings (we both work remotely), and GPS coordinates.

Boondocking vs. Campgrounds

Boondocking is what excites us, and truly what we enjoy more than spending time in campgrounds. But had it not been for our Thousand Trails membership (purchased new in October of 2019), we don’t know what we would have done. Especially in the lockdown. 

In 2020 we spent 296 days in the Thousand Trails system. Let that sink in!

When comparing total costs to total days stayed our average nightly cost was $29.53. We got to this number by taking the total cost divided by the total number of days since we’ve purchased our membership. So this amount will be forever changing. There are so many people who are taking the yearly membership renewal fee and dividing that into how many nights they stayed. We feel this gives a really unrealistic number of something like $4 per night. They aren’t taking into account the initial cost of the membership. 

There are many options for Thousand Trails memberships. We did purchase a new one because we wanted the ability to re-sell it. You can purchase used ones for much cheaper, but there are more restrictions. After a lot of research (and let me tell you, it was overkill on the research), we decided the Elite membership was what would fit our needs. And at this point, we have no regrets. 

You can read more about our decision to purchase the membership here.

There are other ways to figure out your Thousand Trails costs. We wanted to keep a complete running total that will include all our Thousand Trails costs year over year. For instance, Thousand Trails does charge an extra nightly fee in a few of their Encore parks. Also, some of the parks offer 30amp service, but for a very small fee, you can upgrade to 50amp service. So we wanted to give a really realistic look at the total costs for us. 

2020 Travel

Before March, we had spent 4 months planning and booking a big summer trip up through Ohio, NY, and up and around the New England area. 4 months of planning and 4 minutes to cancel everything. Everything happens for a reason, so we’re going to focus on the few trips we were able to take. We were able to catch a beautiful late September fall in upstate New York, and most recently we have been exploring North and South Carolina. My sister moved from Arizona to North Carolina this past summer and we were so excited to spend a quick evening with her and her beautiful family. With the virus, it’s more precious when you’re able to spend time with family. 

Our Year Ahead

What does 2021 bring for us? Well, as most everyone might feel, we think it’s going to be unpredictable. We would still love to try to get back up into the New England area and do some exploring, but we also are spending some more time in PA playing our favorite roll of grandparents. We’ll keep you all updated!

Keep following us here, and on Facebook as well as MeWe

Yes, we all agree 2020 was challenging. The struggles are real, and we know for some it’s been a really difficult year. We are focusing on what we have, and not what we don’t have. For the things we got to do, and not the things we were not able to complete. All in all, it’s been a beautiful year for us. We are so fortunate in so many ways. I can say without a doubt that if every year was as beautiful as 2020, we’d be happy. Anything better and we will be ecstatic. 

Thank you is something I’m sure you hear all the time. Such small words that really mean so much to us! Thank you to those who have come into our lives, because you have taught us valuable lessons and given us your friendship, love, and laughter so freely. And thank you to those who have left, because you have reminded us that nothing lasts forever. We wish you all a very happy, beautiful, successful year! And thank you again for being part of ours.

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