On a familiar route down NY 9D with Storm King and the camper in view

One thing we learned in 2021 is that the best sites at New York State campgrounds go fast. Really fast. The folks who are on top of their camping game get out there early, research their favorite sites and book them exactly 9 months +/- 2 weeks ahead of when they want to travel. Don’t know exactly when you might get vacation? Overbook and doublebook (if you can afford it) and sort out all the details later.

So last November we figured out our two favorite campgrounds in NY, the two weeks we’d likely be camping in August and a handful of sites or areas we really like. And just before 9am on that day 9 months out, I logged on and started booking. We got the favorite site at one campground. By the time I’d booked that, we’d lost out on a bunch of sites at the other campground and had to compromise. But we had something booked so that we knew we’d have a safe and fun fallback vacation if that is what we needed to do for 2022.

Sitting outside the T@B under the new shade shelter

At least a dozen times since then, we’ve thought about changing the plan. At some point we felt guilty holding two bookings and narrowed down a more precise plan so that someone else could get some time at one of these fabulous spots. But honestly, we’re still holding on to more days than we’ll exactly use. We like to book an extra day so that we don’t have to worry about getting out by a particular time. And we want a little bit of flexibility in case we decide to change plans. We both feel good knowing what to expect in these two favorite spots, but also a little worried that it may not have enough new and different to feel like a true getaway.

With most of our other smaller trips this year, we’re going back to favorite spots as well. We’re testing a few pieces of new equipment and enjoying a summer of continuing the quiet and isolation we’ve gotten used to over the past couple of years.

A campfire at sunset