132 Dollar Vacation


At Joyce Kilmer

So we did it. We managed to go on vacation and stay in budget.  Here’s the breakdown and a gallery of pictures from our trip.  Last night I spent a bazillion years typing all this witty narrative to go with the pictures and then it vanished into thin air, so forget it.


As is true of all technology, my blog is out to get me, self-deleting and intractable.

Our vacation was 4 days and 5 nights in a RV campground near Cherokee and Bryson City, NC.  We stayed in an RV along the Tuckaseegee River owned by some of my family, so lodging was FREE (though I did give them some $$ for utilities, etc and they sure as heck better cash that check!)

Diapers, Batteries, Razor, Green Tea: $12.50 (Love me some CVS)

Gas: $87

Hardees on the way up: $13.50

Food Lion for produce and replenishing the paper goods in the trailer: $39  (I know, I know, you are thinking that I’m all back with Food Lion, but I swear, I’m not.  It was all there was and it was on the reservation, so thankfully, I paid 0 tax!  Am I the best rationalizer ever?)  For the most part we brought all our food from home and just ate simply.  We had several picnic lunches.  I just made things I would make at home.

Laundry Quarters: $6

McDonalds on the way home for ice cream: $8

GRAND TOTAL: $132  + some for my family for utilities.

Even though not everyone has access to a trailer on the river for camping, you can still camp for around $25 a night at many places.  So It would still be possible to have this vacation for around $250 even without the trailer.  That’s pretty good for a family of 5 and an AWESOME time.  Check out the pics!

All our activities were FREE and FUN!

Reading after a long day

Dylan turns the corn husker

My girls and I at the Farm Museum

Beautiful Mountains

Ryders on the farm

At Oconaluftee Islands Park

My little mermaid at the manmade river

Dylan at the fountain park

Avert eyes from blinding white of my untan legs


All tuckered out

On "Goose Poop" Island

Me and the kids on the river

Do I HAVE to wear this life vest?!

Yummy Dinner Mom!

Family on the Rocks :)

The "Sister" Falls

Three Bumps on a Log

Happy Campers

Johnny the Elephant

At Joyce Kilmer

Baby naps at the farm

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3 Responses to 132 Dollar Vacation

  1. FranceyMama August 3, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    how fun! and free lodging great! we just went to Lyon and stayed with friends for 2 nights. I think our daily average was higher than yours… we still did free or cheap stuff, but the last day we took them out to eat and that took a chunk.
    we family vacay this year will be one week in spain/portugal at my parents village house where we will swim at the public pool, read books and take naps. delightful. and the lodging is free. :)

  2. Brian McGeever August 3, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Great stuff….where did you rent the cute kids in all the photos?

    • Katrina Ryder August 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

      Hahaha, Brian. Very funny. But we found them at the campsite if you must know. They keep following us everywhere.