Whew! We are back from our road trip to California. It was great to see family and friends, but baby RB40 really hated the long drive. We had to stop a lot more often than usual to calm him down and let him stretch his little legs a bit. Usually we would just drive straight through to San Jose in one day, but this time we had an overnight stop and the drive was a lot more leisurely (meltdowns aside). We visited old friends along the way and it was great to see them. Once we arrived in San Jose, we didn’t want to go anywhere. Even the 75-minutes drive to San Francisco seemed too daunting. Oh well, next time…
We haven’t taken a vacation out of town for almost 3 years since Mrs. RB40 became pregnant. Before baby RB40 came along, we usually took an annual international trip (last trip was Japan), but now we’ll explore the US more until he’s old enough to appreciate foreign countries. There are so many state and national parks nearby that we haven’t been to and I’m sure the little guy would love to see all of them. Well, I would love to visit all of them. Traveling in the US is also quite a bit cheaper than taking a trip to a foreign country. The airfare alone is too expensive these days.
Here is what we spent on this trip.
Gas – $187
We drove about 1,500 miles this trip and spent $187 on gasoline. Gas isn’t cheap, but it’s still a lot more affordable than airfare, especially if you take a family vacation. Driving also let us stop to visit friends and take different routes. We took the coastal route on the way back and it was much nicer than I5, but it did took a lot more time. We had to leave at 3am to get to Coos Bay around 5pm. That was a long driving day.
Food – $263
It’s tough to eat healthy when you’re on a road trip. I probably ate 10x more junk food than normal, but it’s ok, we were on vacation. Now that we’re back we’ll revamp our diet and eat a lot healthier. We stayed at my brother’s house so we were able to eat in mostly. We did go out to a few restaurants and that increased the food cost quite a bit. The best meal of the trip was at Local Ocean Seafood in Newport, Oregon. I had oyster shooters and a Dungeness crab Po’ Boy. Mrs. RB40 had the pan fried oysters. Baby RB40 had the roasted garlic & Dungeness crab soup. Everything tasted fresh out of the ocean and we’ll definitely head back there if we’re in town.
Lodging – $101
We didn’t spend much on lodging this trip because we stayed with my brother. We got a room at the Red Lion Hotel ($57) in Medford on the way down. See my hotel cost saving strategy post if you need some help with hotels. On the way back, I was able to book a yurt ($44) at the Sunset Bay State Park. I liked the yurt, but Mrs. RB40 let me know that a Best Western or other motel would have been better this time. We weren’t prepared for camping and didn’t bring cooking gear and other stuff. I wanted to try the yurt for a long time though so I was fine with it. 😉
While we were out of town, we had a pet sitter take care of the cats for about $10/day. Mrs. RB40 had considered other alternatives, like having a neighbor look after them, but she hasn’t had time to talk to the neighbors lately, and this pet sitter has been reliable in the past.
All in all, we spent about $630 on this vacation. That’s pretty cheap overall and we had a great time. We also drove by a lot of interesting places that we plan to visit another time. In a year or two, the little guy will be ready to go camping and we’ll be able to spend a week camping along the coast. I think that will be a lot of fun for him at a very frugal price.
How much did you spend on your summer vacation this year? Or how much are you planning to spend? I think $630 was a great bargain for a summer vacation. An oversea trip would have cost at least a few thousand dollars.
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.