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Old 10-27-2014, 07:52 PM   #61
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While working, we had done quite a bit of traveling by fly-and-drive, and had been to many US cities, and a few popular European destinations. My wife, traveling with friends, has been to some more exotic places like the Komodo island (to see that terrible lizard).

So now, RV'ing allows us to go outside of the cities, and have a different experience. We have been to places that are not common tourist destinations, not at all convenient for fly-and-drive, and not as well publicized. Nothing like Siberia or Kazakhstan of course, but places that we did not get to before. Our recent trek to the Canadian Maritimes was great, but perhaps I did not space it out properly and wore my wife down with the distance we traveled.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:01 PM   #62
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I find it interesting how travel seems to work increase my own interest and fun in various world events. It makes the world more real to me.

A few years ago while in Turkey I was walking along a path with a couple who were about 10 years older than I. They confirmed what I had believed already: It's easier to travel when you are younger, travel enriches one's life in so many ways, and you have the memories long after your traveling days are limited or over. And, it can be just plain fun.

I consider a 3 star hotel to be plenty fine for me. I have also roughed it in 2 star hotels from time to time. My #1 requirement is that the hotel be near what I want to see and do. After that if the bed is reasonably comfortable and the place has warm water, I am in car camper's heaven.

I buy food at grocery stores. Sometimes I watch to see where the local workers get lunch or dinner. That's usually cheap and good. One of my best meals was a grilled sausage with mustard and a piece of brown bread at a dumpy looking stand in Vienna. The place was surrounded by business people in suits happily eating their less than three euro lunch. Or those wonderful sandwiches sold at the entrance to the U-Bahn stations in Berlin, again just 3 euros.
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:38 AM   #63
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My travel budget for 2015 is $18K . Interesting talk about cruises....

We've never been on a cruise, so last night we booked a 7 day cruise out of Galveston for next August. Have to do it while school is out because of our 9 year old son, so of course everything is also much (much!) more expensive when school is out.

We also opted for an upper aft stateroom with a balcony. Cost is roughly $2800 and I know we won't be less than another $1K for parking, gratuities, drinks, etc.

I didn't get the "we got a great deal!" feeling on this one but since it's our first time we figured if we end up liking the experience we can devote much more time in the future to learning the secrets and finding the bargains.
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:52 AM   #64
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Based on our Quicken data for past trips I'm budgeting 12K for travel when I retire, but of course that is the most flexible part of our budget. That will either be a couple of big trips and a few little ones, or lots of little ones (those are easy being on the east coast).

One thing we haven't tried yet is a cruise... we would like to try one but have mixed feelings about them, as a couple of friends have had some real bad experiences ( including assaults) on them. We'll see.
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:12 AM   #65
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I'm budgeting 12K for travel when I retire, but of course that is the most flexible part of our budget. That will either be a couple of big trips and a few little ones, or lots of little ones
Same as what I have in our projected retirement budget.
Being located just 15 minutes south of Port Canaveral I can see us trying to stick in some quick/cheap cruises also (never been on a cruise yet).
We will have done most of our desired international travel by the time we retire in 2017, as we currently work/live overseas already, and will probably spend most travel time visiting all the great places in the USA!
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:09 AM   #66
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Tricky thing about travel budgets is that you often have to plan and in many cases pay months ahead.

So I've spent money on trips for 2015 and will probably spend more before the year is out.

Sometimes you can get better deals prepaying hotels for trips several months into the future. Also a good way to meet spending requirements for some credit card promotions for points or miles.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:15 AM   #67
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...
Sometimes you can get better deals prepaying hotels for trips several months into the future. ...
Is this something you negotiate or find advertised?
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:31 AM   #68
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Tricky thing about travel budgets is that you often have to plan and in many cases pay months ahead.

So I've spent money on trips for 2015 and will probably spend more before the year is out.
Good point/reminder. We fund our annual travel budget on Jan 1 of each year, and I would estimate about 70% goes to cover current year costs, and about 30% goes to future year costs. So, while year one of ER meant that only about 70% of our spend was for current year travel, going forward we were back to 100%. (30% outlay from prior year, plus 70% outlay in current year = 100%)

Another thing I do is to link my yearly budget worksheets in Excel so that I can reserve funds for a particular trip in, say two years, then see the impact on all the years preceding and following. One of the really fun things about doing so is that I can dream/plan big, and as long as the numbers show a positive or 0 net result at year end, I know I'm good to go.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:44 AM   #69
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No it's things like the rates you can't cancel. Also generally if you know you're making a trip on certain dates, you can book lower rates the more you book in advance.

I haven't tried to book the last minute specials though. You can't count on them and generally booking in advance gets you lower rates.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:56 AM   #70
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In our travel, we often see tour buses offloading geezers with white hair at museums and scenic spots. Everybody out. Lining up for admission. For eating. For the restrooms. Back on the bus in 1 hour.

I tell my wife I want to travel early and on my own, before the above becomes the only way I can do it.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:03 AM   #71
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In our travel, we often see tour buses offloading geezers with white hair at museums and scenic spots. Everybody out. Lining up for admission. For eating. For the restrooms. Back on the bus in 1 hour.

I tell my wife I want to travel early and on my own, before the above becomes the only way I can do it.
But you know, NW-Bound, I'm actually OK with doing the above at a certain point in my life if it's the only way I can continue to travel. I've been in love with travel since age 18, when I planned my first trip, and in looking at my still-traveling 80 year old father, suspect it will be a lifelong addiction.

In our 'younger' ER years, we're focusing on trips that allow for great physical output - hiking, biking, kayaking, backpacking, etc., understanding these may have a limited shelf life. If, at some point we have to downshift to accommodate aging bodies, I'm totally OK with that.

Still beats the heck out of sitting in front of a TV all day.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:06 AM   #72
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Agree. But I can't help thinking that some of the white-haired travelers have been saving, and at that point in life decide to splurge before it's too late.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:11 AM   #73
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Agree. But I can't help thinking that some of the white-haired travelers have been saving, and at that point in life decide to splurge before it's too late.
Aah, yes, in that case I can see the bittersweet aspect.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:25 AM   #74
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What has made us hesitate going back to Europe is the 2 hr drive to the airport, the 2 hr wait for checkin,security and the flight, and then the 11 hour flight (San Francisco to Heathrow). At least 15 hours and we don't sleep well on planes.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:52 AM   #75
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What has made us hesitate going back to Europe is the 2 hr drive to the airport, the 2 hr wait for checkin,security and the flight, and then the 11 hour flight (San Francisco to Heathrow). At least 15 hours and we don't sleep well on planes.

I can relate.... 4 hours in a plane is my max. Any longer and I am afraid I will go crazy and the next thing that would happen is me yelling "Don't taze me bro".


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Old 10-28-2014, 09:56 AM   #76
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Lufthansa used to have a nonstop flight Phoenix-Frankfurt. We made use of that a couple of times. Nice! And the plane was not full, so one time I could stretch out and laid across the 5 middle seats and slept very well, thank you. Sadly, they don't operate that route anymore for obvious reasons. Now, it would be 1 or 2 stops before we get to the Europe destination, then another hop perhaps.

And being 30 minutes from an international airport helps too. Not as nice as people on the east coast crossing the pond, but I cringed when thinking what we would have to do if we lived full-time in the boondocks.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:02 AM   #77
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The longest flights I have been on were non-stop LAX/Sydney and Atlanta/Tel Aviv (something like 15 or 16 hours). Both times were on business class, and it was so doggone nice, particularly as it did not come out of pocket. Leaned the seat way back and with footrest to near flat, slept most of the time, and woke up only for the 3 meals. NICE!

PS. "People who say money does not buy happiness do not know where to shop" - Anon.

PPS. One time, I flew from JFK/Heathrow on business class (did not pay for that either). Gee, the flight felt so short that I could do that a lot more often.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:40 AM   #78
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We have just been invited to join a native Japanese friend to go to Japan next year. Fortunately we have no travel budget so we can say hell yes we'll go.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:40 AM   #79
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I still take bus tours rather than DIY day trips using buses and trains sometimes.

For instance, in London, I took a coach that went to Bath, Stonehenge and Windsor in one afternoon last year.

To do it by trains would have required 2 or 3 different train lines in different directions so in some cases, would have to start out from London each time.

Alternative would be to rent a car but that would have been more expensive, though more flexible.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:05 PM   #80
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I have travel on my list of ER pursuits, but my budget number is much lower than the others I'm seeing here. I'm starting to wonder if it's realistic.
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