Cape Lookout State Park, OR
Ahh! The Oregon coastline was amazing! My husband took this amazing photo, and the incredible part is it really was this gorgeous. And believe it or not, our whole 10 day vacation (with kids) came in just over $1,200.
As I’m sure we all do, my husband and I talk about dream trips; places we’d like to go someday. He mentioned crab fishing in Oregon one day, and after a long time of ‘talk’, this last June I said, “Let’s make this happen!”
To get ready, we decided we would be willing to cut back on purchasing any expendable “things” to make this experience happen for our family. I decided if we were going to be going to Oregon, we may as well combine it with with my dream trip of driving up the Pacific Coast Highway.
When I figured out the entire mileage, it worked out to be over 2,500 miles. I knew we couldn’t do that in 5 days with 3 little kids, so that’s when I decided we would pull a tent trailer and turn it into a 10 day adventure. It seems a little crazy that we did this with a 2, 4, and 6 year-old, but it totally worked. We drove about 45 hours total, averaging out to about 5 hours per day (because we spent 2 days in Tillamook).
For those planning a trip soon, I’m breaking down the trip expenses. Here’s how we made our 5 person family road trip over 10 days to come at just $1,236.72, gas and all.
This includes car activities, gas, camp sites, food, the works. All in all, I was pretty proud. I mean $123 per day for vacation is pretty good considering staying in hotels would run you nearly that amount all on its own.
Day 1- St George, Utah to Bakersfield, CA
- Swam at the RV Park
Day 2- Bakersfield, CA to Pfeiffer State Park, CA
Day 3- Pfeiffer State Park, CA to Samuel P Taylor State Park, CA (This ended up not happening due to some unforeseen events. More on that later.)
Day 4- Samuel P Taylor State Park, CA to Eureka, CA
Day 5- Eureka, CA to Coos Bay, OR
- Redwood Forest (“Trees of Mystery”)
- Beach Day
- Yoga on the Beach!
- Clamming (we stayed right on the beach this day, and it was amazing!)
Day 6- Coos Bay, OR to Tillamook, OR
Day 7- Tillamook, OR
Day 8- Tillamook, OR to Baker City, OR
- Playground Play
Day 9- Baker City, OR to Brigham City, UT
Day 10- Brigham City, UT to St George, UT
- We opted to combine day 9 and day 10 to get home earlier. It ended up being an 11 hour drive. Believe it or not, we only did 2 1/2 movies. I had a ton of car activities that my girls absolutely loved. In fact, all the other days, we only allowed 1 movie, and then they did car activities. We only had 2 brief meltdowns from the 2 year-old (one of them just 30 minutes away from home), so I’d say this was a major success.
Breakdown of Cost
- Gas- $470.74
- Food- 204.00
- Campgrounds/RV Parks- $300
- Item to Entertain Kids in Car- $15
- Activities- $ 135.99
- Souvenirs- $60 (We got lucky here. My parents gave each of my girls $20 to spend. This worked out so well because the girls each knew how much they could spend, and we didn’t hear them ask us to buy them anything. When they saw something they liked, we explained how much it was and how much that would leave them. They made the decision from there. I felt like this helped them enjoy the experience more and not worry so much about what they could get us to buy them.)
TIP: I prepared most of our food beforehand and froze it.
It’s not my favorite way to cook, but I chose things that would freeze well and reheat better. We ate out 2 times at restaurants we really wanted to try. We also grabbed food on the road the first and last day of driving. I took a ton of snacks! I wanted most of them to be healthy, but I threw in a few little treats along the way. Purchasing and preparing them ahead of time and portioning them out throughout the trip saved way more than picking things up here and there along the way.
In a future post I will detail exactly where we stayed and what we did. I will also include any changes we would have made for anyone considering their own trip. Also, I will post a detailed packing list for a trip like this, and I mean detailed. We wanted for nothing on our long trip.