The Deal Kids start school this week which means it’s time to dream about next summer (what, you don’t plan next summer before this one officially ends?). Since this year was Camp Mom Solo next year is full on Camp Mom.
For those of you new to the idea, Camp Mom is a plan I instituted 7 years ago where Deal Dad and I decided to keep the kids traveling as long as possible each summer, with the caveat that each day cost no more than summer camp.
So far Camp Mom has included Quebec, Austria, France, and England, Las Vegas, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and Hawaii among others. Many of these adventures have been significantly enhanced by miles and points.
For 2017 I’m attempting the next step in Camp Mom’s evolution: renting a house for an extended period of time in one location. FT4RL 5 speaker Toni just successfully managed two months in Europe with 4 kids under 10 so a tween and teen should be a breeze, right?
While miles may still help us get there, the actual lodging part will have to be done without hotel points. I’ve narrowed down my (ever expanding) list to the following:
- Quebec (likely Provincial, maybe near the St. Laurence river?)
- Panama (Playa Bonita or near Panama City most likely)
- Northern Europe: (Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, northern Germany or Denmark)
- British Isles: (Likely Scotland)
- France: Brittany or Normandy, possibly Marseille
Some quick searching on AirBnB let me know that $100/night or $3K/month is a reasonable budget for most of these locations. While three thousand dollars is a chunk of change, it is also what most people pay for a week at the NC Outer Banks the last week of August (which has a 1 in 4 chance of being hit by a major storm). Long term rentals tend to even out with daily at about the fourteen day mark, which means those last two weeks are basically free.
Another option is to rent four weeks through EVR or similar which depending on the location could match or even beat a monthly rental if the deal’s good enough. If I get really lucky I could find something on skyauction for $279/week.
My strategy going forward will be to earn convertible credit card points that I can use to help defray expenses or to fill in around the margins. (Although I keep waffling on Hyatt Diamond, especially since my local hotel dropped to a category 1, which means $79 gets me 4 breakfasts and a stay credit).
I want to encourage you to think beyond miles and points when planning for next summer- especially if you’re traveling with a family. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of earning that we forget how it makes most sense to spend. You just might spend less by traveling more.
What’s on your Summer 2017 calendar? I always love hearing what you’re up to!
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