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Old 09-11-2014, 12:33 PM   #21
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Just a small point: When in Europe, public transport (trains, buses, trams) are usually all the transportation we need. Far cheaper than renting a car, and no worries about finding a place to park it.
+1

Unless one is visiting the 'Country Towns of Europe' a car is an expensive headache.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:42 PM   #22
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How much did you spend on your last trip and where did you go?....
We had a big trip for us last winter. We were away six weeks with roughly two weeks in each of California, Hawaii and Texas. Visited Palm Springs, Carlsbad, Kona, Waikiki, Austin (I have sisters there) and Port Aransas. About $12,500 for the whole thing, a tad over $2k a week, but.. we stayed with relatives in Austin and didn't have a car in Kona and for half of our week in Waikiki.

Still, I think we did well. We got some good deals on airfare, car rentals and hotels except for Hawaii, which was outrageous.

Probably the longest and most expensive trip we have taken, but some great memories.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:53 PM   #23
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Took my 8 year old son on a "No Girls Allowed Extreme Road Trip" last month. Flew to Ft. Lauderdale, drove down and stayed in the Keys, and then drove back up to Miami/Boca and stayed a few more nights for a total of one week:

Airfare: $488
Rental Car: $190
Hotels: $675
2 ea. split fishing charters: $475
1 ea. Snorkeling adventure: $210
Meals: $205
Parking/Gas/Tolls: $270

Total: $2,513

Offset: $854 in Southwest Airlines travel vouchers in exchange for giving up seats and taking next flight back to Austin.

Net cost: $1,659


Our next planned trip is to Disney World for 15 nights/16 days in November. On-site resort with free dining, park tickets, and airfare for the three of us: $5,310
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:58 PM   #24
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15 days in Italy. 7 nights on River Cruise in and around Venice, 2 nights in Florence, 5 nights in Rome....$16k. Two round trip business class tickets...$10k. A splurge trip but worth every penny!
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:58 PM   #25
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Travel With My Frugal College Friend

Last Sept. 2013, my old travel buddy and I took our self-guided/self-planned trip to France, with a lot of help from Rick Steves. (Everything he recommended worked! The small hotels, specific restaurants, which sites to see on which days, etc.) We ate at a restaurant usually only once a day, at dinner. Breakfast was a fresh croissant from a local boulangerie, plus coffee from Starbucks or a café au lait.

Most days we were in Paris, but also saw several chateaux in the Loire Valley. Had a wonderful day trip to the Normandy D-Day beaches.

Her trip was longer than mine, as she had started with 3 wks. in Provence. However, I was happy to see that my 20-day trip only cost $4,600, including airfare, souvenirs, everything.

Now we're looking forward to planning another trip!

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Old 09-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #26
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Road trip up the east coast of the US and then spent most of the time in Canada. $1,316 for 17 days for our family of 5 (using some free hotel nights and travel redemptions from a credit card).

Restaurant Meals $19/day - lots of take out; a few restaurant meals
Groceries $12/day - we cooked a lot at home
Gas 2,300 miles @ $0.135/mile
Parking ~$10/day when we paid for parking
Tolls $92
Transit we rarely took transit $36
Four Points by Sheraton (Philly) 4 nights, 16,000 SPG points
NYC Hotel 2 nts, incl. $50 off coupon @ Expedia 192
AirBnB Apartment - Montreal $471
AirBnB Apartment - Quebec City 2 nights (cancelled last 6 nights and received full refund for entire stay) 0
Barclay Arrival Plus Card bonus -$500 redemption on the Airbnb stay
Entertainment/Admission Fees so much awesome stuff was free $49
Souvenirs no thanks; our house is full already $0
Miscellaneous Laundry $6
TOTAL TRIP BUDGET 17 days at $77/day - $1,316

We are leaving for a week long cruise to Mexico, Honduras, and Belize tomorrow. $1,660 for two cabins including all the mandatory tips for the four of us (leaving the 2 year old with grandma). I figure another $300 for parking, gas for the 800 mile drive from Raleigh NC to Miami, and a couple meals on the way there and back, and maybe a little spending money in the ports for bus fare, museum admission or a taxi. Otherwise we don't expect to spend anything on the ship (if past cruises have been any indicator). Hotel for quick overnight in Jacksonville is free using 2,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points. Total vacation budget for 9 days, 8 nights = a hair under $2,000. We might stop in Jacksonville on the way back if we find something fun to do in Miami after we disembark or between Miami and Jacksonville.

We have $5,300 in our early retirement budget for travel, and I don't think we'll do any more big trips this year. We did have to renew 3 passports this year so that's another few hundred dollars out of the travel bucket.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:13 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Just a small point: When in Europe, public transport (trains, buses, trams) are usually all the transportation we need. Far cheaper than renting a car, and no worries about finding a place to park it.
In general I agree. But not entirely. When we were exploring tuscany - and staying at a fabulous agriturismo in the countryside outside of Greve - we absolutely needed a car. But for our city and larger towns part of the trip we could get by with buses, trains, ferries, etc.

We're specifically avoiding a car on our big trip next summer. But if we decide we want to explore the countryside outside one of the towns we're staying in - we can always rent one for the day.

But if you want to do an "under the Tuscan Sun" or "Stealing Beauty" type vacation - you probably want a car.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:19 PM   #28
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Absolutely!

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If the weather is good I will often picnic if time permits. I choose cheaper hotels that are not far from the center of town, but usually within a 15 minutes max subway or bus ride in. (Good public transportation is a must to do that.)

My rule of thumb is that prices for things like lunch, coffee even souvenirs drop 10% for every 10 minutes one walks away from the prime tourist areas, up to about a 40% reduction if one gets a bit lucky.
I avoid the souvenir shops and, instead, shop local places where the natives go. So, before leaving Paris, I found a nearby Uniprix (I think that was the name) which seemed like a Kohls/supermarket combo. I bought beautiful French soaps, chocolates, scarves (ie. cool local items to take home) for about 1/4 their prices in souvenir shops.

My friend and I found the makings for fabulous picnics by shopping the open air markets. On the Rue Mouffetard (Left Bank), the breads, cheeses, pastries, "charcuterie," and produce were delicious, fresh and economical.

In Tours, there was a similar market near the train station.

(Plus, "picnics" can often be eaten on the run, or on the train.........so more time is available to see the sites.)

For us, the cheapest fun is just being there......!

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Old 09-11-2014, 01:22 PM   #29
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Just a small point: When in Europe, public transport (trains, buses, trams) are usually all the transportation we need. Far cheaper than renting a car, and no worries about finding a place to park it.
This does not apply in Ireland. Without a car you will miss 90% of the good stuff. Earlier this year I rented a Kia Sportage diesel for 2 weeks in Ireland for $250. I had coupons and my own insurance and GPS.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:31 PM   #30
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Last month I did a 10-day driving vacation to Virginia (lived in Hampton for 3 years over 30 years ago) and spent around $2800.00 (hotels, gas, tolls, food, admissions). My big splurge was a $250.00 a night oceanfront condo in Virginia Beach for 3 nights but it was great in that it had a terrific kitchen. I bought freshly picked lump crab daily and ate it twice a day out on the balcony. Most other places I stayed averaged $150.00 a night but came with a varied and filling breakfast and so I usually just picked up a Subway sandwich and had it in my room with some fruit for dinner.
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:32 PM   #31
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January, 2014 - 10 day Costa Rica trip via Caravan tour company cost about $2500 per person, $5000 for me and DW.

June, 2014 - 8 day Alsakan cruise via NCL cost about $2000, $4000 for me and DW. This figure is not very accurate b/c we didn't track all the incidentals very closely. There were too many of us, and DW handled all the money transaction for group incidentals.

1 to 2 day trips which don't required travel by air ranged from a few hundreds dollars (nearby national parks) to about $1500 (golf trip). I do that about 4 - 6 times a year.

Once I RE, I hope to do more travel which requires less money, e.g, camping.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:16 PM   #32
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DW and I just got back from a 5 day circle Lake Michigan driving tour

5 nights hotel $508.33
Food $305.29
Gas $181.36
Activities, souvenirs $359.19
Total $1354.17
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:23 PM   #33
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5 nights in Corvallis, Oregon last month. My husband's band played in an outdoor concert, and we decided to make a vacation out of it:
5 nights-400 (great and cheap VRBO place in Philomath)
gas-222
food and booze and souvenirs/activities-388.70 (includes the food we brought up)
Total: 1,010.70
We hit the farmer's market pretty hard, but limited eating out to three times.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:48 PM   #34
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Our most recent major trip was a big splurge and we may not do another this expensive although it was absolutely worth it.

Small-ship cruise in SE Alaska on the Wilderness Discoverer from Ketchikan to Juneau: $7K with tips and extras (but extras- alcohol and a snorkeling trip- were only $130). Probably another $2K in airfares and hotels on land, since we started in Sitka and spent a couple of days there, plus some food in Sitka and on either end in Seattle. Oh, yeah- add $200 for day passes in the airline clubs in both directions! We had a 7-hour layover in Denver outbound and a 2-hour in Houston on the way home, but on the way home we'd gotten up for a 6:30 AM flight out of SEA, we both had colds and wanted peace and quiet. We overnighted in Seattle in both directions but had special promotional certificates from my company's Wellness program that got us into the Marriott for $60/night. We'd actually done this 2 years before and liked it so much we went back.

Last year, at the other extreme, we managed to spend a week in Paris for about $1K out of pocket, using airline miles and hotel points. We tend to pick up most of our meals in grocery stores when we travel with the occasional sit-down restaurant meal. We enjoy relaxing in the room at the end of the day. It wasn't a deliberate attempt to be frugal- that would put a real damper on traveling, It's just how we are.

Our next major trip is likely to be Scotland, including the Orkneys- also a repeat of places we've been before and loved. Airfare, if we're lucky, will be on airline miles between here and Edinburgh. We may have to pay for one fare in Business Class and redeem miles for the other. Cash-back bonuses from credit cards will help defray that- we've got almost $1K accumulated. So, the cost should be something in between the last 2 trips.
We did the Wilderness Discoverer in June 2013, with a week in the interior and back country Kantishna, did the glass dome train. around $13K.

In February we did the Un-Cruise Hawaii Islands on Safari Explorer extra couple of days on the Big island $11K.

We have already booked the Galapagos Islands, with Un-Cruise with Machu Picchu, and we are budgeting $30K for a 3 week trip.

I knew I took SS at 62 for some reason.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:16 PM   #35
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This is a really helpful thread. Though actual costs will depend a lot on individual preferences, there is much detail in here to help plan. Thank you all.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:55 PM   #36
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My last trip was a week in Venice with the young wife in April.

$2192 Round-trip JFK to Venice, with one stop in London (coach)
$ 132 Airport parking JFK
$2700 Hotel in Venice (6 nights)
$2200 Meals, museum admissions, transportation, etc. while in Venice ~

$7324 TOTAL ~
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:20 PM   #37
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Last spring we went on a two week european river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Excellent trip!

$11,664 - Total for 14 day Rhine/Main/Danube Cruise

$10,023 - Cruise Including Airfare
$254 - Delta Econo Plus upgrades
$115 - Airport Parking
$280 - ATM Euro Cash
$115 - Dinner in Vienna
$717 - Cruise Tips & Various Other Extras
$160 - Pet Boarding

Yes, we keep a spreadsheet with the details for tracking expenses.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:34 PM   #38
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I forgot the pet sitting. It wouldn't seem that it's worth $25 per day to stop by my house once per day, fill up the cats' food and water bowls and empty their litter box, but that's the going rate around here.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:33 PM   #39
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I forgot the pet sitting. It wouldn't seem that it's worth $25 per day to stop by my house once per day, fill up the cats' food and water bowls and empty their litter box, but that's the going rate around here.
Yeah, I forgot it too. We give our lady 15 dollars a day in our small town. She comes twice a day and feeds wet food, and waters plants. Also, gives our cat a pill twice a day. We feel very fortunate that she's there for us. She has access to the garden for fresh vegetables, and sometimes we leave wine for her to take. Maybe we need to give her a raise!
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:56 PM   #40
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Interesting (and educational) to see the different styles and methods of traveling.

We did a two month trip last spring - a week in Hawaii visiting family and staying in a VRBO rental with a car rental. Then seven weeks in New Zealand, where we rented campervan for most of the trip. A few hotel days at the beginning and end of the trip in Christchurch and Auckland. Toured most of the country, camping in the van all along the way. Hiking, mountain biking and a kayaking trip. Most meals were from the grocery store and consumed in the camper sitting in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Flight was from the US west coast. Around $12,700 for the trip.
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