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Willing to share your travel budget?
Old 01-29-2016, 07:43 AM   #1
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Willing to share your travel budget?

Right now we budget about $20k a year for travel for family of 5. We'd like to travel a bit more in a couple of years once the kids are off to college. Some of the budget will need to cover back and forth to college but hopefully that is only maybe $5k/year depending where they go.

I love the stories people have shared about weeks overseas but trying to get a sense on how much we need to bump our budget to accommodate this.




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Old 01-29-2016, 08:00 AM   #2
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I lump travel and hobby spending together in my budget, so it isn't quite the same as others, but over the past nine years that category has averaged 17% of total spending. This percentage has been rising lately. Last year was 20%, this year is projected to be 27% (expensive travel) and the lowest year was 8%.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:01 AM   #3
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Our "nominal" travel budget is $8k for a family of 4. But we also have a separate fund for overseas trips every 3-4 years. This includes trips DH may take to see his mother (without the rest of us), and trips I take with my gal-pals.

Last year we did 9 weeks in Europe. Our stretch goal budget was $25k... didn't make it, actual spending was just over $30k all in. We're planning on an Asia trip in 2 years and targeting $20k.

This year we're doing a 3 week mid-Atlantic trip to visit family. Target is $5k all in.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:06 AM   #4
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$20,000. That is one big trip a year and 3 small trips. we have more time now that we are retired.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:34 AM   #5
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The budget line item for travel/vacation is $10,000/yr (family of 4). Some years we spend $2,000-5,000 (domestic). Other years $20,000-30,000 (overseas primarily to visit grandmother and other family in Philippines).
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:52 AM   #6
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We don't have a strict travel budget, instead watching the total expenditures, and adjusting a variety of expenses if needed to compensate for other over/under spending categories.

For the past four years, the time since ER'd, we've spent an average of just over $12,000 per year on travel. For us, the travel category is almost entirely RV travel in the U.S. We've been on the road several weeks to several months at a time for as much as six months (cumulative) per year. We do enjoy other trips from time to time but really like RVing. In the past four years nearly half of the travel expense has been for gasoline - we're looking forward to that expense ratio remaining down this year as it was last year.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:56 AM   #7
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$0 for me.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:06 AM   #8
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Share our travel budget? Heck, no - you can travel on your own dime!

Kidding aside, like nvestysly our travels are primarily via our RV. Other than last year when we went on an Alaskan cruise, we've spent $5-6,000/yr for an average of two months traveling in the RV. Our trips vary in length from a three day weekend up to three weeks on the road, usually to NM and CO in the late summer for some relief from the hot weather.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:11 AM   #9
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Last year it was $17,000. That included one trip to Iceland (we fly Business Class because it's not as hard on DH and I just like it anyway), two road trips to family weddings, another at Christmas to visit friends and relatives in 3 places in the Carolinas, a short stay at our favorite B&B 3 hours away, my trip to Ohio for a HS reunion (they brought some of the nuns back- I had to go!), and trips to Des Moines to visit DS, DDIL and our granddaughter. We also paid for DS and family to come with us to one of the weddings, so that included extra hotel rooms and renting an SUV big enough to include 3 across in the back row plus enough cargo space for baby stuff.


I hope we never have to cut that back, but it's good to know where all the money goes just in case. (And the trips to Des Moines are non-negotiable!).
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:45 PM   #10
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We (two of us) do not have a travel budget. We live in Canada. We do have a target household budget that has provision for travel. We usually travel 4-6 months a year. Longest trip was seven months. Other than driving somewhere for a few days most of our trip are 2-3 months.

Last fall we did a week or so in Ontario, five weeks in Greece/Greek Islands, and a weekend in Paris on the way home. Our door to door costs, inclusive of air, were $8300. CAD. Prior to that we did 3 1/2 winter months in Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, NZ.

Just came back from an AI in Cancun but we were attending a destination wedding. We leave in two weeks for eight weeks in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We will keep track of our door to door cost.

We are careful travellers who focus on value. We are just as happy in a great B&B as we are in a five star...often happier. We match our bucket lists with the best travel offers available...tempered by currency exchange. Right now we are avoiding any US or cruise ship travel that is priced in USD because our exchange is poor. A few years ago we delayed a trip to South Africa by a year and saved 10-15 percent simply because of currency variations.
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:55 PM   #11
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No budget. We just monitor total spending on a monthly and annual basis.


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Old 01-29-2016, 07:27 PM   #12
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I think about $40k per year, Hawaii alone cost us $15k-20k every year for 4. I'm think this amount will go down in year 5, post retirement.


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Old 01-29-2016, 08:40 PM   #13
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My hopeful retirement "travel" budget is 10K for winters somewhere warmer than Upstate NY, most likely in the SE USA. DW and I have been to Europe, Costa Rica, Australia, Tahiti, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, while we were working. Our current feeling is we've done enough world travel, so if we can get away someplace warmish to break up the winter, we'll be good.
I may get to sneak away with my fishing buds once every few years. We went to Costa Rica last year. DW doesn't really do well with travel, so she's cool with me getting my kicks with the boys.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:44 PM   #14
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In 2015 I spent about $30,000. For 2016 I've budgeted $27,000.

Travel is the biggest line item in my budget. More travel was one of the main reasons I retired early.


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Old 01-29-2016, 09:52 PM   #15
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Since the young wife and I are still working, we are limited more by time than money. Every year, we take a one week trip to Italy in the Spring and rent a house in Maine for two weeks in the Summer. We budget $10,000 a year toward these vacations. I expect our travel spending to go up substantially once we retire.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
We don't have a strict travel budget, instead watching the total expenditures, and adjusting a variety of expenses if needed to compensate for other over/under spending categories.
Unfortunately, this isn't an option for us given the expensive overseas trips. We're already on a tight budget and can't just pull $10-20K from other categories (retirement savings is pretty much the only area with plenty of leeway). Hence, overseas trips have to be budgeted and saved for 2-4 years in advance. And it's not really so much travel as they are family reunions.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:15 PM   #17
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My budget is $6K for family of 4....

We have been under that once in 8 years... I think the max spend is around $20K....


I just tell DW we will run out of money and have nothing when we are old... she tells me to go back to w*rk!! She does not understand budgets
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:51 PM   #18
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My travel budget is $10K (Canadian) for one person, which is about 20% of my lifestyle budget. In my first year of ER, I budgeted $8K, which was not enough. Last year I underspent my budget. This year I am planning an expensive overseas trip so I expect to spend up to the budget. Like Brett, I am avoiding new expenditures in US$ due to the woeful exchange rate.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
We don't have a strict travel budget, instead watching the total expenditures, and adjusting a variety of expenses if needed to compensate for other over/under spending categories.
Same here.

We have a unique situation. We have 3 of our daughters and 3 grand-kids living in Hawaii, one son in San Diego and another stationed in Germany who is currently deployed to Florida. When we go on trips to Oahu, we pay almost nothing, even for the occasional first class like this last Christmas. One of my daughters works for Hawaiian Airline and our only expense for the flight is the taxes for the ticket. We stay with any one of our families in either Honolulu, Kailua or Ewa and occasionally stay at a hotel when we want to get away and we almost always have a car that they let us drive around. Last year, we probably traveled at least 12 times to Hawaii (sometimes just to see the grand-kids for the weekend).

We visit our older son in San Diego and that's only a couple of hours drive from L.A. I'm here visiting with my other son here in Tampa, and the three of us are planning a trip to Europe this April to see Italy, France and Germany for possibly 3 weeks. That trip will cost me no more than a ticket from NY to Germany.

In the last couple of years, we have traveled to more places, including Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Arizona, Oregon, etc than at any other time in our life. If we can do this for the next 10 years while we are relatively healthy, I'm living beyond my retirement expectation and for very little money.

For now, we will spend around 2k-3k/year travelling around to our favorite places and loving it. Don't need to dip into 403B just yet.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:33 AM   #20
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No real budget either. Right now spending three months in NZ, turns out I'm averaging 105 EUR per day. Excluding flight from Europe. Probably will drop to 50 EUR in the last 4 weeks as I plan to stay in one location for longer.

Asia would be less. I've traveled for less than 1000 USD a month, which basically is less than my normal expenses at home. Go figure .. Highest amount is 6k for a 14 day cruise in the Arctic.

Travel is basically my splurge category. Surplus income or windfalls mean I can move around more if I want too.

Single, no kids.
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