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ER Travel Budget
Old 06-21-2013, 02:22 AM   #1
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ER Travel Budget

Will RE this year and wondering how much everyone sets aside for an annual travel budget? I expect I will travel more than usual the next 5 years (son just starting high school) as this will be the prime time for the family to travel together.

In other words, I expect a larger travel budget for the first 5 year of RE. Want to go to Europe and travel a ton around the U.S. I think $20K-25K a year for the first 4 or 5 years would be reasonable. Keep in mind, I expect the amount to DRAMATICALLY (i.e. maybe 1/5 of that) drop off after that time, but want to enjoy the next few years when the family will be together and my son won't think we are cramping his style (i.e. I get that it may happen sooner than I have planned for, but I know he wants to travel with us in high school). Thoughts?
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:51 AM   #2
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Sounds like you are planning for 3 people. I think your budget should allow one "big trip" and one or two trips within the US.

My travel budget for one person is $8000. After a couple of years if and when I am more confident that the bottom has not fallen out of my portfolio*, and when my car payments end, I plan to increase it to $10,000. Bear in mind that as a single person I have to deal with single supplements, which you will not. I am not interested in camping. This year I am planning three vacations but none of them are in Europe. If I were to go to Europe there would likely be only two vacations that year.

*Today is not one of those days!
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:59 AM   #3
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I don't set aside a specific budget for travel. We have a discretionary budget that includes travel, dining out, entertainment, etc... and how we spend that money varies from year to year.

In terms of travel, I want to be able to travel to Europe once a year to visit family. Those annual trips currently cost us about $3K with some air travel upgrades. Once DW retires, we may also want to take a few road trips around the US. And while we currently love living on the west coast, we plan on retiring in the south. So we may also want to travel back to California from time to time to enjoy the weather and restock the wine cellar. I think that we can do all that for less than $10K per year. But I doubt we would do that much travel in any one year. So I think we would probably spend $5K-$7K a year on travel.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:39 AM   #4
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No specific travel budget here. This year we'll do two separate one week trips to northwest Minnesota fishing. DW and a girlfriend are going to Maine for a week. We'll spend about a dozen weeks on the road with our little camper (from Gettysburg to Yellowstone and everything inbetween). And we have 3 or 4 long weekends with friends on the calendar. I'm guessing $15k should cover it for both of us.

We'll likely add some international travel next year. That could kick the bill up to $25k.

We weren't able to FIRE until 55/58, so with that late start we haven't been letting the grass grow under our feet. Had we FIRE'd earlier, we'd likely be spending less annually.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:31 AM   #5
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We're going with plan for $20K per year, but that will include a few weeks living in the south to escape the northern winter.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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My regular budget is $1K/wk per person for each vacation. Disney World easily surpassed that figure and with the high international airfare now, $1K wouldn't even cover the air to most places. All my vacations in the US and cruises are still easily doable with the $1k/person/week budget.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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Ours is $20K per year for two people. Like you, we expect ours to drop in several years. We did travel ioverseas during our working years, and still try to do one or two trips internationally annually. The last one and upcoming one involve cruises. Our other 1-2 big trips are in the US, and we utilize our rewards card miles so one of those trips is relatively cheap. We find daily costs in the US are not much of a factor as we buy local groceries and tend to eat only one meal out a day. Our regular food budget helps offset those costs. (This works well internationally too if you are rent an apartment or villa).
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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Travel is a big part of our spending as our daughter's family w/ the 3 grandchildren are in London and son is in Tanzania. Spending is a bit crimped by need of wife to care for MIL who lives with us, we can't both be gone except when BIL can take her. Last month I went to London to help daughter move, then on to Tanzania to visit son, then we traveled together to Durban SA where I watched him run his 3rd Comrades Marathon...54 miles. My first need to drive on left side of road. Went fine until last 12". Crunched the front left wheel cover parallel parking! That plane ticket would have been $6k but son figured out how to get it down to 4. Figure tickets for both of us to visit London is ~$2k. At least we have a place to stay when we get there.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiredgun View Post
Will RE this year and wondering how much everyone sets aside for an annual travel budget? I expect I will travel more than usual the next 5 years (son just starting high school) as this will be the prime time for the family to travel together.

In other words, I expect a larger travel budget for the first 5 year of RE. Want to go to Europe and travel a ton around the U.S. I think $20K-25K a year for the first 4 or 5 years would be reasonable. Keep in mind, I expect the amount to DRAMATICALLY (i.e. maybe 1/5 of that) drop off after that time, but want to enjoy the next few years when the family will be together and my son won't think we are cramping his style (i.e. I get that it may happen sooner than I have planned for, but I know he wants to travel with us in high school). Thoughts?
You're fortunate that your teenage son wants to travel with you. We had to quit traveling as a family when our teenage son became so ornery that I was afraid someone might get hurt and it might have been me.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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DW and I live in the mountains so 2 one week trips to the beach at $1,500 each. Spend $1,000 visiting each kid (two of them). Can drive to visit in about 8 hours. $1,500 for these cheap flight destinations - maybe two 4 day trips. Average of $5,500 a year on big trips. That is 6 weeks a year. $12,000 per year.

Also looking into repositioning RVs, repositioning cruise ships, friends with house swap, renting beach/lake houses in FL/TX in January or February.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #11
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Like Meadbh, I budget $8,000. That includes 1 longer vacation out of the country (either Grand Circle Travel or Overseas Adventure Travel because there is usually no Single Supplement), and two shorter trips.

I might go to visit a friend, or travel with friends to Mexico, or take a driving trip. Included in my budget is the cost to kennel my dog while I am away.

-- Rita
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #12
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Before I retired I estimated $6000/yr for the two of us to cover a trip to Europe or Asia or someplace in the US where we would have to fly (i.e. the East coast). We haven't traveled much in the last 5 yrs but that is pretty much what we've spent in the past. I've been ER'd for 2.5 yrs now and my DW is still working. I've actually been spending about $3500/yr for US travel which has covered travel like a two week road trip and, lets say, a week in Miami Beach with friends.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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Included in my budget is the cost to kennel my dog while I am away.

-- Rita
Yeah, I recently revised my Quicken habits and classify boarding as a travel expense rather than "dog". Having three dogs (one inherited from daughter when she expatriated) I've had some boarding bills in excess of $1,000. I'm a sucker for that extra "play time" as it soothes my guilt for leaving them. Tempted to try house/pet sitters but DW not too keen on that.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:25 AM   #14
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I hear you 'Dude!

I checked house sitters, and found them to be twice the cost of boarding, but then I'm only boarding one dog. YMMV.

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Old 06-21-2013, 11:31 AM   #15
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I hear you 'Dude!

I checked house sitters, and found them to be twice the cost of boarding, but then I'm only boarding one dog. YMMV.

-- Rita
My daughter has cashed-in on the other side of this when the neighbors travel. You might consider having a neighbor kid come down 3 or 4 times a day. I think she gets paid about 1/5 of the price to board, and the dogs get to sleep in their own bed, hehe.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:46 AM   #16
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We don't really have the slightest desire to travel, other than for hurricane evacuations. So, I don't have a specific travel budget because living in New Orleans, who knows when and how much our hurricane evacuations may cost?

Last year's Hurricane Isaac evacuation cost me $913.80, but it was just for a few days and another Hurricane Katrina type evacuation plus ensuing hurricane recovery costs could set me back considerably more.

Consequently, I make sure there is at least $10K of "slop" in my budget each year. So, you might say that my "travel budget" is $0/year, or you might say it is $10K/year. If that $10K isn't spent on a hurricane evacuation, then it becomes discretionary money or else is saved for the future.

Remember, that once you are retired, there is no need to get away from work any more. So, your desire to travel may (or may not) be diminished.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:47 AM   #17
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We usually hire teenagers to house and pet sit. When we only had one pet we would take it to their houses so it had company. I always call the moms to make sure it is okay with them and that will double check that the kids are coming over all the times they are supposed to. Many teenagers in our neighborhood are pretty happy to earn $20 a day.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:58 AM   #18
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I travel for three to six weeks at a time and budget about $3000 for the entire trip, including airfare. I travel during the shoulder months and watch for fare specials. I usually choose my destination based on where the cheapest airplane flies.

I stay in a private room in a hostel or pensione which does mean sharing a kitchen, but I've found that I enjoy hearing other people's stories over breakfast. The cost is a fraction of a hotel cost.

Hostels in the US can be hard to find, but sometimes the hostel sites also include cheap hotels and I find a spot that way. I think my hotel room in Waikiki was $70/night since it was three blocks from the beach......
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:33 PM   #19
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We're planning for $6K per year, but we're also setting aside $100K to supplement our travel/leisure for the first ten years (ages 55 to 65). So approximately $16K per year for the first ten years, dropping to $6K afterward. We think we'll be slowing down a bit at 65, but who knows? We'll remain flexible on spending.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:51 PM   #20
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We've not had a budgeted amount for travel, just spending as needed when opportunities arose since our er-ing five years ago this summer. For the first time, though, we put the kibosh on something, a destination wedding invitation to a place we didn't really care that much about, that all told would have cost $2k+ for the weekend. Plus a gift, which we'd do anyway. I think we'll start budgeting, or at least considering where else we could go with these chunks of change.
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