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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%
Voters: 176. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:56 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
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...
Sorry to get OT, but since you asked, I pay $6k/yr for DW/me under my Megacorp retirement healthcare plan.

Normal Dr. visits are $15; specialists are $25. No dental. Drug (3 month supply via mail) is $16 for generic, $45 for name.

Any procedures? They pay 90%; I pick up 10%. I'm going in for a cataract operation in two weeks (2 of 2), which will be several hundred dollars out-of-pocket (same as last time).

I can't complain (I leave that to DW; drum roll please)...
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:59 PM   #62
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This varies from year to year but it always seems to land in the $2,000-$5,000 range for the 2 of us.

For $2,000, we get one 15-day trip to Europe.
For $5,000, we get two 15-day trips to Europe and one week-long trip to the west coast.

Once my wife retires, I hope we can get 1 trip to Europe plus lots of small RV trips throughout the year.

Note: we have lots of family and friends living in Europe and on the west coast so we enjoy free lodging and free meals on many of our trips.
I was just about to ask how you could swing a 15-day trip to Europe on $2K, but then just as I started to respond say the "fine print". Even with no lodging costs, $2K is pretty cheap with airfare, some meals out (preumably), museum entry fees, etc. I doubt I could do it for that little, but moe power to you, if you can.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:17 PM   #63
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I agree with traveling while you still are able . My Mom loved to travel . It did not have to be far she just loved a change of scenery . At 94 she really can not travel much with out all sorts of help and she still wants to . It's sad !
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:34 PM   #64
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You might want to think about loosening up a bit and enjoying your new-found freedom while your health is good.
But, but, but.... I am traveling as much as I want to travel, already! After being dragged around the world continually as a child, and then traveling all over as required for my work for years, at this age I want to enjoy my new-found freedom NOT to travel, while my health is good. When I travel, it is fun for a while but very quickly I am thinking about home and missing being at home.

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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.
My, aren't we a ray of sunshine today! I have to admit that this morning I was grumbling about how so many people seem to get cancer in their 60's and wondering if or how my doctor (a busy doctor with way too many patients) would ever notice if I had some sort of cancer.

Still, I somehow did not make the huge leap of thinking that therefore I should go do something I really don't want to do. There is one place I would (mildly) like to go to, and that is the Smithsonian. After we move and have settled down up north, would be a better time to do that. But even if I never went there, I could still die happy.

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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...
That is the ugliest vehicle I have ever seen, I think! No thanks.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #65
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I was just about to ask how you could swing a 15-day trip to Europe on $2K, but then just as I started to respond say the "fine print". Even with no lodging costs, $2K is pretty cheap with airfare, some meals out (preumably), museum entry fees, etc. I doubt I could do it for that little, but moe power to you, if you can.
When we do incur food or gas expenses, they are usually minimal and certainly lower than what we would incur while staying at home (our European hosts tend to get upset if we propose to pay for the food they graciously share with us). So I file them under my normal "groceries" and "gas" categories and not under my "travel expenses" category.

We also rarely pay anything for activities. When we go to Europe, much of what we do is outdoorsy and/or super cheap (hiking, snow shoeing, walking/taking pictures, visiting with family and friends, etc...). In 2008, I spent an entire week exploring Valencia on foot and I don't remember spending more than 20 euros for entry fees. Those costs, when incurred, do get filed under the "travel expenses" category however.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:16 PM   #66
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I am one of the 2 so far in the $50K - $100K bin. Our medical insurance is currently $14,588.28 per year and includes prescription drugs, dental and vision care. Copays for regular doctors are $15 and specialists are $25. Hospital copays are $500 per admission and then the insurance pays 100% after. Lab tests and screenings are 100% covered and drugs cost $10 for a 90 day supply for generic and from $20 to $80 for a 90 day supply of brand names.

I agree with the posters about the importance of loyalty to airlines and hotels. I am a lifetime Platinum member at Marriott and soon a lifetime Premier Executive at United Airlines ( over 1 million miles lifetime ). When I read to DW what other posters spend a year, DW gave me permission to disclose the fact the we spent over $1,500 for 3 nights at DW's first five star hotel stay in Geneva, Switzerland in July 2010 at the Hotel d'Angleterre. It was great but DW has agreed to settle for 4 stars in the future.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:38 PM   #67
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We have family and friends living all over Europe. We crash in their guest bedrooms or in their vacant vacation homes for free. So we rarely pay anything for lodging. Often times they feed us too and lend us one of their vehicles to get around. So usually, our largest expense is airfare which ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 for 2 people depending on the season. Of course we return the favor when they come stateside. We just hosted a group of Germans last week.

Maybe we could trade relatives .I could go to Europe and you could stay on my Aunt's pull out in scenic Wilkes -Barre ,Pa..
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:59 PM   #68
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DW gave me permission to disclose the fact the we spent over $1,500 for 3 nights at DW's first five star hotel stay in Geneva, Switzerland in July 2010 at the Hotel d'Angleterre. It was great but DW has agreed to settle for 4 stars in the future.
Or maybe you could treat her to a 7 star? (Just kidding around, Tom )



Very interesting thread, FUEGO.

One thing I am curious about from those who are posting relatively high numbers. Do you find that your LBYM instincts are suppressed when planning travel? I.e. you will do research and shop around for days to save $100 on an appliance purchase, but for whatever reason you do not choose to work as hard to find low fares or less expensive hotels?
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:37 PM   #69
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I am curious about from those who are posting relatively high numbers. Do you find that your LBYM instincts are suppressed when planning travel? I.e. you will do research and shop around for days to save $100 on an appliance purchase, but for whatever reason you do not choose to work as hard to find low fares or less expensive hotels?

I love to research my trips and get the best prices available . I usually book Hotels via Priceline or Hotwire and I keep an eye out for any price reductions .We recently cruised to Costa Rica and were booked in an outside cabin but because I watch the price changes every day we ended up being upgraded into a balcony for $50.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:03 PM   #70
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I love to research my trips and get the best prices available .
I'm the same way, Moemg. That's one reason I find the high-spenders interesting, at least the ones that are spending quite a bit per day or per trip.

I certainly enjoy luxury accommodations and comfortable airline seats as much as the next guy. But I value the other aspects of travel much more highly.

Even at 6'2", the thought of spending double for biz class seats for 10 hours of flight on a two week vacation doesn't compute. I'd probably be so comfortable on the flight back that my mind would surely wander to thoughts of the extra week DW and I could have stayed in paradise if I hand't blown so much on the airline tickets.

To each his own, I guess.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:09 PM   #71
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One thing I am curious about from those who are posting relatively high numbers. Do you find that your LBYM instincts are suppressed when planning travel? I.e. you will do research and shop around for days to save $100 on an appliance purchase, but for whatever reason you do not choose to work as hard to find low fares or less expensive hotels?
We spend relatively large amounts on travel and will be away 20 weeks this year, 26 weeks next year.

We still shop for the lower airfares, and tend to stay in B&B's or rent a house. This year we had a month in Colorado and the 2 bed house in a beautiful location cost $2,100 for 30 days. With your own house you shop at the local supermarket and cook, and / or share the costs with friends and relatives as we did in France and Spain 2 years ago and Guadaloupe the year before and Quebec City the year before that. We are currently in a 4 bed room lovely house in Canada, sharing with 3 other pairs of family members.

This summer in England we stayed in student dorms in 3 different University cities (London, Exeter and York), and we also got around via rail and bus much cheaper than hiring a car.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:30 PM   #72
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Still working, $4,000-$9,999, 2 people.

February, airline+hotel+rental car to Phoenix for 7 days about $2,300

April, mix of camping and motels from Washington State to Arizona for 13 days about $1,400

July, airline+hotel+rental car to Mississippi to visit kids (would never go there in July otherwise-OMG! Hot! Humid! ) for 8 days, $2,100

Two other trips with camping or staying with family, between $500 & $1,000.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:01 PM   #73
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We Scuba Dive in Warm Exotic Places...
At least $15K-$25K for 2 Peeps - and that is pre-retirement.
Once we FIRE, watch out!!

We dove Bonaire , Grand cayman and Phuket over the past year.
Im a certified PADI warm water wimp diver. No cold, no dark, no caves
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:04 PM   #74
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I'm the same way, Moemg. That's one reason I find the high-spenders interesting, at least the ones that are spending quite a bit per day or per trip.

I certainly enjoy luxury accommodations and comfortable airline seats as much as the next guy. But I value the other aspects of travel much more highly.

Even at 6'2", the thought of spending double for biz class seats for 10 hours of flight on a two week vacation doesn't compute. I'd probably be so comfortable on the flight back that my mind would surely wander to thoughts of the extra week DW and I could have stayed in paradise if I hand't blown so much on the airline tickets.

To each his own, I guess.

This was my lucky year
I was a 1 K on united and could fly Biz class to Thailand on upgrades.
Nice but not worth a lot of money
had lots of upgrades for domestic flights including Alaska .
Back to Gold for next year. Oh well
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:08 PM   #75
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One thing I am curious about from those who are posting relatively high numbers. Do you find that your LBYM instincts are suppressed when planning travel? I.e. you will do research and shop around for days to save $100 on an appliance purchase, but for whatever reason you do not choose to work as hard to find low fares or less expensive hotels?
I am well known in the family as the cheap travel expert. I hate spending more than $100 a night anywhere, even Paris.
I love upgrades but never paid for them.
Best travel deal we ever had were the bungalows in Kruger national park.
Last Mercedes Benz I rented was 36 dollars a day (May 2010)
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:12 PM   #76
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Last Mercedes Benz I rented was 36 dollars a day (May 2010)
I rented a PT Cruiser in Vegas last year for $2 a day. Plus another $12 a day in taxes.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:28 PM   #77
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One thing I am curious about from those who are posting relatively high numbers. Do you find that your LBYM instincts are suppressed when planning travel? I.e. you will do research and shop around for days to save $100 on an appliance purchase, but for whatever reason you do not choose to work as hard to find low fares or less expensive hotels?
1. Travel is a priority, so we are "allowed" to spend a lot if we want. We are already retired, so we are no longer saving.

2. It's not a matter of cheap fares, or less expensive hotels. Travel to the more exotic locations or tours we favor can be expensive. We are interested in the quality of the experience and are willing to pay more if we think the trip can be much better.

3. Regardless of item 2, it is still within our means, so we are still LYBM. LYBM does not restrict how much you spend on something. It just means you can afford it.

BTW, we are willing to pay more for appliances too, if the work better or last longer.

Audrey
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:30 AM   #78
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We don't base our travel choices purely on costs. We decide where we want to go and regardless of how much it is, that is the destination we head to. We are not interested in going somewhere just because it is on special or there is a good deal.

When it comes to airlines, well we stick to those that we can tolerate flying with. That is British Airways, Qantas, Hawaiian and Southwest for domestic. I have no interest in looking for the cheapest possible seat then bitching when they won't allow me to change my flight or complaining because I have to pay to check a bag or buy a drink. We also focus on schedules, knowing when we come back to the US what we have to endure at immigration, we choose our airports carefully, as some locations are a nightmare. Loyalty to airlines does count. We went to Hong Kong first class last Christmas on Cathay Pacific all on British Airways points. We will be going to Europe in 2012 in business class on BA points and credit card spend. If you are smart you can have a good standard of travel, if that is what floats your boat, and it is in our house. DH is a big guy 6'2" and 230 lbs, so he needs a lot of seat. I know you don't get there any faster in business but believe me, it is nice reclining in my seat, snuggling under a duvet after quaffing a few glasses of champers. Would I pay $15k for the pleasure, probably not, but then again if you play the game you don't have to.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:32 AM   #79
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BTW, we are willing to pay more for appliances too, if the work better or last longer.

Audrey
It's all about choices. I probably spend a lot more than most on groceries as well, but to me organics and good produce will give me a better return in the end via better health.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:54 AM   #80
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Just returned from Switzerland and Lake Como and average $350-$400/day including rental car.

We are ex airline employees so airfare is not an issue.
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