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Old 10-28-2014, 12:17 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
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.
Keep in mind everyone here has slotted travel according to their own specific priorities. For us, it's at the top of our ER list and we have budgeted accordingly. For other's, it's far from the top, and that would also be reflected in their particular spend rate.

EDIT: Sorry, hit the wrong button . . .

Anyhow, in addition, everyone's spend reflect their particular preference for how, when and where to travel. Camping is very inexpensive, taking a tour or cruise is more expensive. Flying vs driving. Hotel vs motel vs RV vs staying with friends/family. Etc.

There is a good thread here on trip costs for specific type of trips you might want to take a look at: How much was your last trip & where did you go?
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:21 PM   #82
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Like some others, travel will be a main focus of ER, especially in the earlier years. Although I have 12 years to go to get there, I am budgeting $25K a year for the first 10 years, then $15K for the 5 years after that, then $10K for the rest.

Although we do travel quite a bit now, it is likely that the safaris, Australia and NZ, and most of Asia will have to wait until we retire. My DH's job doesnt really support him taking more than 2 weeks off, and I want to go to the far-flung places for a month or more!

And, budgeting this amount will give us flexibility. I could see us getting an RV for a while and traveling around the country, as we do like to camp (currently, we use a tent, but when we are in our 50s, that might not be as attractive an option).
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:36 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
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.
We really don't have a travel budget, or a list of places we "must" see; we pretty much go when a specific opportunity comes up and we pay whatever it mught cost. Sometimes they are pretty cheap. Like others have mentioned here, we want to do things while we physically can--we are mid sixties already and life is short, and we still like to travel.

Also, our routine household expenses and income tax are less than we anticipated, which increased our discretionary funds. Maybe you will find this true too.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:37 PM   #84
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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.
I think most of the budgets posted in this thread have been for a couple, sometimes with kid(s). Keep that in mind if you are budgeting only for yourself.

While some expenses are higher for solo travelers, my overall travel costs tend to be less when I am traveling solo. So, since I do enjoy solo travel, these budgets do not frighten me quite so much.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:13 PM   #85
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Thanks, CoolChange, Bestwifeever and RetiredAndFree. That's helpful perspective and makes me feel a bit better about my travel number. Thought it might also be helpful to look at this in terms of what percentage of an ER budget is allocated to travel, so launched a poll:

Poll: Travel is what % of your ER budget?
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:29 PM   #86
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We are budgeting 30K with the understanding that it is subject to being the thing first cut if other budget items are coming in high.
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:42 PM   #87
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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.
Our choice would be to spend some days in Bath because there is a lot to see there and it is a relaxing environment too. Windsor Castle is really a full day's excursion which is easy to do by train from London. This assumes one cannot get enough of all those artifacts and museums.

I guess one size does not fit all.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:09 PM   #88
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I plan to spend about $25k on travel next year. This will include 2 weeks in Hawaii, 2 months backpacking in Europe and perhaps an extended camping trip on the west coast of the US. I intend to make travel a priority and it will be the highest expense line in my 2015 budget.

Also, keep in mind that when one is traveling, especially for an extended period of time, their "at home" expenses should be reduced. Less spent on groceries, electricity, dining out near home, etc. One can also put gym memberships and cable on hold while away. So make sure to account for this "travel dividend".


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Old 10-28-2014, 04:13 PM   #89
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Yes it's true a coach tour would not give you enough time at some of the venues. They are kind of rushing your through, especially if the venues are far apart for the same trip.

They allotted like 30 minutes at Stonehenge and it probably took longer to get there. But honestly, there was not much to see there beyond the structures. They have a museum, where you can read the info and so forth but I wasn't really feeling it. Now I heard they're going to build a new visitors center which presumably will raise the cost of entry and try to render some more entertainment value to justify the higher price.

This was a week trip to London so it was convenient to fit this day trip in one day. But you're right, Bath looked like a nice town to spend a couple of days in, if you could combine it with some other attractions nearby.

For a longer trip in the UK though, I would probably want to combine it with going to some place like Scotland. The Amazing Race this season stopped at the Shetland Islands. Looked like a spectacular place, if you visited when there was some sunshine.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:14 PM   #90
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Backpack in Europe? Most ER members are probably too old for hostels?
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:26 PM   #91
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Backpack in Europe? Most ER members are probably too old for hostels?
Not all of us: A few years ago I did six weeks in Europe, probably half my nights were in hostels; and, I was the oldest person there only about 50% of the time. I have had similar experiences in Central America.

Not only can this be a tremendous cost savings for a solo traveler, it can also be a good way to socialize and get pointers on the next places you might want to see, next thing to do, etc.

Note: In some locations, a basic hotel room can be had for approximately the same price as a hostel bed.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:34 PM   #92
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A lot of hostels can't even guarantee you storage during the day, so you have to carry around your belongings when you're out during the day.

At least that was the case when I check a long time ago.


You can find B&Bs with shared bathrooms and save some money. I like saving money but I'll pay for private bathrooms and some minimal amount of amenities. I mostly sleep in the hotel and maybe spend an hour or two before and after sleeping so I don't need anything luxurious.

But not going to go for barebones either.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:39 PM   #93
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One issue that has not been discussed is safety. A woman traveling alone will usually avoid dodgy places which a solo male or a couple might consider. If I can't stay in places where I feel safe, I'm staying home.
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:04 PM   #94
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$20k until age 75 and then $10k after that (married couple). Figure we will slow down by then as our parents are about that age and have started slowing down.

As others have said, this will be the first place to cut if need be.
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:17 PM   #95
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$20k for us, plus a separate five figure fund to be used in our first 10 years for longer trips. Due in part to a dog, the next five years or so will be mostly RV travel in the usa and Canada, but we probably will do a few longer international trips after he is gone.


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Old 10-28-2014, 05:31 PM   #96
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Hostels can be great, but in areas with few tourist accommodations, the local hotels are pretty much cost equivalent, with the added bonus of only sleeping in a room with the snorer you came with!
I do love the luxury of a private bathroom, though!
I think hostels can be very safe for female travelers as well, since many times they are divided by gender. And in Peru, we found hostels with single rooms available, though always with the shared bath.
And nice to meet and get to know other travelers, which rarely happens in typical hotels.


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Old 10-28-2014, 05:43 PM   #97
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Backpack in Europe? Most ER members are probably too old for hostels?
I am too old for backpacking and hostels. Plus I have never done it in my life.

But I don't think I will be too old for RV'ing through Europe a couple more years from now. Same as RV'ing in the US and Canada, I will linger more in small towns and villages a little more away from the usual tourist spots, which I will still visit if I have not been there.
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:59 PM   #98
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I understand why people would want to RV but in small European towns, that RV is going to be a big albatross to drive through, around many places, much less to park.

A lot of the charm is staying in these towns with buildings dating to medieval period, not just to day trip to them.
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:06 PM   #99
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I would not bring my current motorhome over. When in Rome...

I would either buy and ship over a smaller class B, or rent one when I am there, like the smaller unit in this photo.

PS. But when the time comes to do an extended stay, I might change my mind and do a road trip with just a car. RV rental is not cheap, either in the US or Europe.


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Old 10-28-2014, 06:21 PM   #100
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Well you would save money on lodgings but you can probably only park them in RV parks or camping facilities, which are usually outside of these towns, many of which still have medieval walls.

It's difficult to even park the subcompacts like the Fiat 500 in these towns or even medium sized cities. Costly, parking garages which are maybe 6.5 feet high with each space barely big enough to squeeze into, with one side unable to open the doors fully.

I've mostly seen RVs though away from the big cities, so like south of France or more towards the Italian Alps in Italy. In those cases, you're mainly visiting national parks, to do hiking and biking, not so much visiting medieval towns, so you don't have to worry about parking close to one.
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