May is prime vacation-planning time. These days many area folks are studying maps, sending for brochures and checking the Internet, gathering information for their summer get-away.
But this year, with the ever-growing frustration and expense of air travel, the continually changing gas prices and the increasing crowds on the interstate highways, long trips away from home are losing much of their appeal. Instead, families are opting for destinations closer to home, both to save money and to avoid the built-in stresses of long-distance travel.
Still, families are yearning to visit those places they've been hearing about all their lives. How can they do both?
I'm happy to report I've made an in-depth study of the subject and put together Joyce's Moseyin' Guide for regional travelers. The interesting and rewarding destinations I've listed bear those famous national and international names you've been dreaming of for years. But best of all, these stops are far removed from all those jostling crowds and have the added advantage of being right here in New York State. The locations represent small town America at its best.
For those with a yen for international travel, there's a long list of choices. They include such names as Berlin, N. Y., with its 1,200 friendly folk, Dresden at just 285, Madrid with 1,811 residents and Denmark, slightly larger, with 2,573 waiting to welcome the traveler. Nearby Cuba, N.Y., boasts 1,557 souls and another neighboring community, Panama, has around 450. Each would make an enjoyable day trip.
If you've dreamed of traveling to far off Australia, avoid that long, long trip across the Pacific and stop in at Sidney or Perth, N.Y. Each village has just over 3,000 welcoming residents. Without traveling half way around the world, you're sure to impress the folks back home with the post cards you send from these locations.
You might also opt to avoid the extensive travel - and expense - needed to see such places as Paris, Athens, Madrid, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Norway and even Bombay. Each of these is a small town right here in New York and each is home to less than 2,000 folks.
If you'd prefer to focus on well-known national destinations, try in-state locations that can be reached on a limited gasoline budget. These include such cozy New York villages as Florida, Phoenix, Akron, Philadelphia and Charleston. In spite of their impressive names, each small town is home to fewer than 2,000 folks.
If you're looking for some unusual destinations with names that offer a new perspective, you might want to try such little New York spots on the map as Hope, with 343 folks, or Freedom with its 1,158 residence.
And, when you're ready to wind up your New York travels, be sure to stop by one of the warmest places around. The village of Friendship has 1,158 friendly folks ready to welcome you to their little place in the sun.
When vacation time comes around, you don't have to roam far from home. You'll save money and avoid stress by checking out the small, inviting towns the State of New York has to offer.