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View Poll Results: What is your annual vacation/travel budget?
Less than $1,000 16 9.09%
$1,000-$3,999 35 19.89%
$4,000-$9,999 75 42.61%
$10,000-$19,999 34 19.32%
$20,000-$49,999 12 6.82%
$50,000-$99,999 2 1.14%
Greater than $100,000 2 1.14%
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:41 PM   #41
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We both are tall people so we buy Business Class airfare on our 2 or 3 annual trips to Europe, first class for 2 annual Hawaii trips, and first class for a few domestic air trips. Of course, we do some driving trips also.
We travel aout 2 to 3 months a year, and we don't do cruises much anymore. Our last cruise was August 2009, a 14 night Alaska cruise from Seattle on the Pacific Princess.
Since you are interested in what we get for our money...advance purchase business class from the US West Coast to Europe is between $3K and $4.5K per person roundtrip depending on the year and specials. The 14 night cruise total cost was about $12,100 in a suite. We stay at 4 star hotels most of the time and they cost about $300 a night.
I figured there were at least some people on here that typically fly business or first for international trips. That will obviously rack up the dollar amounts (as you have shown!). Hey, if you can afford it, why not travel in luxury! Being a cheapskate, I'll continue to suffer through steerage class, er I mean economy...

So far you are Mr. Sultan on here when it comes to traveling!
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:50 PM   #42
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Our travel budget is typically $3K - $5K, although this year it's closer to $7K due to our trip to Europe.

As for how we spend the money, usually I take a solo trip to Central America/ Caribbean in the winter ($1 - 2K). In the summer DH and I take a couple of week-long trips in the US, which costs on average $1,000 per week. Yes, we are cheap people. We camp or stay with friends as much as we can.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:27 AM   #43
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Our annual budget is $3,000 for travel/vacations. We're a military family and move frequently (generally no more than two years in any one place). We try to make the most of it by seeing the sights and exploring the local area around each new duty station as much as possible...it's kind of like vacationing on the Army's dime. Generally our budgeted amount is enough for us (family of 6), but that also usually consists of us driving to places to see things rather than flying or going on cruises. Admittedly, though, when we've been stationed overseas we've had to increase our budgeted amount to compensate for the higher cost of travel. It still generally did not go above $5k-$8k/year.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:35 AM   #44
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I guess the travel budget is higher than average for me. Since I volunteer as a clinician abroad on a regular basis, sometimes I buy additional supplies and meds to give my patients when I get there....
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:32 AM   #45
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Being a cheapskate, I'll continue to suffer through steerage class, er I mean economy...
My days of flying economy will be over if the airlines adopt these new seats.

My goal will be to never fly, and when I have to, I'll pay for a more expensive seat and just stay at my destination for much longer.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:35 AM   #46
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My days of flying economy will be over if the airlines adopt these new seats.

My goal will be to never fly, and when I have to, I'll pay for a more expensive seat and just stay at my destination for much longer.
I'll stay in coach, and just stand by the lavatory the whole flight.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:57 AM   #47
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No travel budget, per se, but average around $1000/yr as a w*rking stiff. May travel a bit more in retirement, or not.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:26 AM   #48
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We usually spend about $5,000 to $ 6,000 on travel but next year will be a budget buster . I am treating my Daughter ,SIL & Grandson to Disney World . The opportunity to see Disney through his eyes is priceless . We are also going to Alaska and I'll take a late fall trip to visit daughter ,SIL & grandson .
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:38 AM   #49
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I voted 50-99k due to having company provided home leave in business class, up to a certain budget amount that was 1 trip per year, but increased by the same amount that the kids' international school fees had cost until they graduated from HS. Kids are now off to university, so we use some of our home leave allowance to go see them, and some to go to our California home. Also, when we find a round-the-world fare that is the same price as going home to Cali, we will go to Cali first, then continue on to London or Paris before winding our way back to Tokyo. It would be pretty typical for us to burn about $5-6k each major trip (5 so far and 1 to go), not counting the airfare. Hotel and rental car total about 3k, and the rest is restaurants, DW's gifts for her Japanese friends, and admittedly perhaps not "real" vacation expense, we spend on things we cannot so easily find in Japan (I just bought 2 pair of running shoes in Hawaii, for example, along with some elder Tang - Metamucil, ibuprofen, Tylenol, running shorts and shirt for DW, and a business suit for me). A short weekend jaunt to Hong Kong might only set us back 1500 or so, plus the tax on the FF miles tickets.

This kind of spending cannot survive for us into retirement. We both know that, so we always try to piggy back a trip for DW via the round the world scheme or on FF miles when I have to go to a "new to her" location for my business, tag on a couple days or a weekend at the end, and cross another trip off the bucket list.

For our FIRE budget, we are looking at 12000 per year plus another 4-12k for RV depreciation, insurance and maintenance, plus an extra 3000 for the gas to power it. The 4-12k range is simply because we don't know if we will get a trailer or an RV, so up to 27k in retirement.

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Old 09-16-2010, 11:05 AM   #50
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I probably spend less than $1,000/year on travel. In a typical year we would drive to Missouri 2-3 times and we share the costs.

A trip up there usually takes four days including driving time. Gas, food, and motel come to about $800, so I spend about $400 per trip. But then, if I subtract out the expenses that would also be incurred at home (such as eating out), these trips really come to about $300 or less.

Obviously if my travel expenses covered an entire family they would be higher.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:12 AM   #51
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I probably spend less than $1,000/year on travel.
You might want to think about loosening up a bit and enjoying your new-found freedom while your health is good. Here's why I make that comment:

We just returned from a short RV trip to the mountains of New Mexico. We stay at the same RV park each time we go and have made the acquaintance of a few folks who usually spend the summer at that park.

The park has a few spots where folks keep RV's parked year round, only using them in the summer. Three of these "permanent" RV's were for sale as the health of the folks who own them had deteriorated to the point they could no longer make the trip. Alzheimer's, heart disease, and blindness took away the ability to make the drive or to enjoy the cool 7,000' elevation. These folks - all in their 70's - were there last summer and gone this one.
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:18 AM   #52
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Our budget is about $20,000/yr as I am still employed (wife does not work). I think the budget will go up more when I retire, at least for the first few years in my retirement.

This year we attended the US Open in NY, air/hotel bought through Expedia cost $5,200 (6 nights at the Plaza, Jet Blue from CA to NY). US Open tickets cost $3,600, one day trip to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania cost $400. Food and miscellaneous expenses about $2,000.

Hope to take another trip before the end of the year.


Do retired people budget more for travelling than when they were still employed?

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Old 09-16-2010, 02:12 PM   #53
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I did my actual spend figures for 2010 and realise that I have spent more than $10k already.

We also like to travel in some style. On long haul flights over 5 hours, unless we are in premium economy or above we are not going. Too old, done too many trips to get any joy out of riding up the back. That said, it is not always necessary to buy premium seats, using frequent flyer/credit card points we are normally able to get what we want at a reasonable cost. Same with our hotels, we always stay at a Hyatt or Hilton equivalent. Once again we find that loyalty to these programs does pay off. We are planning a trip to Europe for 30 days in 2012 after DH says adios. We have sufficient points to be able to do that in business class on British Airways and we are working on getting enough hotel points to have at least 15 free nights at Hyatt standard hotels.

I have noticed when flying back from Hawaii when they do the pre-boards how many are being pushed onto the plane in a wheelchair. That is not going to be me. If I can not make it under my own steam I don't want to play the travel game, so I say enjoy while you are young enough and fit enough.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:14 PM   #54
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W2R, I know you aren't an RV fan, but maybe something like this beauty would change your mind?

Check out the fins and fender skirts...
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:40 PM   #55
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Do retired people budget more for travelling than when they were still employed?

mP
We didn't for the simple reason that we've always traveled. It's not something we planned to do in retirement.

It was our biggest expense item before retirement (at least me; DW still is employed).

It is our biggest expense item in retirement.

If you live the life you want to before retirement, there is no reason why your planned expenses should change, IMHO...
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:01 PM   #56
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We didn't for the simple reason that we've always traveled. It's not something we planned to do in retirement.

It was our biggest expense item before retirement (at least me; DW still is employed).

It is our biggest expense item in retirement.

If you live the life you want to before retirement, there is no reason why your planned expenses should change, IMHO...
I agree with this statement. The only thing that will change with retirement will be the duration of our trips. We were planning on going to Italy in 2011 for 2 weeks but have cancelled it as it does not make sense to do that when we can go in 2012 with no time restraints.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:04 PM   #57
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Good poll, Fuego, and quite an eye-opener when I started running our Quicken spending reports.

In the last three years spouse and I have been averaging over $8K/year for a family of three. Most of those were trips to college campuses or getting our kid to some educational opportunity. Hopefully we're done with that.

The irony is that we find it difficult to give ourselves permission to take vacations. (Is that because we've already been on vacation for over eight years?) Maybe it's the same mindset that makes it hard to loosen the frugal reins or to make the mental shift from accumulation investing to decumulation. There's more than enough to do here, and there's a certain amount of five-hour flights wasted effort in getting to most destinations. Intellectually we know that we could just pick up next Tuesday and go spend a couple weeks at Monterey Bay, but somehow that never happens. Heck, in 20 years of Hawaii I've never even visited Molokai or Lanai, let alone Niihau or Kaho'olawe. OTOH we're quite happy to travel "for a purpose" on subsidized trips to Maui, San Diego, Bangkok, the Marianas, and even Dallas.

Maybe we'll figure out how to loosen our mental travel chains. But I'm still going to avoid the cheap seats.

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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I figured there were at least some people on here that typically fly business or first for international trips. That will obviously rack up the dollar amounts (as you have shown!). Hey, if you can afford it, why not travel in luxury! Being a cheapskate, I'll continue to suffer through steerage class, er I mean economy...
I take every one of those first-class upgrades and hopefully with as few connections as possible. Spouse finds this highly amusing in view of my years of submarine experience. I call it making up for missed opportunities.

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In reality, kids are expensive (travel or not )...
I'm hoping that all the money we've spent on traveling to college campuses (and paying for our kid's other educational jaunts) have helped her achieve orbital parameters on the first (and only) launch.

So our vacation budget really might be more appropriately named the "college education & research budget".

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$300 for the Amtrak ticket to Seattle and $40 a day on the ride back.
Boy, that's commitment. I'd bicycle away from home and see how far I got before I needed the train. Like it or not, you're going to have to bicycle the entire distance just to get back home!
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:10 PM   #58
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I am amazed at the amounts people spend on travel! You guys either have deeper pockets than mine, or you don't pay for your own health care...
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:45 PM   #59
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Good poll, Fuego, and quite an eye-opener when I started running our Quicken spending reports.
Thanks! I'm most excited about the poll's near perfect bell curve I have created from carefully selecting bin ranges.

This thread is a bit of an eye opener for me too and I think it reveals a lot. Some could care less about traveling. Some are frugal travelers, and some splurge big time (from my frugal traveler opinion!).

My ulterior motives for the thread and poll are finding out if I have projected my FIRE budget for travel correctly. Is $12000 enough and where is that amount taking other people?

I'm such an opportunistic cheapskate that some of my travel planning is guided by where can I go cheap. I never go anywhere I don't want to go, but priorities and order of visiting certain places are dictated by the dollar and finding a good deal.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:47 PM   #60
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Heck, in 20 years of Hawaii I've never even visited Molokai or Lanai, let alone Niihau or Kaho'olawe.
We visited Hawaii in the early 90s and loved it. We went to almost every island including Molokai and Lanai. Molokai and Lanai were not at the top of the list compared to the others. You made an excellent choice as I would rather be surfing than on those islands but then I do not have water to Surf!
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