Great vacations on a budget

Local recreation departments offer trips for under 50 bucks.

Author: BY ANITA MANLEY
Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008
How does a five-day vacation at the Jersey Shore with all breakfasts, dinners, a cocktail party, a pizza party and day trips to Atlantic City, Cape May, and a winery with entertainment every night sound? How about transportation included too? How about $345 per person? Sound incredible? I thought so too when I received the Town of Newburgh Recreation Department schedule for this year, so we signed up along with some friends who had taken the trip last year and raved about it. My son kidded us. “Your first senior trip,” he said. “This is a milestone.”

Between the cost of gasoline and the escalating epidemic of road rage (probably because of the price of gas!), letting someone else do the driving is enticing, not to mention the budget price for the whole package is too good to pass up. There were about 40 of us on the Jersey shore trip – all of us over 55. The bus departed from Chadwick Lake Park, where there was plenty of parking and someone to watch our vehicles during the five days we were away.

Our hotel was the Aqua Beach resort right on the ocean in Wildwood. The hotel’s restaurant provided our breakfast. Our dinners were held at various venues and were always fun, delicious and included nightly entertainment. Our trip and tour of the Renault Winery was fascinating and included a terrific lunch and wine tasting. Our jaunt to Atlantic City included a show, buffet dinner and even $10 for gambling (I won $50 at the nickel slots!). We were also treated to a dolphin cruise and a shopping trip to Cape May.

“Every one of our trips this year has been sold out,” says Town of Newburgh senior activity leader Debbie DeAgostine. “These trips are a great way to vacation and socialize with peers of the same age group. Our trips give our seniors the ability to change their environment and experience new places or visit familiar old ones again. Our Wildwood, New Jersey trip is a sellout every year because of the enjoyment and variety and excellent entertainment.”

DeAgostine says she hopes to plan a trip next year to Canada or Branson, Missouri. “I hope to offer a different destination every year to draw more seniors into traveling. Trips are extremely cost effective and are available to all town of Newburgh seniors.” (Note: Although trips are open to non-residents as well, town residents have priority.

The Town Recreation Department also offers many day trips to all town residents regardless of their age, including sports events, Broadway and off-Broadway plays, casinos and shopping. And you can’t beat the price! (For a list of fall trips, visit hvlifeonline.com.) The Town of New Windsor also has a full recreation schedule this year and the trips are a great bargain. “We aren’t looking to make a profit,” explains recreation Director Matt Varonesi. “If you buy a ticket to a Yankees game it will cost you $60, but we can offer you a ticket and a bus ride for $60 because we get group rates and we pass on the savings to our residents. We do the same for Broadway shows.”

City of Poughkeepsie Senior Recreation Program Director Don Letterii says his trips fill quickly. “Our seniors love to take trips to casinos. They’re very popular,” he says.
No wonder! Bus trips to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are just $30 and include gambling money. City residents have priority, but everyone is welcome.

In addition to town recreation departments offering these terrific deals, Mount Saint Mary College sponsors day trips for adults of any age. Coming up are two trips to see Broadway shows, the Metropolitan Museum, a walking tour of New York City and a day at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, all at amazing prices. Such a deal! Plan your fall vacation now!
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