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Old 09-18-2015, 03:53 PM   #21
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We have made the same comments to friends numerous times - next Spring we're on a 12 day repositioning cruise, oceanview cabin, St. Maarten-Barcelona for $349.50 US p.p. base fare & taxes....(gratuities not included).

(Of course, we do have to fly Toronto-St.Maarten one-way, and then Porto-Toronto one-way home...but, all in all......)
Where's the best place to find these re-positioning cruises?
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:58 PM   #22
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Where's the best place to find these re-positioning cruises?
We start with VTG, since they have fairly comprehensive listings, then check to see what Expedia and/or the individual cruise lines are charging.........this Spring's trip, and next Spring's (same ship) trip we ended up booking with VTG.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:00 PM   #23
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Where's the best place to find these re-positioning cruises?
Look on any cruise line website. Repositioning cruises aren't any different than any other cruise except for the fact you end up at a different port from where the cruise began. They usually are when there is a seasonal change, such as when ships are repositioned in the Spring from the Caribbean to Alaska or Europe. For example, you might find a ship in May that has been sailing the Caribean all Winter have a sailing from Miami to San Francisco. They're not necessarily any cheaper although they sometimes are.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:09 PM   #24
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We do somewhat. It's really just the groceries and discretionary expenses that we can offset. Most of our other costs are fixed (rent, insurance, phone, internet, etc). Still, it's awesome that a meal for a group of 20 in the Philippines costs the same as dinner for 10 in the US.
When we did our first long term (for us) trip outside the U.S. we put our cable and phone on vacation hold, so those expenses really dropped. Gas, electric, water etc were way down since we were away, no mortgage, so we did find our fixed costs drop quite a bit.

And I am with you on the awesomeness of what you can do on less part. We really enjoyed going out with friends to all of the movies, restaurants, live music, etc, for a small fraction of the cost it would take here.

I am thinking that if the next time we spend 4 or 5 months there, we will save enough to take some side trips to other countries in the area, or maybe another trip to Europe. And when you spend time like that it starts to be more like living there than visiting, which I like.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:17 PM   #25
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The way I look at our travel budget is how much we spend on travel related living expenses relative to what we spend at home.....Wonder if anybody else looks at it this way?

I do this too. When I have an upcoming trip, I mentally add the grocery-gas-entertainment-etc money for that time period to the vacation bucket. It works well for me.

I budget ~$3600 each year but usually spend about $2000. The $2000 is about 5% of after-tax spending. It's so low because the military is gracious enough to send me several places each year. This has been the best year yet. Virginia, Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey, and Germany!

In retirement (which is still a fair ways off) I'm estimating $6000/year, ~15% of my budget. Hoping to take advantage of free military air transport, maybe an RV, maybe some house sitting, etc.


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Old 09-18-2015, 04:54 PM   #26
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When we did our first long term (for us) trip outside the U.S. we put our cable and phone on vacation hold, so those expenses really dropped. Gas, electric, water etc were way down since we were away, no mortgage, so we did find our fixed costs drop quite a bit.
Seems quite practical for longer vacations. Not so much if you're just gone for 4-5 weeks. Our gas bill is $15-20 and water is included in the rent. Electricity is the one area where we do save but during winter, our electricity bill is pretty low anyway (summer in the Phils is just way too hot and humid for me). That said, I am considering living there part of the year when I retire for the lower COL. It's also one of my options for LTC.
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Old 09-18-2015, 05:54 PM   #27
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I budget about $2,400 per person per year for vacation/travel.
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:11 PM   #28
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I take 6 weeks of vacation every year. One long trip in summer. 20% to 30% of annual expense.
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:23 PM   #29
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Currently while working, travel budget is around $35K per year or a third of spending. When we retire, we have allocated $90K per year or 60% of our total budget after taxes.

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Old 09-18-2015, 06:40 PM   #30
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We budget $9,000 per year.
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:39 PM   #31
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$8,700 for Dining/entertainment/travel or 13.8% of my budget. DW handles her own finances, but I pay for all D/E/T. More than half of our travel is to our vacation condo. Condo fees are separate from our travel expenses. So our travel expenses don't include much lodging, but includes entertainment and dining even close to home.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:19 PM   #32
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$5,000 for travel and $15,000 for second home. If we didn't have the second home, I am sure travel budget would be higher. These are 25% of our budget.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:33 PM   #33
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We allow $10-$15K per year for travel/extras. This includes wintering in Florida Jan/Feb (5yrs now). Averages 25% of total annual expenses (retired, carry no debt, own home, so annual living expenses are relatively low). Have been ratcheting up the travel/extras amount over the years.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:37 PM   #34
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My "official" budget had $10k/year. We're a family of 4. We averaged far less than that in the years leading up to retirement... in part because we typically only did overseas trips every 3-4 years... But we always had nice vacations every year.

I put down "official" budget because this year was an exception - we did the trip of a lifetime 9 week tour of Europe. We tripled our official budget allotment, but I'd set aside money just for this trip. Next year we'll be back to our more typical vacation style of a few 2 week trips domestically and probably spend well under our $10k allotment.

In quicken - everything we spent on our big trip was tagged vacation - but there was also nothing tagged for that 9 weeks, in my normal categories: groceries, auto fuel, etc... So, mentally I knew we had some adjustments... and we're still under budget for the year.

Our biggest expense for the trip was the airfare for 4 people... staying longer helped amortize that expense.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:39 PM   #35
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Don't have set budget for it, but since retirement we're between $12,000 and $19,000 a year, between 16% and 25% of total spend. We've been traveling four or five months per year.
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:28 AM   #36
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About 11% of after tax spend is on travel. If you include travel to our vacation homes it would be about 13%. This includes just airfare, hotels, tour fees, rental cars and meals while away. Our living expenses while at our vacation homes not included. The first 2-3 years of retirement we spent 2-3 times more on travel but this was before we got our vacation homes. If you were to include all expenses of vacation homes the total travel would be about 25% of after tax spending.
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:33 AM   #37
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We discovered that we save 30% to 40% of our annual budget by snowbirding in Mexico for 6 months and that includes spending a month in Europe so we no longer specifically budget since I would not know what to include.

We just focus on minimizing all transactions costs and what will be will be.

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Old 09-19-2015, 05:58 AM   #38
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First year of retirement is next year. Current budget is $25k/year which is 13% of overall budget. That said, that category will be the first one reduced if we need to reduce expenses. The budget goes up by $15k at age 65 when the house is paid off - at that point I figure the extra budget will be for a winter snowbird set up to escape Minnesota in Jan/Feb.

I already have 2016/17 planned out for trips.
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:07 AM   #39
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For those that have been retired a while, do you find that your travel budget goes up or down in later Years? I haven't built it into our budget but can imagine that at some point it will be physically more challenging to travel abroad and or we have whittled down our bucket list.


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Old 09-19-2015, 06:54 AM   #40
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We're perpetual travelers, and just got home last Friday after 3 weeks in Scandinavia and Russia. I casually ran into my sister and her husband walking down the street in Warnermunde, Germany.

We don't really have a budget, but our trips usually are about $4K including everything. We just travel when incredible bargain trips are spotted online. If we don't find a bargain, we travel to Canada.

My wife only recently got computer literate. Bad move. She's already signed us up for an inexpensive Celebrity cruise from Rome to Greece/Turkey and back to Venice April, 2017. Fortunately, I've located round trip flights for $750 thru London.

We realistically believe we've only got 10 more years of travel left in us. We're seeing the world while we're capable of physically and mentally traveling.
Are these dates correct, I know cruises will schedule that far ahead, but thought that airlines only do booking about 12-14 months ahead, did you book thru the cruise line? Do you buy any trip insurance for these far out trips or simply eat the fees and non-refundable costs if you need to cancel or can't go on the trip?
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