Back in the late 70s I read a story in either a textbook (we didn't read it in class, though) or in a school library book. The basic story was a man walking into a travel agency and talking about looking for a place to go live. I seem to remember him dropping hints that finally prompted the travel agent to bring out a brochure that showed something that was kind of 1920s or 1950s style, with a small town feel to it where it looked like all the adults worked at good jobs and kids could grow up safely and happy to live in that kind of idyllic setting. (And, while this sounds like the Willoughby episode of The Twilight Zone, it's not, but the type of town they're looking for is similar.)
For some reason, I think it was by Ray Bradbury. It certainly seems Bradbury-esque.
The agent gets what the man is asking about and the fee is whatever the man has in his pocket (I think that symbolized, in some way, him giving up the last of his possessions to make the trip.) He's given a meeting place and he and a number of other people are driven out, in a bus, to a barn (or something similar) and they wait. There's a storm going on and they wait a good while. Finally the man stands up, says he thinks something's wrong, and walks out to look around (against their instructions).
While he's out, there is a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder. He goes back in and all the people were gone. He goes back to the travel agency, and they don't seem aware, at all, of what he's talking about and the agent he originally talked about tells him, "When you were here last time, you left this money here. I don't know why, but here it is." The implication is that he's lost his one and only chance to go to this nostalgic utopia.