What Our Day Trip Cost Us

Categories Simplifying, Story, Vacation

Hello everyone! This week is already going by so quickly. I know I always say that, but it’s amazing how time can fly. My mom and I have been talking about plans that have only been making me more excited for Friday! I can’t believe it’s almost here. It seems like just yesterday I was saying good bye to my parents and counting down the 50+ days it would be until I saw them next. Does anyone have any quick tips about flights? I still have to look at what is and isn’t allowed. I am so paranoid they will confiscate something, which would be a waste of money, so I am trying very hard not to let that happen.

Our day trip to the beach

On Sunday, we decided to make the most of the gorgeous weather we were having, and head to the beach. This wasn’t just any beach, though, it was an hour and a half away! R has never been there, so I thought it would be a good spot to visit. We are surrounded by beaches where we live, but we haven’t gone all summer (as a couple, anyway). Since I will be gone for two weekends, I wanted to make sure we got to spend some fun time together. This seemed like the perfect way to do it!

For day trips, I don’t think you can be too prepared, so I packed a bunch of snacks.  The beach we were going to is extremely touristy, which translates to pricey in terms of restaurants. We planned to have pizza once we got there, because I’ve eaten there before and it’s amazing (and cheap). We weren’t sure how long we would be there, or what traffic we would hit, so I wanted to make sure we had things to eat in the car.

Our goal was to mostly just have fun and enjoy ourselves and the weather one last time before the end of summer. I think we accomplished it pretty well!

Ocean Panoramic

What we did and how much it cost

We were both rather hungry upon arriving despite having breakfast, so we headed over to the pizza place immediately. It was $6.75 for three plain slices. I had packed water and coke so we didn’t have to purchase any drinks. The pizza was yummy as usual and worth the price, which is actually lower than some pizzeria’s around here.

After that, we meandered around the town in search of a bakery that had received good reviews on Trip Advisor. I will always check out bakeries! People had been raving about their iced coffee, which sounded refreshing. Unfortunately, the price wasn’t. “Regular” coffee was $3.50 and if you wanted ice, it was an extra dollar. I thought that was preposterous, and I wasn’t in the mood for cookies (not sure how!) so we passed on this. Sometimes, certain expenses are not worth it.


One of my mini-goals was to buy my mom a magnet. She collects them, and whenever anyone goes away they always bring her back a magnet. Before she moved, we realized she didn’t have a magnet that said anything about where we live! I knew I had to get her one from here. I found a really pretty one for $4.33 (with tax). It was one of the cheapest ones they had without looking really plain and boring. I know she will enjoy it, and that’s all that matters.

We weren’t really sure of where else to go at this point, as we weren’t interested in doing any further shopping (which there is a lot of). I presented R with the choice of going to the beach, which would have been free, or going to one of the state parks for some beautiful views. We knew we could come back to the beach if we wanted, so we chose the state park.

Beautiful views can be priceless

The last time I was here, I didn’t remember having to pay for parking. I was pretty peeved as we came upon a sign that said we had to fork over $8.00 for a vehicle use fee. I really hate those parking fees! You need to decide if the couple of hours you’re going to spend there is worth that much money. I focused on the bigger picture: we had driven 2 hours to get here, and this was one of the things we had planned on doing. While it cost $8 more than I thought it would, I made my peace with it and handed the money over. R rarely ever carries cash with him, unless it’s money he’s received in tips, so I financed our little trip.


After stumbling around a bit, we got to where we needed to go. There’s a very narrow path in between the trees to get out to the water. Once we got there, I knew I had made the right decision to spend $8. Just look at these views!

Sadly, I think Hurricane Sandy had done a number on this place, as it looked very different than it had 2 years ago. There used to be huge boulders along the coast that you could use to climb around, and now there were either a bunch of rocks or pebbles in their place. The boulders were mostly out to sea. Nevertheless, we trekked on as we were getting too far to turn back. I remembered there being a separate trail to the exit, or I hoped there was one, as I didn’t really want to have to traverse the sea of rocks a second time.

We stopped a lot along the way to admire the view, and for me to take lots of pictures to remember our trip by. The exit trail was just as great: we had it mostly to ourselves, so it was really quiet and peaceful, and there were some amazing views from the bluffs overlooking the ocean.

Day trips are worth it


While we didn’t particularly enjoy the traffic (4 hours of driving total), it was something different, and sometimes that’s all that matters. We enjoyed going through the little towns and seeing really fancy cars that only rich areas bring about (mostly Porsche’s, but then a few Ferrari’s and Maserati’s came by). Our day trip cost us a total of $34.08 (which includes $15 of gas R needed to put in his car before we left; should have planned for that!) and I think it was well worth it. That’s less than what most people spend to go out for dinner, and we got a lot of memories and some sunburn to go along with it. If we had just gone to a regular old beach around here, parking would have been $10 and we would have most likely been laying there for four hours before returning home. I am all for different experiences and enjoying what nature has to offer!

Have you taken any day trips recently? How much did it cost you? Have any planned?

Erin is a total goofball who sucks at writing about herself (though she finds referring to herself in the third person amusing). When she's not editing videos, she can be found messing around in Photoshop, laughing at her cats, watching YouTube videos, playing video games, chair dancing, sipping coffee, or any random combination of the above.

34 thoughts on “What Our Day Trip Cost Us

  1. That town & beach is my favorite place! The boyfriend and I try to visit a nearby town each year for a week (his family & friends live on LI) and I ALWAYS have to go there for at least one full day trip. We were quite surprised for the $8.00 fee as well. I also recall him mentioning the boulders that used to be there, and the erosion. That fallen tower there on the beach used to be pretty far back from the water; they used to play on it as children. I think we’ve gone to the same bakery in town? It’s really tiny, but behind the counter they have that window that opens up outside so you can enjoy the weather while you wait? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. :D I wasn’t able to make it out with him this year, so this was a good digital visit! I look forward to going there next year (and a couple other towns we’ve only been able to drive through, like a particular quaint Harbor and a smaller island…)

    1. I’m glad I was able to provide you with a “digital visit” then! I’m not very familiar with out east because it’s so expensive. My parents never really went anywhere on the island for little getaways, so I am always a bit jealous when I hear of people’s childhood experiences going out there for a week every summer. We might be going back out there for the wineries in the fall though, as my bosses keep recommending them!

  2. Quick tips on flights: i forget the exact rule but it’s like 3 oz for liquids so get those travel size containers or just check it in. One time my gel was confiscated and some of my wife’s makeup…she was not too happy as she said it was not more than 3 oz (this was in a different country though). When my wife and I went out to Montauk, we stayed overnight (not in Montauk though as it was expensive)…we also went to Fire Island, checked out the Hamptons…and my alma mater Stony Brook. Have fun on your trip.

    1. I am actually pretty worried about my makeup (as silly as it sounds, it was expensive!). My foundation is only 1 oz, so I am hoping it’s okay. I find anything out east is pretty expensive, especially at this time of year! It’s worth it to book well ahead of time as everything fills up, too. I need to get over to Fire Island though – I haven’t been there in ages.

  3. How fun! Bf always do a day trip up to the sheep and wool festival in Rhineback. The actual trip cost is just gas admission and food (we always budget in to eat as much of the food as possible-there are little stands with delicious food-one particular artichoke stand always has a line that we wait in for at least 30 minutes every year-well worth it). The only other cost is the yarn (If I buy any). It’s probably my favorite trip of the year. It’s in the fall and so gorgeous with all the leaves.

    1. I love anything that has to do with autumn and leaves. I can’t wait to get upstate sometime in Oct; we went last year and it was so nice. Festivals always have such interesting food to choose from; I’ve never seen an artichoke stand before! I’ve actually never heard of the sheep and wool festival, either. I had to look it up, and oddly enough it’s the weekend of R’s birthday! Hmm…that may be a little far for a day trip, but we were planning on heading up that way anyway. Thanks for mentioning it!

  4. J and I are all about day trips and weekend getaways to help keep me sane while I pay off my huge debt and day dream about Hawaii haha. It sounds like you and your parents had a lovely time. Well worth the money spent :)

  5. Awesome pics, and what gorgeous views!! I live in the land of expensive cars, and I still get awed when I see one passing on the freeway. I think that’s great that you spent less than $40 – that’s some smart shopping (though I would’ve probably taken the cookie despite not craving it ;)). That’s so cute that you bought your mom a magnet – very thoughtful of you! I hope you have fun for the rest of your vacay. :)

    1. For some reason my boyfriend always comes back from his runs with, “So you’ll never guess what car I saw on my run.” I never see them! There are also a lot of interesting restored cars out on the weekends, especially near that area, so it was fun.

      I probably would have taken a cookie, but it started getting crowded and I didn’t feel like waiting on a line. I’m too impatient sometimes!

  6. Sounds like a great trip! Definitely some beautiful views. I wouldn’t worry much about the plane. Any liquids or gels, like toothpaste, shampoo, etc. need to be in those travel-sized bottles. I would bring an empty water bottle that you can fill up once you’re past security. And food, unless you enjoy spending $8 for a crappy sandwich.

    1. My grandma and I are planning to bring the empty water bottle with us, and she is packing a sandwich. I will probably go crazy with snacks as usual, or try to fill up beforehand. I’m glad my mom has most of the toiletries taken care of. Thanks for the tips!

  7. I need to incorporate more day trips into my girlfriend’s and mine lives. Too often we stay at home too much and then we get restless. Next thing you know, it’s off to a restaurant and then out to the movie theater afterwards. Be much simpler to pay for parking and hit up some of the national parks in the area. Healthier for both us and the wallet.

    1. Good point. We do tend to get restless as well, sitting inside watching tv or something, which is why we enjoy our evening walks when we can take them. We try to go on as many different routes as possible as it’s always fun exploring the surrounding area. Parks are a great way to do that, too! I wish we had more nearby.

  8. Fantastic views! Right on: who cares about $8 when you’re taking home those memories…..

    I love TripAdvisor. We’ve found many, many great low-cost eats with that app. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised when TripAdvisor has told me something was a little sketchy and we actually got good service. That turns mediocre to good in a hurry! ;-)

    1. Agreed. TripAdvisor is like a travel bible for me. I constantly reference it, even if it’s for something local like this. You never know what you may find nearby!

  9. We took the kids to a free splash park a few weeks ago. The water park was free and we packed a cooler and had a picnic. The kids thought it was awesome and it didn’t cost anything except for gas!

    1. That’s awesome that the park was free! Bringing your own food is a great way to cut costs, especially at any sort of amusement park or touristy area.

  10. The scenery is so beautiful! I’m a sucker for the beach, so these views are making me incredibly jealous! My BF and I rarely get to take day trips nowadays since we’re so busy with our side-hustle. Once our current gig is done, we’re definitely going to be taking a drive to the nearest beach!

    Plus, $34 is well worth it! For food, gas, parking, AND a souvenir for your mom? Yea, you definitely got the most bang for your buck. Glad to hear you had a great day!

    1. Besides having the park there, they also have a tour for the lighthouse which is a separate fee, so they made out pretty well on that front!

  11. My fiance and I get very restless in the house. Although, we take a day trip occasionally, we need to get out more. Your trips are very inexpensive, I could learn a thing or two from ya! Thanks for the great post!

    1. No problem! I would definitely encourage more people to seek out opportunities for day trips. I think that the possibility of traffic can often be a deterrent, especially if you’re headed to a touristy area. Sometimes, it’s worth it though!

  12. Great post! I am married and have 3 young kids and we area HUGE fan of the day trip! It blows me away how many cool things we have to go visit here in northern California. Day trips are frugal by nature as you don’t have any lodging costs and if you bring your own food they are even cheaper.

    1. I would love to visit California, I’m sure there’s a lot of things to enjoy for a day there! It’s easy to get bored of the area you live in, but sometimes all it takes is looking a bit further out to find a neat activity.

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