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Old 10-26-2014, 10:12 AM   #41
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OTOH my sister and BIL don't just travel extensively, to me, they travel excessively. JMHO. I'm genuinely happy for them but I don't know how they do it!
Do they do the frequent flyer hacks? Some of the points bloggers have pretty amazing travels for very little out of pocket cost.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:16 AM   #42
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We budget 15K, but will probably increase to 20K next year. We travel about 8 - 10 weeks. This year we will have done: 4 weeks in California, 1 week in Canada, 1 week at an expensive lake house with all the kids, and we leave Monday for a 3 week roadtrip. Generally we think of the budget as covering 1 expensive 2 week, and one less expensive 3 week, and the lake house with the kids. Last year we did Italy.

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.
I'm curious about your inertia comment, do you mean your family wanted to travel but didn't like the planning and effort it required, or did they just decide they were comfortable at home. If they had money and didn't travel maybe they just didn't want to.

This does involve budget, because I see this happening in our house right now.When we had the dairy herd, if you were home you worked every day morning and evening no exceptions. So in order to get any time at all we had to plan to be away from home. So we planned vacations to stay sane. Five years after the cattle are gone, we are finding we don't have the need to leave like we used to. We had many bucket list items that we couldn't do because we were locked into a 7-10 trip. Now that we have the time and money for the big trips, when we start talking about them we just don't pull the trigger like I thought we would. This is mutual, there isn't one of us that wants to go and one of that doesn't want to go. We finding if we can get a warm weather getaway for 2 or 3 weeks in the winter we are pretty content.

We never set a travel budget but have enough to do anything and just are not spending the money. We live rural of course and have daughters and very good friends settled in the MSP area, we can go and stay free with any of them any weekend and this seems to be the pattern emerging. If we stay with friends we always take them out for a nice meal or two, but that's a minor expense.

So I wonder what crystal ball people have to figure how much travel money they really need to have budgeted?
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:18 AM   #43
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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.
+1 Cruises are cheap ways to travel if you shop prices and travel off peak. Right now is the cheap season (roughly Sept through Feb). You can easily find week long cruises for under $1000 total including tax and tips for 2 departing from Florida.

We'll probably take a cruise every year or two.

Total travel budget is $5300/yr but I'll probably increase that if we spend less money on other things and/or the portfolio does well. That'll get us a budget trip overseas somewhere like Thailand or Latin America maybe every other year (with free/cheap plane tix from travel hacking). And we'll take cheaper vacations in between the big trips (beach, mountains, cruises, road trips, etc).
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:57 AM   #44
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We return home Nov. 6. I will add up exactly what we spent because it is either on Our Visa travel card or foreign atm withdrawals. We started in Vienna, went to Budapest and Prague, flew to Malta, and are now in Sicily. We finish with a cruise to Barcelona and then a flight home. My guess is 9K but It could be off by a little.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:04 AM   #45
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Do they do the frequent flyer hacks? Some of the points bloggers have pretty amazing travels for very little out of pocket cost.
I know she talks about using points for flights and upgrades. They also use a travel affiliated credit card for most things to accumulate points. As frequent cruisers they get some sort of preferential reservation options. Same thing for their timeshares. She stays up to date on all the perks available. While we were on vacation she was shopping for another cruise for 2015 or 2016.

Simple me, I was appreciating the vacation we were already on!

I kid about her extravagances and spending but she is very generous to everyone around her. It used to be because she needed the attention even when she couldn't afford it. Now it's just because she knows they have the assets to be generous.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:19 AM   #46
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What kind of insurance costs $3100 for 5-7 months?
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:15 PM   #47
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What kind of insurance costs $3100 for 5-7 months?
Travel insurance (i.e., medical emergency care/evacuation, trip interruption, etc.). Based on total trip value being insured, age of insured, and time of trip.
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Old 10-26-2014, 02:22 PM   #48
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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 10-27-2014, 03:46 AM   #49
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We've budgeted $20-30k for travel per year, but we travel A LOT. During the past year (from our current base in Manila) two 2-3 week trips to the Eastern US, two weeks skiing in Utah, a long weekend in Hong Kong, a long weekend in Taipei, two long weekends in Bangkok, a week in Myanmar, two long weekends in Singapore, and a couple of long weekends in Boracay.....
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:15 AM   #50
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My budget is $20K. I think it's a lot since we have never spent that much in a year but I want to budget such that we can do what we want rather than not. We spend 10 days in Italy in 2012 and it was ~4K IIRC including airfare. We went off season and shopped around to get nice hotels at great rates. I expect to do more of the same when retired. We don't need fancy accommodations just clean comfortable ones so we can usually get a reasonable price (relative of course some cities are more expensive than others)
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Old 10-27-2014, 12:04 PM   #51
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Although I don't budget, per se, I do use historical spending rates to come up with a "planning number", if need be.

I'll have probably have spent around $11K for travel in my first 12 month retirement span (February 2014 through January 2015). That includes 3 road trips, one 10 day cruise, and one trip across the pond to the UK.

The more I research cool stuff to do, travel wise, the more I realize that cruises on megaships are, by far, the cheapest way to go. I went on short cruises as a kid, and did extended family cruises every other year or so. And took my kids on cruises as they were growing up (also every other year or so). I've probably been on 30 cruises. Those kinds of cruises are ok for relaxing or partying, but not so good for immersion in another culture / slow travel, which is the luxury afforded to someone not counting the measly number of vacation days allotted by the megacorp.
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Old 10-27-2014, 12:21 PM   #52
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... Those kinds of cruises are ok for relaxing or partying, but not so good for immersion in another culture / slow travel, which is the luxury afforded to someone not counting the measly number of vacation days allotted by the megacorp.
I have been telling my wife that, but still have to take her on a cruise next to make up for the recent RV trek.

Even so, I don't think I can sweet talk her into going on an Alaska RV trek, which may last a summer.
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Old 10-27-2014, 12:42 PM   #53
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Travel budget? I don't need no stinkin' travel budget. I travel as much as I can drag DW out of the house. I realize it will be harder to travel as we age so spending now isn't a long term fixed budget item. We'll probably spend around $18k this year but that includes a nominal $12k trip to Italy/Sicily. The other trips were all within the US. I'd like to increase our traveling and wouldn't worry about the spending levels unless they started to get above $40-50k/yr.
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:53 PM   #54
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The more I research cool stuff to do, travel wise, the more I realize that cruises on megaships are, by far, the cheapest way to go. I went on short cruises as a kid, and did extended family cruises every other year or so. And took my kids on cruises as they were growing up (also every other year or so). I've probably been on 30 cruises. Those kinds of cruises are ok for relaxing or partying, but not so good for immersion in another culture / slow travel, which is the luxury afforded to someone not counting the measly number of vacation days allotted by the megacorp.
So, I've given this a lot of thought as well, and after taking some 13+ cruises ranging from 7 - 14 days, I'm no longer convinced this is the case. I think cruising works well for ports you can do on your own, but not so well if you need to add on the cost of a land tour. I'm also increasingly of the opinion that in ER, sea days are a waste of my money. Post-ER, the sea days were almost necessary in order to shed stress from w#rk, but now I find them annoying.

I know, ironic!

What I suspect is going to occur going forward, is any cruise we book will need to be very port intensive, ideally with at least one overnight option. I also see an increasing number of river cruises in our future.
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:03 PM   #55
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Looking at our daily trip cost for 27 days in the UK, it was not that much more then a nice US trip. Per day airfare costs naturally decline as one takes more days at the destination. Seems to argue for more leisurely overseas travel.

I was looking at a Rick Steves Greece tour and it seems to run about 2x per day over what we would pay for DIY travel.

Opinions on this?
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:03 PM   #56
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+1 on cruises no longer as desirable for a retiree.

When I was working, a cruise was a welcome respite, a chance to relax. But now, I am already relaxing at home, and if I want to be in nature I can go up to my 2nd home at 7,000 ft.

So, my definition of travel is no longer sitting on a lounge chair on a ship. I want to see different places and people. I want to go on a hike.

RV'ing works, but perhaps it's time for me to get that smaller class B. And I may be able to take it to Europe later for extensive traveling, as I thought about doing a few years ago.
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Old 10-27-2014, 05:06 PM   #57
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I guess I'm the odd person out or sour grape on this issue. I can't honestly recall any time I've spent money on "travel", if travel is used in the vacation / recreational sense. We've just never had the desire. Maybe a few hour day trip in the past, but thats about it.

Yes, I've been all over the US and many times abroad, but that has always been on Mega/Midi/Mini Corp or Uncle Sam's nickle. I don't know what the reward would be doing it on my own. Sure, there's alot of things I'd like to see (Roman ruins, battlefields, architecture) but I can just look at a picture or watch a video. If I spent some of the sums mentioned here I'd be on a vacation alright, a medical vacation!

I guess its just a lifetime of non-stop work and LBYM, thats why I am at FI today and hopefully RE in the near future. I have had many friends over the years who have always taken the yearly cruise/week overseas and so forth, and they will be working until they drop. "The Millionaire Next Door" rings true for me in retrospect.

Maybe my outlook will change once RE'd. My hat's off to all of you who can travel.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:07 PM   #58
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Beldar, that's the best things about having such a wide range of folks on the forum. There are others that feel like you do, but they just don't post on a thread about travel budgets, lol.
Ask W2R about it...she traveled a million miles as a kid and teen with her family and is very happy to be enjoying life at home. And I say cheers to that and it just means the tent camping in Kazakhstan won't ever get crowded, which is all the better for me!



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Old 10-27-2014, 07:11 PM   #59
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One thing about travel is that if you wait too long, the desire goes away, and you will be OK too.

W2R talked about a trip to see the mall and museums in Washington DC, but never did it, and now she didn't care anymore.

The same thing with me about spending a summer in Alaska. The window for me to do that will pass in a few years. I've got to make plan for 2015, or it will never be. I would just be an armchair rocking chair traveler watching the tube.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:44 PM   #60
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We expect about 10K per year. I just retired. We like to see the whole USA and drive around a lot. I also have photography as a hobby, which will work real well.
We stay at cheap motels and bring grocery food with us. We only eat one big meal a day, and eat the continental breakfast at the motels.
We use the car and truck we have and hope to drive them to 100K miles.
I have a senior's pass at the federal parks, and free for life.
We like to go to places where we can hike or walk a lot. For lunch we pack peanut butter sandwiches and fruits like apple or pear. We eat a good meal at night, usually in a barbecue place or sea food or sushi.
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