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How much was your last trip & where did you go?
Old 09-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #1
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How much was your last trip & where did you go?

Just curious for you FIRE'd veterans who like to travel as I'm trying to anticipate and account for trips when my DW and I join you all.

How much did you spend on your last trip and where did you go?

I would be content to take several short 4 day jaunts from our homebase in any given year - lots to see in my neck of the woods of the USA.

But my wife would like to do some globe trotting - so I see a mix of future trips.

I figure a 4 day jaunt all told with hotel, nice meals, gas, daily expenses for entrance fees, souvenirs, coffee mugs, etc would be about $2K

Whereas a 7 day overseas trip would be closer to $6-$7K (we prefer not to stay at hostels, snatch stale croissants off of outside cafe tables, or walk 5 miles from the hotel to the site we want to see)

Would you care to share some 'actuals' from your trip expenses?

Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:05 AM   #2
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You seem to be spending quite a bit more that I would think necessary. Some people like to pamper themselves when traveling and if that is the way one wishes to spend one's money that's fine with me. But, there are options between swiping half eaten croissants from the cafe table and eating at the finer restaurants in town.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:12 AM   #3
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Here's what I estimated for a 4day/5night driving trip
$160 Per Night Hotel (or B&B)
$100 Per Day meals: lunches & dinners (breakfast is incl in the hotel cost)
$100 Misc Per Day: entrance fees, nick-knacks, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc
$360 Per Day
4 Nights
5 Days
$1,540 Total
$50 Gas per fill up
5 Fill ups for a driving trip
$250 Total Gas
$1,790 Per 4day Mini Vacation

And for an overseas 6night/7day trip
$240 Per Night Hotel (or B&B)
$120 Per Day meals
$120 Misc/Day: entrance fees, nick-knacks, souvenirs, etc
$480 Per Day
6 Nights
7 Days
$3,000 Total for Room, Food, and Daily expenses
$100 per day rental car
6 Days
$600 Total for Rental Car
$50 Gas per fill up
3 Fill ups during trip
$150 Total Gas
$2,400 Airfare for 2 round trip
$6,150 Total Vacation Amount

Does that seem over the top or about in the ball park?
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:17 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:22 AM   #5
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Couldn't resist...

Trip to our camp on the lake... 26 miles $8 gas for the car, round trip. No other extras.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ-Nut View Post
Here's what I estimated for a 4day/5night driving trip
$160 Per Night Hotel (or B&B)
$100 Per Day meals: lunches & dinners (breakfast is incl in the hotel cost)
$100 Misc Per Day: entrance fees, nick-knacks, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc
$360 Per Day
4 Nights
5 Days
$1,540 Total
$50 Gas per fill up
5 Fill ups for a driving trip
$250 Total Gas
$1,790 Per 4day Mini Vacation

And for an overseas 6night/7day trip
$240 Per Night Hotel (or B&B)
$120 Per Day meals
$120 Misc/Day: entrance fees, nick-knacks, souvenirs, etc
$480 Per Day
6 Days
7 Days
$3,000 Total for Room, Food, and Daily expenses
$100 per day rental car
6 Days
$600 Total for Rental Car
$50 Gas per fill up
3 Fill ups during trip
$150 Total Gas
$2,400 Airfare for 2 round trip
$6,150 Total Vacation Amount

Does that seem over the top or about in the ball park?
While you could certainly do it for less, I think those numbers are reasonable. You could also go luxury and spend quite a bit more but, again, your estimates seem reasonable for a comfortable trip.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:24 AM   #7
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We did our "dream trip" two years ago and spent $12,604. Took Amtrak in a private room out to Oregon from the Midwest- worth every penny! We spent one week in Oregon and Washington state. We then flew to Alaska and spent two weeks before flying home. Stayed at a mix of really nice hotels, and little cabins with cooking facilities. Ate at some little cafes and some really nice restaurants.

We are currently planning a trip to the east coast next fall- Boston thru Maine. Will fly out and then take Amtrak back. Planning about 2 weeks and $10,000

I should add that in the 36 years we have been married, we literally can count on one hand the out of state vacations we have taken to this point, and those were not as extravagant.

We always figured we would wait until retired, and then take the time to enjoy!
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:25 AM   #8
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We did a trip to Sequoia a few weeks ago. 3 nights in park lodging ($$$), 800 miles total driving, meals. I had done the math and purchased the "free breakfast" option for the lodging - with teen/pre-teen boys this totally paid for itself big time.

All in it was about $900. That includes gas, lodging, souvenirs, fast food and starbucks for the drives too/from, meals in the park, activities (Crystal Cave), etc. That was for a family of 4.

We have a MAJOR trip planned for next year... 8-9 weeks in Europe. Budget is set for $25k for a family of 4. Biggest expense is airfare, next biggest single expense is rail passes. We're budgeting 1000Euro/week for vacation rental apartments on average. It should be doable and we'll be travelling in style (except for coach airfare.). We're making some compromises - only 5 days in London since it's the priciest lodging... Some of our cities were selected in part to make the rail passes work.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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BBQ - I am not yet retired, but a big reason we want to ER is to travel. I am budgeting $25K a year for the first 10 years.

I doubt we'll hit it every year, but my DH wants to travel on his motorcycle around the world (with me flying around meeting him at various locations -I don't do motorcycles); and I want to go to the Galapagos, go on a safari, and spend a month in NZ/Australia

We generally travel frugally, but I know some bigger trips will be on our horizon once we have the time!
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BTravlin View Post
While you could certainly do it for less, I think those numbers are reasonable. You could also go luxury and spend quite a bit more but, again, your estimates seem reasonable for a comfortable trip.
+1. And obviously you could spend less, but your numbers aren't unlike something we'd do for other than a staycation.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by kaudrey View Post
BBQ - I am not yet retired, but a big reason we want to ER is to travel. I am budgeting $25K a year for the first 10 years.

I doubt we'll hit it every year, but my DH wants to travel on his motorcycle around the world (with me flying around meeting him at various locations -I don't do motorcycles); and I want to go to the Galapagos, go on a safari, and spend a month in NZ/Australia

We generally travel frugally, but I know some bigger trips will be on our horizon once we have the time!
Wow - quite the budget! Good for you both for the planning and the grand sounding trips.

We would have to spread those types of trips out with years of simple staycations in between.

Now, if I hit the lottery - look for us on the road!
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:34 AM   #12
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I've done several self-guided trips to Europe in the last few years with DW. A two or three week trip with nice B&Bs or budget hotels typically runs $5,000 to $8,000 depending on whether we rent a car or not. This includes the airfare which is usually in the $2,000 to $2,500 range. We don't do hostels and eat at nice places for the most part. Once in a while we'll splurge on a fancier place.

Tours and river cruises are usually much more expensive. A two week cruise/tour can easily run $10,000 but are pretty posh.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:35 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kaudrey View Post
BBQ - I am not yet retired, but a big reason we want to ER is to travel. I am budgeting $25K a year for the first 10 years.

I doubt we'll hit it every year, but my DH wants to travel on his motorcycle around the world (with me flying around meeting him at various locations -I don't do motorcycles); and I want to go to the Galapagos, go on a safari, and spend a month in NZ/Australia

We generally travel frugally, but I know some bigger trips will be on our horizon once we have the time!
That's what I keep telling my wife. Except for the motorcycle part you could be my wife posting here too.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:44 AM   #15
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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.
It depends where you are going and what you plan to see. Public transportation is pretty ragged in Ireland unless you want to only go to the big cities. Many locations aren't served by public transportation at all and some beautiful place might only have a a bus come through every other day. Great Britain has great train service but it's pretty pricey if you don't buy advance tickets. There are many places worth seeing that you can't practically get to without a car. You just need to decide how much you want to see something and how much time you're will spend to use public transportation to get there.

I usually look over public transportation options for most places I go. It's always a good idea to lose your car at most large cities. Public transportation is almost always great and parking costs a fortune.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:58 AM   #16
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No airfare for my most recent travel, so came in pretty cheap $127 per person day on the cruise and $22 per person day on a family driving vacation. Both trips we stayed with relatives a lot. The numbers include pretty much every dime (pulled the numbers out of the tracking software).

For 2 people, 20 days in Florida (including an 11 day cruise): $5.1k. That included a few nights in roadside motels, but if we weren't on the ship, we were at my sister's, so saved some money there.

For 4 people, 15 days in the midwest and Canada, $1.3k. Again, some roadside motels, but mostly at my other sister's and 'camping out' on an airbed in my daughter's apartment.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:06 PM   #17
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Did some travel on the cheap this year...
Living in Playa del Carmen, MX

California in May; 3 weeks in LA and Yosemite
Flight - $800
Car - friend insisted to use their's as they were out of town
Insurance - $100
Housing - again friends
4 nights in Yosemite - $500 (shared cabin)
Food for May - $900 (we like to eat, includes restaurants)
Gas - $342
Total - $2,642


Dallas, TX in June; 2 weeks & DW stopped off in Tampa on the way back for a couple days
Flight - $700
Car - $150 - only 5 days
Insurance - $100
Housing - daughter
Food for May - $500
Gas - $187
Total - $1,637
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:20 PM   #18
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For 'Road Trips' we figure about $300 a day on travel days. We stay at HI Express and eat there for breakfast, small lunch, and dinner on the local economy where we stop. Most road trips include three to six nights with friends. While we save on hotel cost we normally pick up entertainment/meals so the number stays the same.

We take one cruise a year in the Jan-Mar time frame out of Galveston. We really don't care where it goes as it is just 7 days away from home in the winter. This runs us about $1,500. Nice thing about this is no air fare! Have a cruise scheduled out of NYC in a couple of weeks and that will be between $3,000 and $5,000! Air fare is one of the increased cost, that and it is a Flight School reunion, so who knows how big the booze bill may be!
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:21 PM   #19
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Most recent road trip: 3 days in Lower Mainland, BC, including White Rock, a Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler. Cost: $500.

Most recent overseas trip: a month in Europe, 6 countries, 7 flights, one river cruise, two weeks' car rental: $7000.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:24 PM   #20
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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.
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