We were hoping to go to the Florida Keys next year. Other Airstream bloggers like Riveted, Malimish or Where is Kyle Now have had great success this year with getting into the various state parks there.
Since we have a Monday through Friday work week and we don’t have the luxury of being able to move the trailer mid-week, we really need reservations. The Florida State Park reservation system allows you to make a reservation 11 months in advance, and I’m a planner, so this is something I thought I could do.
I mapped out our route starting in September, going across the country and figured out when we would arrive in the Keys. I then put on my calendar the day I should go online and make a reservation for each park. Initially when I looked at the reservation website it seemed like all of the days that we would stay would have to have passed. For example, if I wanted to book January 4-10 2014, I would have to wait until February 11, 2013 to make that reservation.
Unfortunately, that’s what I did. When I logged on February 11 there wasn’t anything available. So I called the reservation number and the lady told me it had to be 11 months before the START date of my reservation and then I could book up to 2 weeks and she also recommended using the online reservation system and doing so at 8am EST.
The next morning I tried to make a reservation for an arrival of Sunday January 14. I set the alarm for 5:50am mountain time since we were in Arizona and there wasn’t anything available. I realized I needed to see what spots become available the night before so I could request a reservation for the specific spot at the second it became 8am EST.
Now I have to wait a week for a Saturday arrival. That puts me at February 18 to make an arrival reservation of January 18. I set the alarm for 5:50am. The night before bed I find available spots for the 18th at Bahia Honda and Curry Hammock. Alarm goes off, I hop online, and they’re gone. My bad – we recently moved back into Pacific Time and I should have set the alarm for 4:50am. UGH.
Ok, Sunday let’s try this again. I set the alarm for 4:50am. I have 3 spots available at Bahia Honda open in 3 tabs. I hit submit at 4:59am, it says wait until 8am. I hit submit at 4:59:30am, it says wait. I continue every 10 seconds until 5am PST and the site is gone. I try the other 2 sites and they’re also gone.
I give up on trying to reserve the Keys. I know Malimish just kept their eye on the reservation system as they got closer to the area and were able to get in because of cancellations. I think that’s what we’ll have to do. We’ve got our heart set on New Orleans in November, but from there we could either go to Florida or to Texas and head back west to boondocking country. So if anything opens up by November we’ll do it, if not we’ll be heading back west. (At least that’s the current plan).
I wonder what those savvy snowbirds are doing in order to get their reservations in the Florida Keys State Parks. Ideas?
I don’t know the name of these guys but there are a bunch of them here in the lake.
2013 Cost of Camping:
14 nights paid camping
37 nights free camping
Total spent on camping this year: $407.75
Daily average cost of camping: $8.00