Today while the baby napped, I thought (for the eleven billionth time) that we should think about scheduling a family vacation for next year.
So I pulled out my trusty laptop, sighed, and started a few Google searches for places to we could go. Living in Utah, there’s a whole lot of great outdoorsy type places to go. There’s tons of camping and, if you’re willing to swim in freezing water, some beautiful mountain lakes. Some time back, we’d gone overnight tent camping up in Logan Canyon, then spent the next day enjoying the beach at Bear Lake.
It was gorgeous, tons of fun, and the kids really, really want to go back. So I start pricing things out.
Gorgeous lakeside cabin, sleeps 35-4,248,431. Enjoy the beautiful sunrise, all for the low, low price of $1,282,124.65 per night. Get a 10% discount when you book a whole week!
Quaint cabin within driving distance of the beach. Really, it’s a glorified hotel room that costs more than a Marriott stay. But at least there’s a shower! From $150 per night, plus $450 for linens.
“Okay,” I thought as I tried to push my eyeballs back into their sockets. “Maybe we’ll stick to tent camping.”
Tent sites on the beach! Site sleeps 10, unless you want to be comfortable. Then, it only holds 4. Only $17 per night when you book the whole summer 2 years in advance.
“But do I really want to risk tent camping with 4 kids under the age of 8 right next to a freaking lake?!?” I decide I’d rather not worry about the lake levels, wearing life vests while sleeping, and I look at camping sites a little bit less likely to flood.
Tent camping in the mountains! Only a 1-2 hour drive from Bear Lake, depending on the traffic. Most of our camping sites are flat, but you’ll have to guess which ones they are! From $29 per night.
I do some math, then pull out a calculator and do it again. “Finally!” I think out loud. “Something we could actually afford!”
Then I remember how we tried that site last time. And we definitely ended up on a mountainside camping spot. It took my second son weeks to recover from the emotional trauma of rolling down that mountain campsite, and that was only like 15 feet!
So I let my eyes wander just a little bit further down on the webpage.
RV and trailer campsites: easy road access and large campsites to accomodate your trailer. Hookups provided. From $24 per night.
“There’s gotta be a catch… how can trailer camping be cheaper than tent camping??” Now I’m a ginger on a mission. I start researching trailers and RVs and all sorts of fun camping devices. My jaw drops as I see the prices on these “recreational vehicles.”
“Holy guacamole! No wonder they cut the trailers some slack at the campsites…” I quickly text my husband at what a new trailer or RV would cost. He doesn’t text back for a very, very long time.
His response is one word.
“This is why I don’t plan family vacations,” I think to myself as the baby stirs. “A family vacation is either chalk full of stress, too expensive, or all of the above. Maybe when you’re ten we’ll do something other than a staycation and a trip to the zoo.”
My baby opens her eyes, looks at me, and smiles. I sigh. I know I’ll be googling things again later.