We are meeting some incredible people along the way, and some of the best people we are meeting are our hosts through Boondockers Welcome. We learned about this membership early on in our planning process and knew it would pay off big for us.
We stayed with Boondockers Welcome hosts in both Vermont and New Hampshire, and what that equated to was parking on their property for a few nights rather than staying at a campground. At both of these locations, we had electricity hookups, which is the primary hookup we like to have when full hookups are not available. We are learning to be very conservative with our water usage, and since we are able to carry water with us, having water hookup is not as high on the list. When you only have so much water, it is easy not to worry too much about sewer hookups since we only have limited supply for the grey and blackwater tanks, however, not having full hookups does add the need to research and plan ahead.
Boondockers Welcome is a little like Airbnb in that you see the host’s profile and pictures of their property and then request to stay with them. There are reviews from other boondockers, so we had a good feeling about both places we booked. The truly great thing about this membership is that once you pay the minimal membership fee, there are no fees associated with the stays (unless the host requests a minimal payment for use of utilities). Paying $5–10 per night for use of utilities sure beats the $50–100+ per night fees at a campground.
The hosts we stayed with were incredible. In Vermont, we were allowed to use the firepit onsite and dump our tanks before we left (a huge bonus). We were also handed an armful of freshly-picked tomatoes and squash from the host’s garden for our journey. In New Hampshire, we were invited to campfires and provided with tons of information about the local area and things to do. The hosts also made it a point to check if Little Bird was napping before they started any loud yard work. This gesture really meant a lot to us.
By staying with locals, we are getting a glimpse of what life is really like in these areas and also seeing a side that we would not get to experience in a campground setting. These 2 stays were our initial test of this membership, and we cannot wait to book more stays and meet more hosts. We are already looking along our route ahead to start scoping out where we want to stay next.
* Boondocking is camping without traditional hookups. We technically have only boondocked once (at the winery in the Finger Lakes), but the 8 nights we stayed with our hosts is a hybrid between the two, since we had the luxury of electricity hookups in Vermont and New Hampshire.