Our Trek To The Florida Keys - Planning
I just completed a major trip planning session today. When it comes to creating our plan, we both work on various parts in stages. It always starts out rough and we fine tune it. This time Hub performed what I will call phase one. To me it is the hardest part because there's nothing to work from, you start with a blank piece of paper. I am not sure how other travelers work their planning magic but for us it starts with our discount catalogs, the internet, lots of sticky notes and a pen.
I think Hub did an exceptional job this time because he kept our daily travel times to under 7 hours, and he was able to find discounted campgrounds for each night. This first phase spanned 13 nights which left us some extra time to fill in as needed.
Phase two is where we looked at fitting in some rest/sight seeing time. Ideally, this would be at a Thousand Trails because our nightly rate there is $0. I was able to find a TT resort in Tennessee, we like to avoid traveling over weekends wherever possible and this coincided perfectly with our second weekend. We will have traveled for seven days straight so a four night break is perfect. We are not spring chickens any more so I just hope we survive those seven days. We have stocked up on groceries and will likely not disconnect the trailer during this stretch.
Hub stopped his planing at Peace River Thousand Trails, which is in southwest Florida. As part of phase two I looked at carving out some time to visit the Florida Keys as well as adding in a stop to play some disc golf at the southern most course in the US. We worked on this part together and narrowed down our options to a few RV parks in the keys and one Coast to Coast Good Neighbor Park which is only a couple of miles from our disc golf course.
I am the primary caller between the two of us, so I then started making calls. First and foremost I made sure we were confirmed at our first four campgrounds. Once that was complete I then started on calls for the Keys because their busy season begins in October. I was able to reserve an ocean front site at our #1 park which had the features we sought the most: critters, ocean front and a very good nightly rate. This campground is on a deer preserve so no dogs are allows in the park (we aren't dog people so this was an extra bonus), they had oceanfront available and their rate was very reasonable! I suspect their low rate is to account for their restriction against dogs. I bet a high percent of campers have dogs and choose to stay elsewhere.
Specifically, to give a little perspective, we are paying a grand total of $145 in nightly fees for all of our stays until we hit Homestead, Florida. In Homestead we are paying $64 plus tax per night, for the Keys campground the rate is $73 and all other campgrounds range from $100 up to over $200 per night. I did have three campgrounds in the sub $100, but our campground was by far the lowest for oceanfront sites. I felt very fortunate. They had hundreds of positive reviews, with an overall rating the same as the highend campgrounds.
With the Keys campground booked, I then called to reserve our campground just a couple of miles from the disc golf course. With that done I can get back to the main part of the trek's reservations/confirmations.
We will be traveling 4,350 miles spanning 71 hours of driving time. I created a map that is representative of our trek, but google maps is limited to 10 entries so I had to take a few sites out. The result is a slightly shorter journey, but it still shows how far we will be going. I estimate our fuel consumption will be around $1.7k to get us to the keys, and that does not include any driving during our rest days.
Thanks for stopping by, please feel free to leave comments or questions, I am here to help!