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Old 10-25-2014, 04:12 PM   #21
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I watched my family slowly give into inertia and stop traveling as they aged. It made me very sad that they had plenty of money and did nothing. So we are front loading our travel as we recognize this just happens to most people. I think once we downsize we will increase to 30K. My DH loves this house though, it will be tough to get him out of here.
What I envision happening as we age is that we will turn to 'softer' forms of travel, such as luxury cruising, luxury guided touring, and Road Scholar. I imagine we may travel less often (we travel about half the year currently), but each trip will be more expensive, resulting, I would think, in about the same overall spend.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:16 PM   #22
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About 10K. However, travel is not a big thing for me, a little more for DW. We lived overseas twice and got to travel then. We have crisscrossed the US several times. Normally stateside travel is to see kids. We cruise a couple of times a year, as Galveston is only a couple hrs. away.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:17 PM   #23
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What I envision happening as we age is that we will turn to 'softer' forms of travel, such as luxury cruising, luxury guided touring, and Road Scholar. I imagine we may travel less often (we travel about half the year currently), but each trip will be more expensive, resulting, I would imagine, in about the same overall spend.
I would love this. We have some friends that are about 15 years older than us (early 70s) and this is what they do. Really one huge trip per year - always a cruise now, but they visit the cities on both ends and really stretch it out. Then they do local stuff. They love doing it this way.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:20 PM   #24
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We are travelling. Never know how many years we will have the health and the desire to do independent trips. First trip was seven months. Now we do two a year. Currently just finishing 7 weeks in Europe with short cruise. Have another 8-12 weeks scheduled in SE Asia for Jan-March. We do everything from 2 star to 5 star but always look for value and getting the most from our currency. Mostly 3 star or good B&Bs.

We each have fairly long bucket lists. We considered buying a winter vacation home however ther are too many places that we want to travel to during the cold months to stay put in one place. Besides, there are tax consequences for us in some jurisdictions.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:28 PM   #25
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I don't have a travel budget, but this year (retired July 2) I estimate I will spend about $5000.00 for 3 mid-Atlantic trips by car.
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:30 PM   #26
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We are travelling. Never know how many years we will have the health and the desire to do independent trips. First trip was seven months. Now we do two a year. Currently just finishing 7 weeks in Europe with short cruise. Have another 8-12 weeks scheduled in SE Asia for Jan-March. We do everything from 2 star to 5 star but always look for value and getting the most from our currency. Mostly 3 star or good B&Bs.

We each have fairly long bucket lists. We considered buying a winter vacation home however ther are too many places that we want to travel to during the cold months to stay put in one place. Besides, there are tax consequences for us in some jurisdictions.
So what do you budget for all of this? We would travel most of the year if we could - come home to see the kids and for holidays, maybe the fall here.
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:31 PM   #27
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We don't have a set amount for one international trip annually. It depends on how well the market has done. Last year we spent about $22K for a 4 week trip to Nepal and Bhutan (spending several days in Bangkok on the tail end). That included business class air, private guides and drivers and nicer hotels.

This year, instead of an international trip, we spent two weeks in Alaska in Feb, and two weeks in Alaska in Aug (one week was on a cruise). Total cost was about $10K.

We are planning a 3 week trip to Europe in 2015: estimated cost probably $10K to $12K (part of the trip is a Rick Steves tour).

Being retired, it is nice to have enough time that we are not rushed. Travel is the only reason we take distributions from the retirement accounts. Our regular income from pensions and SS cover our living expenses comfortably. So if/when there is a bear market, we'll limit travel to domestic destinations. We are thinking of buying a small travel trailer for just that reason....


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Old 10-25-2014, 05:32 PM   #28
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This is a second marriage for us - one of the things that didn't work for both of us with our first marriages was being married to people who did not like to travel. We both had that on the list of must haves for a second marriage.
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Old 10-25-2014, 07:36 PM   #29
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I spent $6k this year on two week long vacations (London & NYC.) That number should really be at least $7k because I used my miles to go to London for only $500. Airfare to Europe does seem to be staying up around $1,500 for the non-winter months. I stayed near the city center for both trips, but nothing fancy.

I plan to continue to take one overseas trip and to visit a major US city every year until I retire. One reason is because I know that I can afford to make the trips while working, but also to learn how much I need to budget for travel when I retire. And yes, that could very well mean that I will work longer to fund my future travel plans.

If I had to plug a number in now, I think I'd put down $7,500. But, I could easily see that figure growing. This is all for a single person.
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:44 PM   #30
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Thanks everyone. This has given me some very good info. We started in TX and now in Charleston, SC having gone through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. I am recording costs for future planning. I will probably go to the archives for intnl travel. 10-15k seems to be the consensus.
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Travel budget for FIRE
Old 10-25-2014, 09:04 PM   #31
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Travel budget for FIRE

Hello from Charleston! Hope you are enjoying our nice cool weather!
Reading through these posts it occurs to me that standards of travel must go up a lot as you get older. Something for me to keep in mind, I guess, as we are nowhere near these cost for lodging and travel on the trips we take now (while I'm still working).


Oh and PS: holler via PM if you have any questions about my hometown or need help with anything. Glad to have y'all visiting!
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:38 PM   #32
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When DH retires in January 2015 we plan to have $10,000 as a start up travel fund and then add $500 per month to it. We also plan to do a "retirement trip" wherever he wants to go. He says we will just take our travel trailer South then East then North. Could be a month, 3 months...who knows. He has saved up mega vacation time for this and will get a nice "farewell" check when he does retire. So excited to finally be able to do some of the things we have been planning for a long time. Although, we have done to several very nice vacations on a budget. I am queen of cheap and so is he. We spent 7 days in Hawaii 2 years ago and only spent around $1,300. He had a free ticket and I bought mine. We had a lovely suite overlooking the water. We do use priceline (or use air miles if we have enough) to bid on hotels etc. Stayed in the Hilton in Boston about (3) years ago for $49 per night. Awesome deal!
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:18 PM   #33
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When DH retires in January 2015 we plan to have $10,000 as a start up travel fund and then add $500 per month to it. We also plan to do a "retirement trip" wherever he wants to go. He says we will just take our travel trailer South then East then North. Could be a month, 3 months...who knows. He has saved up mega vacation time for this and will get a nice "farewell" check when he does retire. So excited to finally be able to do some of the things we have been planning for a long time. Although, we have done to several very nice vacations on a budget. I am queen of cheap and so is he. We spent 7 days in Hawaii 2 years ago and only spent around $1,300. He had a free ticket and I bought mine. We had a lovely suite overlooking the water. We do use priceline (or use air miles if we have enough) to bid on hotels etc. Stayed in the Hilton in Boston about (3) years ago for $49 per night. Awesome deal!
Just retired from the AF so I am taking three month vacation before I go back to the MegaCorp job. 3 weeks in SoCal, 4 days Seattle and a tour through the Smokey mountains to Sarah's beautiful hometown of Charleston and back to TX visiting friends and relatives along the way…….hey if you can get quality on the cheap why wouldn't you.
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Old 10-25-2014, 11:07 PM   #34
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This year we decided to do all domestic trips. Costs were around $12k total:
1) $325/day: Utah Canyonlands in May. We flew to Las Vegas but concluded we should have driven from California.
2) $335/day: Yosemite to San Diego (+Padres baseball with DS) to Monterey
3) $240/day: Ashland Oregon -> Portland -> Cannon Beach -> Lassen Natl Park
4) $210/day: Mammoth Lakes and vicinity including Yosemite High Sierras east end

Sounds like high daily costs but that is for all expenses. We generally eat at mid-level restaurants. We tend to stay in nicer Best Westerns or equivalents which can easily be $150/night.

What I like about US trips is I can speak the language, I feel in control instead of feeling like a bumbling foreigner, and I relax more. Plus in general we don't get sick like we do on international flights. Driving lets us take things like our art materials and not worry so much about getting it all right at the start.

My favorite non-US trip was just going to Paris for 2 weeks and staying at just one hotel as a base. Beats moving around every few days.
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:56 AM   #35
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We do not really budget for travel. We have a monthly after tax number that we are working with. We look at the annual number not the monthly number. For the past three years we have been on budget. This year we may need to increase it by five percent. Do not care if we go over, even though we have not, just want to understand the spend.

We are careful when we travel. We often do shoulder seasons, look for special offers, and pay attention to currency. We did several cruises that were in USD as well as trips to the US when our dollar is strong. Now that our currency is weakening vis a vis the USA we will not do as many USD activities. Waiting a year to go to South Africa saved us over ten percent just because of the currency. This winter we will go to Thailand and Malaysia. Nice and warm, we love Thailand, and our travel dollar goes a long way.
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:32 AM   #36
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I wonder what my sister and BIL's travel budget is....

Just for 2014 they have been on 2 cruises (Panama Canal and Bermuda) and have a 3rd one planned for late November to the southern Caribbean.
You should ask them.
I have friends who live in Florida (where so many cruise ships dock). They go on cruises all the time (at least 3-4 every year), but they are so experienced at finding bargains that they have a rule against taking a cruise costing more than $100/day. Hard to beat that, since lodging and meals are included.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:20 AM   #37
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You should ask them.
I'm afraid I'd gasp or let slip a four letter word when I realize that their annual travel budget is more than our yearly living expenses.

Actually, I don't think they sit down and make a plan before they decide to travel or do anything else. There is no budget in their world, there is just plenty.

Her situation is that her DH retired last November and they both realize that even in their lifetimes they could not spend it all. Her DH was in this position before she married him and she was divorced and bankrupt. He was widowed for about 8 years and had very little joy in his life. She has helped him find a lot of happiness in life. They've been married 16 years.

For how wealthy he was he has always been fairly frugal and looks for value in his purchases (one reason why he had wealth). When she was younger she felt that better bling gets you noticed by a better class of people, but she has mellowed a lot and now treasures experiences and family more than a constant flow of new stuff.

My sister and I are so opposite in so many ways. We have learned to appreciate our differences (introvert/extrovert) and we get along very well as sisters. We have taken 3 trips together, just the 2 of us. The trip to Hilton Head was the first time we have vacationed as 2 couples and we all got along just fine.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:32 AM   #38
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You should ask them.
I have friends who live in Florida (where so many cruise ships dock). They go on cruises all the time (at least 3-4 every year), but they are so experienced at finding bargains that they have a rule against taking a cruise costing more than $100/day. Hard to beat that, since lodging and meals are included.
I know for a fact I would have spent less on an ordinary big ship bargain cruise than I have spent on some recent car trips spending anywhere from $100-$250 a night just on lodging. The only cruises that interest me are small ship, educationally-oriented and they are quite costly. I might also consider one of the better river cruises.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:45 AM   #39
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We currently spend about $10,000 per year for travel/vacation.

During retirement we plan to have no home so travel budget will be about $75,000.


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Old 10-26-2014, 10:01 AM   #40
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I realize I'm probably an outlier in that I since I semi-ER'ed in April 2013 I've spent a full 5-7 months a year traveling, usually about 90% international, 10% domestic.

Domestic portion is usually dirt cheap (i.e., camping, staying with friends, etc.).

My international travel includes a few very different styles. The traveling I do on my own is pretty expensive because of far-flung destinations (e.g., Africa, Central Asia, Asia, etc.), even when traveling 2 star.

I also accompany my elderly mother on many lengthy international cruises per year, which as someone else mentioned, can actually be very cost effective (and is the only way she wants to travel now at age 86). But they can also be interesting as we tend to go to fairly exotic/distance places as well (e.g., segments of world cruises).

For all of 2014 (still one trip leaving in November), my travel costs will amount to about $30,000. Note that this includes about $1600 in visa costs, $4600 in airfare (not even counting one free international and one free domestic FF award ticket!), and $3100 in travel insurance costs. (i.e., almost 1/3 of the total is not tied to how luxuriously one travels). For my independent travel (i.e., going it alone), there is additional cost b/c of traveling as a single (which all singles should be aware of in calculating budgets). For the family cruises, I can share the cost of a double room, so that lowers the daily cost. This $30K is out of a total $80K spending including taxes.

For 2015, I plan to spend about the same amount -- maybe a little less because one of my international trips will be a few months in South America where I used to live so can stay with people much of the time and lower my lodging costs. Still, I'm sure I'll spend a lot.

I haven't been anxious about this level of expenditure I think because I've been doing a little consulting work since I left full-time employment, and the extra income psychologically helps me to feel okay about such 'splurging' -- but honestly FIRECalc and all the other analysis says I'd be okay even without that income, so I'd probably do it regardless..

Anyway, obviously travel is a big ER priority for me, much more than most people, so I wouldn't expect that others would necessarily budget this much. I do expect to keep this level of travel spending for several more years at least. I especially want to visit all the physically more challenging places sooner rather than later, since I won't want to be lugging that backpack around forever I'm sure......(I'm 59 yo now.).
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