The Miles Family is traveling a lot this summer. Two weeks in June, two weeks in July, and at least a week in August.
But how can you afford that? you may ask. Mostly by not paying for lodging. Here’s the plan for June:
June 10-14 South Lake Tahoe, free
Our kid has an ice skating competition in the evening of June 10, and thanks to the new Passport program, I was able to arrange a free four-night stay through HomeExchange. I earned the “balloon,” i.e. HomeExchange currency, by hosting a family from France in our home during this two-week stretch. Yes, I’m giving two weeks but only getting four nights in return, but that’s OK with me. The French people are feeding our cats.
The Miles Dad will have to leave Sunday to get back to work (and spend a couple of nights at a friend’s house since we have that family in ours), but the kids and I, plus a friend, will stay on through midweek. Once Nutmeg’s competition is out of the way Saturday night, we plan to check out summer skiing at Squaw and maybe Mount Rose resorts, and you know, nature. Hoping to stop at a Gold Country sight or two on the drive home.
June 14-16 Camping in a Santa Clara County Park, $60
Last summer we went camping at this one campground, and the kids fell in love with a specific redwood tree. We’re going to visit Lichen the Tree. The Miles Dad will have a long drive, but he should be able to get to work from the campground Thursday and Friday mornings.
June 16-18 Santa Cruz, free
Also through HomeExchange, we connected with a family who agreed to swap a weekend at their home near the beach for a weekend at our home in December, when they have an event in San Francisco. Where will we go when they need our house in December? We’ll figure that out later. Probably we’ll go skiing.
This exchange is handy because we drop off our two daughters at the bus to Girl Scout camp in Santa Cruz on Sunday, which is also Father’s Day.
June 18-21 Camping in a State Park, Santa Cruz County, $143
This will be another long drive to work for The Miles Dad Monday and Tuesday mornings. Wednesday morning we’ll break camp and drive him to work, then Toth and I will head to our next campground.
June 21-24 Camping in a Different Santa Clara County Park, $45
Pro California Camping Tip: Notice how much cheaper county parks are compared to state parks? Also we tend to make our plans when it’s too late to get a spot in most state parks because they are all full.
I’m excited that this campground is only 11 miles from The Miles Dad’s work, so he might even be able to bike in. Or we can drop him off so we can have the car all day.
On the 24th, we pick one of our daughters up at camp and drive home. (The other daughter has a longer session.) We would keep on camping till the other kid was done with camp, but we have guests coming in that week.
There you have it, two weeks camping and in popular vacation spots, lodging cost under $300. Of course, we may spend a little more than usual on food during these weeks, and I will take most of the time off work which as an independent contractor means no income. And there’s gas of course. But still, a pretty cheap way to get away. I’m excited!