Author Topic: How much do you spend on travel?  (Read 23381 times)

Metta

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How much do you spend on travel?
« on: January 04, 2015, 07:34:09 AM »
A friend of ours is planning a trip to Europe for three (him, wife, child) and told us that right now in his planning it looked to cost more $20,000, a number I found staggering.

One of the problems I'm having in estimating our post-retirement costs is travel. We generally spend around $2500 - $4000 a year spread across a number of trips. After retirement we expect to do less career-related travel (conferences, etc.) and less travel for family (because we will move closer to Colorado). But I expect that there will still be some race-related travel and some travel just for fun and education. But I don't know how much to estimate in our yearly budget.

How much do you spend on travel, if you travel?
Do you travel overseas? How much do you spend on that?

Zamboni

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 07:46:44 AM »
Last year I spent very little on travel since we only camped, but the previous two years I spent about $3500 each year.  Mostly that was airfare to visit family across the country and hotels for sports-related travel.  I'm not counting work-related travel as that's not coming out of my till.

This year and next I am planning to travel for leisure quite a bit because I'll soon have the SW airlines companion pass and I have tons of time off.  Officially I've put $300/month on the paper as my budget for this, but I don't care if it works out to more.  $20000 for one trip is hard for me to imagine unless it is for months, but I don't really enjoy luxury accommodations so it's just not my bag.

Villanelle

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 08:06:42 AM »
I won't post an estimate for 2014's travel because I'd be run off. It was less than $20,000 though!  And that including an 11 day Baltic (read: expensive!!) cruise, 12 days in Scotland, 8 other trips (3-4 days each) and DH and I are living in Europe for a very short time, and we are determined to make the most of it.  We are sparing no expense as far as how many trips and where we go, though within each trip we try to be fairly frugal.  We know that due to his job, once we leave here there will be little to no opportunity to do any travel for ~3 years.

Our standard trip is 4 days and usually about $600-$750, which includes airfare, hotel/apartment, various museum and site admissions, and food.  We usually try to each fairly cheaply other than sometimes one nice meal. 

I don't know if this qualifies as "overseas" since it is generally within Europe, which is home for us. 

lhamo

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 08:48:54 AM »
We are a family of four who makes two transpacific trips a year to see my family in the US, plus several trips within China every year to see DH's family.  Our travel/vacation spending budget is typically between 12-18k/year, with most of that being flights.  Transpacific fares in the summer are typically $1500-2000/person, and in the winter around $1000/flight, so it adds up quickly. 

In 2014 we spent about $16,250 on travel/vacation.  In 2013 we spent over $24k -- that included a once in a lifetime family cruise to Alaska that my mom had always wanted to do.  Goal for 2015 is to keep it to $14400 -- we may actually travel more, but I hope to use some of our frequent flyer miles this year.




takeahike

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2015, 08:50:26 AM »
We travel so much and don't really track the expense of it. It's generally the bulk of our credit card expense each month (but it is paid off monthly). We live in Canada, and my husband can't seem to go a few weeks before he's dreaming of golfing in the sunshine. He makes a lot of money, but I still feel that we are spending way too much on travelling. I'm trying to find us fall and winter hobbies that will take his mind off of travelling so much.

Don't get me wrong.. I love the travelling... but I'm getting a little burned out from it. He always says to me when I'm looking over finances to not even tell him how much was trip money. He just doesn't want to know. He's more of the mindset of slow and steady wins the race and likes the idea of doing a lot of the travelling before retirement. He supports my desire to stop bleeding money by reading sites like this.. and we do a lot of frugal things when we travel, i.e. on a 3-week trip to thailand, most of our accommodations were $40/night lovely b&bs. We also are big fans of airbnb. We never do all-inclusive, and have no problem taking public transportation. However, because we do it so much, it adds up. I'm guessing we spend $20k a year.

The most expensive trip we have done was to Italy last Fall for 3 weeks. It cost us about 5K, and that's because we were on the move so much trying to see everything, and had to spend so much on trains and planes and eating out.  I don't know what in the heck your friend is spending his money on, but that kind of money could fund about 6-8 trips for us.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 08:56:42 AM by Loren »

TerriM

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2015, 08:54:01 AM »
Depends on the person.  We have friends who can drive to both sets of parents house, and have very little travel budget.

We fly for Christmas and the cost is $3500 minimum.  Any other family trips end up being more if we need a hotel, rental car, and to fly.   I suspect we spend $6-8K/yr on average doing travel. :(

$20K for Europe is unfortunately reasonable for a family with kids.  We took a trip a while back, and I think it came out to $16K.  Stopped in two different countries, 2 weeks total.

My parents said they did 16 days in Hawaii for $9K, and were told it was cheap by a friend who is a travel agent.

All these numbers include airfare.

mm1970

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2015, 09:04:48 AM »
I would guess a fair bit of that is airfare.  And how long is the trip?  I have friends who took 2 weeks to go to Europe, easily spent $10k, and that was 7 years ago at least.

Our budget is along the lines of $4-6k a year, though we don't specifically budget for it.

This year, that was:
One weekend camping (gas, food)
3 nights / 2 days at Disneyland for four (with a suite): $1200-1400
4 nights Carlsbad/ Legoland/ Los Angeles: $1200
2 nights camping nearby: $150

Next year it will be 4 tickets to visit family on the East Coast, plus rental car.  Generally that's $2000-2500 in airfare, but my husband probably has enough  miles now to get 2 free tickets.  The only cost may be hotels - we haven't decided if we are going to travel a bit more to see friends in that time.  So that's $2500.

March/ Spring break will probably be: $50 camping (already paid 2 nights), gas, 2-3 nights in Palm Springs ($300-450, plus food).

We are saved these years by having a toddler and it's a PITA to travel with him, but we did travel more with our first.

We are going to save up for a week in Hawaii on our 20th anniversary in 2016.  That will probably be $6k, easily, depending on airfare.

mm1970

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2015, 09:09:27 AM »
Depends on the person.  We have friends who can drive to both sets of parents house, and have very little travel budget.

We fly for Christmas and the cost is $3500 minimum.  Any other family trips end up being more if we need a hotel, rental car, and to fly.   I suspect we spend $6-8K/yr on average doing travel. :(

$20K for Europe is unfortunately reasonable for a family with kids.  We took a trip a while back, and I think it came out to $16K.  Stopped in two different countries, 2 weeks total.

My parents said they did 16 days in Hawaii for $9K, and were told it was cheap by a friend who is a travel agent.

All these numbers include airfare.

We last traveled to Hawaii when our older son was around 4 or 5 (not in kinder yet).  It was $3800 for week, flying from West Coast.  That's 3 plane tickets, week in a nice resort, rental car.  That did not include food (which is expensive!) but did include breakfast daily (we loaded up).  We generally had lunch out and dinner in our hotel room (oh, what you can do with an electric kettle!)

I looked into going back when I was pregnant with #2 and it was $5000 all because airfare had gone up by $400 a ticket.  We didn't go.

takeahike

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2015, 09:11:16 AM »
Depends on the person.  We have friends who can drive to both sets of parents house, and have very little travel budget.

We fly for Christmas and the cost is $3500 minimum.  Any other family trips end up being more if we need a hotel, rental car, and to fly.   I suspect we spend $6-8K/yr on average doing travel. :(

$20K for Europe is unfortunately reasonable for a family with kids.  We took a trip a while back, and I think it came out to $16K.  Stopped in two different countries, 2 weeks total.

My parents said they did 16 days in Hawaii for $9K, and were told it was cheap by a friend who is a travel agent.

All these numbers include airfare.

If that's what people are spending on one trip, no wonder people look at us like we have 3 heads when we say we're going on another trip. Maybe we aren't doing so bad. We are going to Hawaii in the spring, and staying in a condo, not a hotel. Hotels will eat up your money. 90% of the time our accommodations have a kitchenette.. we eat like locals wherever we go.. and try to experience places like locals.  This will really stretch your dollar. Hawaii is expensive, but the last time we went there we used a budget car rental that had +5yr old cars that were anything but luxurious, did a lot of free stuff, hiking, biking, snorkeling.. and ate out once a day. We buy groceries and wine.. and don't waste money on souvenirs. 

We never use a travel agent and book and plan every aspect of our trips. 

Monkey Uncle

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 09:14:01 AM »
My God, you people spend a shitload on travel.  Now I don't feel so bad about my ridiculous grocery bill. ;)

In 2014, we spent about $200 on hotels, maybe a couple or three hundred on gas, and probably about the same on food while we were traveling.  So probably less than $1,000 total.  This was all spent on mid-range trips to see family.

Our last real vacation was to the Everglades in 2012, which really broke the bank for us (about $8,000 for airfare, lodging, car rental, food, fishing trip, and kayaking).  That was the first vacation we had taken in about 10 years, and it likely will be the last one we take for a while.  Although we'd love to travel more, it's always been tough to justify on a modest one-earner income. 

NinetyFour

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2015, 09:39:29 AM »
I spent a total of about $1000 on traveling in 2014.  A bit was spent on camping (fairly close to home) and rest was spent on additional hotel stays tacked on to work trips.

I do want to do more traveling, but will wait until after FIRE to do it.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 11:30:32 AM by NinetyFour »

JLee

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 09:42:01 AM »
My gf and I spent 6 days in Baja last month. I haven't added up the fuel costs, but probably around $400. The rest of the trip cost about $150 (food and campsites are cheap in Mexico), so say roughly $500-600/week for two people.

We're going to Peru for two weeks in May, which will be more expensive - estimating $2500-3k per person for flight, airfare, Inca trail hike, Amazon tour, etc.

JoJo

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2015, 09:56:56 AM »
Travel is my biggest budget item, usually spending about $5,000 per year but I usually get alot for my money (travel independently when possible, stay in hostels, eat street food, public transportation, do lots of research).  Usually airfare & visas are my budget killer.

$20,000 does sound crazy but some people would rather stay in the $500 per night Hilton instead of the $100 per night locally owned pension. 

I did recently have a year where $10,000 was spent but that was a 12 week trip thru nepal, tibet, and central asia.  Of the $10K, nearly $2K was airfare and $1K for visas so $7K for 12 weeks isn't too crazy as it included some big ticket items ($100 to visit the potola palace , bungy & canyoning in Nepal, hammam in Uzbekistan, etc).


Returnoftheyeti

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2015, 10:26:21 AM »
Mint shows that we spent $18000 on travel last year.
That includes airfare, hotels, campsites, rental cars, etc, but not food and restruants while out.

8 days in China, 3x last minute trips to Houston for family emergencies. A week in Disney World Florida,  a weekend in Palm Springs, a weekend in Vegas, 4 camping trips, and a weekend in Reno.

About $8800 in airfare, and about $7700 in hotels

 http://my.flightmemory.com/TheYetI
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 10:39:29 AM by Returnoftheyeti »

Kaminoge

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2015, 10:39:26 AM »
My God, you people spend a shitload on travel.  Now I don't feel so bad about my ridiculous grocery bill. ;)

Yep, "a shitload". No idea exactly how much but I'd estimate that in 2014 it was around $8000 (just for me). But don't get the idea that I'm traveling in some sort of luxury, I just travel a LOT. So last year included

1. Italy (2 weeks over Christmas so only the last few days were actually in 2014) staying in AirBnB half the time and with friends half the time.

2. Wales for 10 days (had to go for work so the flights were free, then traveled for 10 days staying in AirBnB - car rental did drive the cost up).

3. USA for 2 months (traveled around the west coast spending roughly equal amounts of time tent camping/with friends/family/cheap hotels). This trip included a few really expensive treats like sky diving.

4. Greece for a weekend with family (stayed in a cheap hotel, rented a car but my parents paid for that).

5. Berlin for a long weekend (stayed in AirBnB but western europe still isn't cheap).

6. Bucharest for a long weekend (work paid)

7. USA for Christmas (stayed with the boyfriends family but flights at Christmas aren't cheap).

Oh and you can add some domestic travel too including a couple of ski weekends (I live in Bulgaria so it's not as expensive as in many other places but it still adds up).

I've posted about this before. For me travel really is worth the money. I do things mostly as cheap as possible but then pick and choose experiences that I think are worth it (like the sky diving). I've built my lifestyle around travel and I never go into debt for it... I'm happy with the way the numbers are.

mm1970

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2015, 10:42:32 AM »
Depends on the person.  We have friends who can drive to both sets of parents house, and have very little travel budget.

We fly for Christmas and the cost is $3500 minimum.  Any other family trips end up being more if we need a hotel, rental car, and to fly.   I suspect we spend $6-8K/yr on average doing travel. :(

$20K for Europe is unfortunately reasonable for a family with kids.  We took a trip a while back, and I think it came out to $16K.  Stopped in two different countries, 2 weeks total.

My parents said they did 16 days in Hawaii for $9K, and were told it was cheap by a friend who is a travel agent.

All these numbers include airfare.

If that's what people are spending on one trip, no wonder people look at us like we have 3 heads when we say we're going on another trip. Maybe we aren't doing so bad. We are going to Hawaii in the spring, and staying in a condo, not a hotel. Hotels will eat up your money. 90% of the time our accommodations have a kitchenette.. we eat like locals wherever we go.. and try to experience places like locals.  This will really stretch your dollar. Hawaii is expensive, but the last time we went there we used a budget car rental that had +5yr old cars that were anything but luxurious, did a lot of free stuff, hiking, biking, snorkeling.. and ate out once a day. We buy groceries and wine.. and don't waste money on souvenirs. 

We never use a travel agent and book and plan every aspect of our trips.
The first 4 times we went to Hawaii we booked this way, staying at condos.  The fifth time, we went Costco travel route, with the resort.  It was more expensive, but I admit there was more to do in the hotel than at the condo.  More pool options, water slide - it was meaningful for the age of our child at the time.  I really enjoy being able to cook, but with kids of a certain age, it's a tossup with the additional activities.

mm1970

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2015, 10:44:27 AM »
My God, you people spend a shitload on travel.  Now I don't feel so bad about my ridiculous grocery bill. ;)

In 2014, we spent about $200 on hotels, maybe a couple or three hundred on gas, and probably about the same on food while we were traveling.  So probably less than $1,000 total.  This was all spent on mid-range trips to see family.

Our last real vacation was to the Everglades in 2012, which really broke the bank for us (about $8,000 for airfare, lodging, car rental, food, fishing trip, and kayaking).  That was the first vacation we had taken in about 10 years, and it likely will be the last one we take for a while.  Although we'd love to travel more, it's always been tough to justify on a modest one-earner income.
I was going to ask where you live/ vacation where you can travel so cheaply, but then I saw West Virginia.

Hotels in the west are expensive.

limeandpepper

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2015, 10:55:18 AM »
I don't think any of the answers here are really going to be much help for you estimating your own travel budget - because everyone is different and travel differently.

On a typical year where I'm working full-time, I might go on 1 - 2 interstate trips and spend anything from a few hundred to maybe about a thousand, or I might go on an overseas trip and spend around $1500 - $2000.

Last year was an anomaly for me because I actually spent 5.5 months outside of Australia in total (Nepal, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan). I could probably gather all my expenditures to give the most accurate figure, but a lazy guesstimate is that I spent about $7500 AUD (or $6070 USD) for all of that, inclusive of everything (flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, accommodation, food, activities, miscellaneous). 

Above costs are for just for me, one person - but I travel with my boyfriend (we have separate finances which is why I'm only counting my expenditure) so I usually benefit from economies of scale in regards to accommodation.

We make our travel choices based on what's affordable and what's interesting. As long as a destination meets the two criteria, they're up for consideration. Then once we're there, we make decisions based on our priorities. As with anything else, it all comes down to what you feel is worth spending on.

Villanelle

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2015, 11:56:29 AM »
If you post what kind of travel you like and where you want to go, you might get more useful info.  Traveling to Tokyo for a week costs a hell of a lot more than traveling to most places in central America, for example, whether you go ultra budget or super high end.

I think that they easiest way to save a lot of money is accommodations.  Pensions, B&Bs (which in most places are not the fancy luxuries they tend to be in the States, but lower key, budget options), and apartments can be found for half or less of the hotels surrounding them. 

That's where we tend to focus efforts to save.  I generally refuse to give up seeing things in order to save.  If I want to go to the Borghese Museum in Rome, I am going to pay.  To some extent, you can look for free or lower cost days to save, but often there is no such option, and when there is, you have to weigh the money saved against the longer lines and the crowds that eat up more of your precious vacation time. 

Food doesn't have as much room for saving, but hitting up grocery stores, especially if you are in an apartment with a fridge and kitchen!, can save a lot over restaurants at every meal.

And of course, if you want to camp and hitchhike, your budgets will be even lower. 

Anyway, I think how and where you want to travel is key in figuring out even a rough budget.

madgeylou

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2015, 12:15:24 PM »
I guess we spent around $6k on travel last year. Plus I was on the road a lot for work.
- NYC for the new year (stayed with friends)
- Vegas in January (work)
- South Africa and Brazil in Feb/March (work)
- Los Angeles in March (for fun w/husband, we went to see Kraftwerk!)
- Germany and Paris in May (Germany was work, husband met me in Paris for Ana amazing long weekend)
- NYC in July (for a funeral, used airline points and stayed with a friend)
- Mountains of Virginia in August (week long stay in an Airstream in the woods!)
- Provincetown, MA for a wedding in September (road trip! stopped in NYC on the way there and back)
- Chicago/Ann Arbor in September/October (work but husband came with since it was our wedding anniversary, road trip)
- San Francisco/northern Cali coast in December (for my birthday, just got back this morning)

This year we will probably spend the same amount as we are planing to visit my husband's folks in Scotland and also do some more scouting for where we'd like to live next.

After we move, the idea is to stay put as much as possible for a few years. All this traveling has been lovely but I'd like to put resources into digging in to where we are for a while...
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 01:30:00 PM by miss madge »

deborah

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2015, 12:23:07 PM »
This year I will be doing some really expensive travel - it is the centenary of the Gallipoli landing in Turkey - there was a ballot to get tickets for the actual commemoration ceremony and you have to be with a tour group. There will be absolute hoards of Australians and New Zealanders in Turkey, so it will be peak season as well. I don't normally travel like this, and it will be very expensive, but it is something that I have wanted to be at for at least 10 years - so I'm going - regardless of expense. And if you think travel is expensive from the US to Europe or Asia, you haven't seen the airfares from Australia. This is totally not Mustashian (MMM does not do crowds and I'm not sure he does peak season - especially not peak-for-100-years season).

However, my normal travel is cheap. Last year I traveled for just under 2 months, did over 8,000 km, and spent less than my normal stay-at-home budget. I stayed in national parks, caravan parks (unpowered sites) and for a short time at a condo, slept in my car and had a fantastic time - so I count this as effectively free travel.

BlueMR2

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2015, 12:32:42 PM »
It varies widely.  I count my membership in the flying club as part of my travel budget (but I don't count car ownership as we also use those for commuting), so years we don't actually travel at all we still spend around $2,000 due to the flying club dues.  $5,000 is more typical for a year though if we take a couple trips.

TerriM

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2015, 12:54:13 PM »
I think that they easiest way to save a lot of money is accommodations.  Pensions, B&Bs (which in most places are not the fancy luxuries they tend to be in the States, but lower key, budget options), and apartments can be found for half or less of the hotels surrounding them. 

Food doesn't have as much room for saving, but hitting up grocery stores, especially if you are in an apartment with a fridge and kitchen!, can save a lot over restaurants at every meal.

Absolutely!  When we don't have someone to stay with, we always try to do the 2-3BR hotels which always have a kitchen.  It's also a lot more comfortable because you get a living room and table in the dining room area, and the kids don't mind sleeping on the sofa bed there.  Ironically breakfast is now provided by a lot of these places which is the one meal I'd definitely cook in because spending $8 for pancakes is ridiculous.

When we were in Hawaii, we did BnBs and apartments because we were staying with my parents and you get more quality time.   Apartments are REALLY hit or miss.  I've been in ones I love and ones I hate.  Two apartments in particular stand out--one in Oahu had the only bathroom in one of the bedrooms, so we had to walk in on my parents to go pee.  The other one had all the bedrooms on the bottom floor and really loud chairs in the dining room on the floor above.    Plus the electric heater in the bathroom was at kid level with NO GRATING ON IT.  ACK!  At least the management company was very receptive to me submitting a list of problems and potential ways to fix them.

Family-style hotel rooms tend to be more consistent in their quality and what they offer. 

ONE THING THOUGH:  If you cook [bacon] in the hotels, be careful not to open the hotel room door to air it out if your food starts smoking.  Apparently you can set off the hotel-wide smoke alarm which will set off ALL the sprinklers.  I can't believe a lot of these places don't have stove-hood fans built in!


Cassie

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2015, 01:12:46 PM »
WE have been to Europe 4x's in 11 years. Twice to Poland & twice to Italy.   Italy costs about double what Poland does. We usually eat the free breakfast we get with our modest hotel room, carry around snacks to eat for lunch & then go out to a nice dinner with wine, etc.  We also gladly pay to see the sights because if not why even bother going.  The first time we went to Italy I got an awesome deal for airfare & hotel only which really helped.  WE go for 2 weeks & the price has ranged from $5,000-8,000 for the 2 of us.  I also want to go to Ireland which I hear is very expensive so the countries you chose to visit will matter.  When we travel in the states we don't spend nearly as much.   

Abe

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2015, 01:41:41 PM »
Going to costa rica for a week with my wife and 4 friends.

Costs per person:
Housing (renting a vacation house): $233
airfare: $700
rental jeep: $120
Food: $200 (estimated)
Extra stuff (park fees, supplies): $300

About $3000 for both of us. Half is airfare. This is for essentially the most luxurious vacation I could want (have not had one in about 3 years).

Monkey Uncle

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2015, 03:39:54 PM »
My God, you people spend a shitload on travel.  Now I don't feel so bad about my ridiculous grocery bill. ;)

In 2014, we spent about $200 on hotels, maybe a couple or three hundred on gas, and probably about the same on food while we were traveling.  So probably less than $1,000 total.  This was all spent on mid-range trips to see family.

Our last real vacation was to the Everglades in 2012, which really broke the bank for us (about $8,000 for airfare, lodging, car rental, food, fishing trip, and kayaking).  That was the first vacation we had taken in about 10 years, and it likely will be the last one we take for a while.  Although we'd love to travel more, it's always been tough to justify on a modest one-earner income.
I was going to ask where you live/ vacation where you can travel so cheaply, but then I saw West Virginia.

Hotels in the west are expensive.

Actually, the hotel where we stayed was in Philly.  And it was a real dump.

starbuck

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2015, 04:06:51 PM »
I was curious to the actual numbers for us (2 adults), so I checked Mint. For 2013, we spent $4,346 which covered two guided kayaking trips (one in Canada, one in Baja Mexico) and a week in Boulder CO, plus a few long weekends skiing and camping.

For 2014 $1455, which covered some time in Portland ME, 8 days in Yellowstone/SLC, and some camping and skiing. (The Mexico trip was paid for in 2013, but we went in 2014.)

Credit card churning is turning into a boon for us. In 2014, the hotel in Portland and the airfare to Utah (3 tickets) were all free. It lets us have our cake and eat it too, when it comes to investing and traveling at the same time. We typically take two big trips a year (at least 7 days each) and with air miles starting to pile up, I think we'll start doing one domestic, one international each year. I think this year it will be Ireland/UK, and the pacific NW.

chasesfish

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2015, 04:15:21 PM »
I'm in the category of spending a substantial sum on travel (10k+/year), with 1/3 of that being in airfare.  That being said, I do this because my FI/ER date doesn't really change due to some of my compensation being back-loaded and I have cut back a bit since joining MMM.

kpd905

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2015, 04:37:03 PM »
I churn a lot of credit cards, so most flights and many hotels are free.

In 2014 we did 5 days at Zion national park, 5 days at Rocky Mountain National Park, 4 days at Joshua Tree national park.  Then some long weekend trips to state parks and one trip to the Smoky mountains.

Total was $2500.

Irishtache

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2015, 05:24:37 PM »
We have cruised in 4 of the last 5 years plus at least one other land trip. I kept tabs on last year and it totalled about $10k. This year, we have booked an all inclusive trip at about $1,300. Feel we need to reign in a bit!

Christof

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2015, 05:46:31 PM »
Europe is expensive from the US, but the other way round it's not. $20.000 from Europe would pay for flights in First class and suite in a 5 star hotel when booked from Europe to visit the US. I guess for him it is not an annual event, rather the once in a life time trip to Europe. In this case he should really look into collecting miles and staying in alternative hotels. You don't have to stay in an international chain hotel. In fact, they are often worse than smaller and cheaper family owned hotels in Europe.

How much did we spend! this year it was around 400 Euros, because we were invited. Last year we spend twice as much, but that included free travel using points and using a voucher for the hotel. 2012 we spent 2000 Euros, which was a 16 day trip to Los Angeles and Redmond flying in First class from Europe. We used miles, stayed with friends... Still a luxury trip by all means.

ltt

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2015, 06:10:43 PM »
A lot!!  This is one area where I tend to pamper the family.  Just got back from a week in Disney World--stayed on property.  Airlines tickets were sky-high this time of year.  We don't do the dining plan, because I'm not going to keep track of credits, etc., for our family.  When all was said and done, pretty much in the $13k range.

brooklynmoney

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2015, 06:47:19 PM »
Travel is  just about my biggest expense. I am single, but I spend $4-$6K a year for 2 international trips (usually somewhere cheap in central America or the Caribbean). I go with a bunch of people and we cram into a hotel or condo and do adventure sports. No luxury here. It's super fun and active. Although I am getting tired of sharing a bed, as I have on both trips this year.

mm1970

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2015, 06:50:36 PM »
My God, you people spend a shitload on travel.  Now I don't feel so bad about my ridiculous grocery bill. ;)

In 2014, we spent about $200 on hotels, maybe a couple or three hundred on gas, and probably about the same on food while we were traveling.  So probably less than $1,000 total.  This was all spent on mid-range trips to see family.

Our last real vacation was to the Everglades in 2012, which really broke the bank for us (about $8,000 for airfare, lodging, car rental, food, fishing trip, and kayaking).  That was the first vacation we had taken in about 10 years, and it likely will be the last one we take for a while.  Although we'd love to travel more, it's always been tough to justify on a modest one-earner income.
I was going to ask where you live/ vacation where you can travel so cheaply, but then I saw West Virginia.

Hotels in the west are expensive.

Actually, the hotel where we stayed was in Philly.  And it was a real dump.
I grew up in PA (though western).  I can imagine a dump in Philly.

totoro

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2015, 07:01:50 PM »
I've spent zero on travel for the last four years.  I've combined it with business travel and brought the family.  It has turned out to be cash flow positive, even with skiing added in for the kids.

Now, this year, we are using accumulated points from previous business travel and booked a two-week trip to Japan for me and two of the kids.  With the free airfare, we are at $1340/per person for two weeks in Japan.  I figure it is well worth it.

Workinghard

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2015, 07:44:10 PM »
My dh and I were talking about traveling today. I commented when we go to apartment living maybe we should go with a cheap one to have more money to travel. Later, when we're no longer interested in traveling, we could upgrade our living quarters.

pachnik

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2015, 07:47:15 PM »
2014 was an unusual travel year for us.  After 8 years together, we finally visited my husband's hometown of Montreal. 

We spent $5,000.00 to fly from Vancouver to Montreal - about a 5 1/2 hr. flight.   The $5,000.00 included flights, hotels for I think about 12 nights, food and a rental car.   

Not cheap but totally worth it so i could meet my husband's mother.  She lives in a rural community so we needed to rent a car to get around.  We also drove to Quebec City which was just gorgeous - the Old Town was like being in Europe - and we stayed there for a few nights.

This year we'll most likely stay in our home province.

MsPeacock

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2015, 08:22:29 PM »
I spend a lot on travel. I am just getting started here on MMM - so I'm sure I have been "out of budget" on trips. I do as much frugally as I can however - e.g. hunt down cheap places to stay, etc. Travel w/ my kids is of high importance to me. Last year we went to NYC, Netherlands (staying with family), Jamaica, the beach for a couple days, etc.

20k sounds high for Europe - but it really depends on the length of the trip. Many people also just book through the Hilton website or whatever, and stick w/ tours, and that really drives up the cost. Other countries are super expensive. I just cancelled a 2 week trip I had planned for Iceland for August because it was proving to be so astronomically expensive. Like the least expensive rental car for 2 weeks was 1500, the least expensive place to stay anywhere (for 4 people) was $250+ per night, the cost of every activity I researched was 100+ per person, etc. I am ending up eating the cost of the airfare (which was only $400 per person) because I can't justify another 8k or whatever in vacation expenses sunk into this trip. 

lielec11

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2015, 08:24:58 PM »
Booking my honeymoon right now in Italy - Tuscany/Rome/Amalfi Coast for 15 days. With flights from northeast US it is looking at about $9k before spending money on dinner/museums etc. $3300 of that is flights for the two of us. Yes expensive, but it is our honeymoon and we have put the frugal blinders on for this one.

crispy

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2015, 08:35:55 PM »
We spend between 3.5K to 4.5K per year for a family of 4.  We usually do 2 to 3 trips per year and have an annual trip to Disney World.  Last year we spent 1K for a week at Myrtle Beach and 2.5K for a week at Disney World for all food, lodging, travel and souvenir expenses.  We have a friend who works at Disney World so we get good discounts, and we always drive wherever we are going. We hope to do some international trip when our children get older, but it's not something we are up for yet.  We did do a cruise to Canada year before last so there's that!

This year, we have already booked and paid for 3 days at family Space Camp in Huntsville, AL (I'm turning 40 and it's on my bucket list!).  This cost 1.3K which includes meals and lodging.  We live an hour and a half away so travel expenses will be about $20.  We are also planning a 9 day trip to South Dakota in June that I have budgeted 1.5K for.  We found a super deal for a hotel suite with a full kitchen and most of the places we plan to visit like Mt. Rushmore are very low cost. 

We are trying to make our way across the country so our girls can experience history and diversity of the US firsthand. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 08:39:30 PM by crispy »

takeahike

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2015, 01:05:18 PM »
just heard this tip from a frequent traveller.. If you are going to be in Europe.. You can lease a car in Germany for a month.. instead of renting. Drive the thing all over Europe, then return the car and end the lease. Be careful driving a nice car into Italy though.. some cars are particular targets for theft, and don't leave valuables in there. Another friend got her passport stolen out of her car in a very small rural Italian town.

takeahike

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2015, 01:09:52 PM »
Booking my honeymoon right now in Italy - Tuscany/Rome/Amalfi Coast for 15 days. With flights from northeast US it is looking at about $9k before spending money on dinner/museums etc. $3300 of that is flights for the two of us. Yes expensive, but it is our honeymoon and we have put the frugal blinders on for this one.

Wonderful! You will love it!

Frugal tips in Italy: Don't take a seat in Italy to sip your espressos.. they are cheaper if you stand at the bar like the locals
Two for one train fare on Saturdays.. have to book online in advance
Get sandwiches made for outings at local grocery store (the locals do this.. especially in Amalfi coast).. they are bigger and better and you won't be stuck buying over priced sandwiches at the tourist deli's.
Take an empty water bottle and refill at one of the many many fountains all over every Italian city. I was skeptical at first but the water was so refreshing and had no weird taste.. safe!.. and tasted better than any of the bottled water.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 01:13:48 PM by takeahike »

rubybeth

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #42 on: January 05, 2015, 01:23:47 PM »
When we were dating and first married and paying off debt, we didn't spend much on travel, I'd guess an average of less than $1,000 a year for trips within the US (for example, me going to visit my sister while she was at graduate school three states away). In the years when we didn't go out of the state, we usually booked a couple nights at the B&B where we went on our honeymoon.

We took our first international trip together in 2014, two weeks in Germany/France and it cost us around $5,000 in peak season (over $3,000 of that was airfare... I don't recommend going in July mainly for this reason, but it's when it worked to travel with our family members and for the people we stayed with--for free--in Germany).

We are going to the Netherlands for about two weeks in spring 2015, and I'm expecting that to also be around $5,000, but we spent less than $2,000 on the airfare. Hoping to rent an apartment and do some of our cooking/eating in or making picnics to keep restaurant costs down. It may end up being less than $5,000, but I'm fine with that amount. We won't be taking any trips in 2016 since my DH will be graduating from grad school and likely job hunting or starting a new job with not a lot of time off, which is why we timed our Netherlands trip for this year instead of next year when it might make more sense.

Neither of us travel for work, so if we want to go anywhere, we have to fund it ourselves.

Cookie78

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #43 on: January 05, 2015, 01:33:19 PM »
20,000 seems staggering to me too.

I love to travel and I do it pretty often, but I prefer to travel cheaply. Hostels were awesome to meet people when I was younger, and camping, staying with friends, cheap B&Bs, usually work for me now.

I used to do cheaper international trips too, but that's getting harder with less time to take off work. Going to Europe for 3 months a few years ago cost about the same as an upcoming 2 week Peru trip.

Lately most of my travel time and money has been spent flying back and forth to visit long distance relationship. Cheap while I'm there, but the flights add up.

Philociraptor

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2015, 01:38:23 PM »
We budget $300/mo, or $3,600/year for "vacation" expenses. Road trips to visit family, attend weddings or funerals, and day-trips are not included in this.

lielec11

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2015, 02:08:03 PM »
Booking my honeymoon right now in Italy - Tuscany/Rome/Amalfi Coast for 15 days. With flights from northeast US it is looking at about $9k before spending money on dinner/museums etc. $3300 of that is flights for the two of us. Yes expensive, but it is our honeymoon and we have put the frugal blinders on for this one.

Wonderful! You will love it!

Frugal tips in Italy: Don't take a seat in Italy to sip your espressos.. they are cheaper if you stand at the bar like the locals
Two for one train fare on Saturdays.. have to book online in advance
Get sandwiches made for outings at local grocery store (the locals do this.. especially in Amalfi coast).. they are bigger and better and you won't be stuck buying over priced sandwiches at the tourist deli's.
Take an empty water bottle and refill at one of the many many fountains all over every Italian city. I was skeptical at first but the water was so refreshing and had no weird taste.. safe!.. and tasted better than any of the bottled water.

Thanks for the tips! A former colleague recently went for a family event and he also mentioned the tip about buying food at local grocery stores before going to any tourist spots. This is exactly why we're going, to act like locals. To be quite honest, I'd be perfectly happy with spending 2 or 3 days out of our 15 day stay doing tourist activities, with the rest relaxing and exploring on our own (read: drinking wine).

takeahike

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2015, 02:11:10 PM »
Booking my honeymoon right now in Italy - Tuscany/Rome/Amalfi Coast for 15 days. With flights from northeast US it is looking at about $9k before spending money on dinner/museums etc. $3300 of that is flights for the two of us. Yes expensive, but it is our honeymoon and we have put the frugal blinders on for this one.

Wonderful! You will love it!

Frugal tips in Italy: Don't take a seat in Italy to sip your espressos.. they are cheaper if you stand at the bar like the locals
Two for one train fare on Saturdays.. have to book online in advance
Get sandwiches made for outings at local grocery store (the locals do this.. especially in Amalfi coast).. they are bigger and better and you won't be stuck buying over priced sandwiches at the tourist deli's.
Take an empty water bottle and refill at one of the many many fountains all over every Italian city. I was skeptical at first but the water was so refreshing and had no weird taste.. safe!.. and tasted better than any of the bottled water.

Thanks for the tips! A former colleague recently went for a family event and he also mentioned the tip about buying food at local grocery stores before going to any tourist spots. This is exactly why we're going, to act like locals. To be quite honest, I'd be perfectly happy with spending 2 or 3 days out of our 15 day stay doing tourist activities, with the rest relaxing and exploring on our own (read: drinking wine).

Ahhh the wine ;)

acorn

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2015, 02:27:49 PM »
A former colleague recently went for a family event and he also mentioned the tip about buying food at local grocery stores before going to any tourist spots. This is exactly why we're going, to act like locals.

I really really really like going to local grocery stores when I travel. I love seeing what the locals eat and buy! Their bread, coffee/tea, candy, vegetables, etc etc. I try to eat as much of the local food as possible.

astvilla

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2015, 03:52:20 PM »
When we were dating and first married and paying off debt, we didn't spend much on travel, I'd guess an average of less than $1,000 a year for trips within the US (for example, me going to visit my sister while she was at graduate school three states away). In the years when we didn't go out of the state, we usually booked a couple nights at the B&B where we went on our honeymoon.

We took our first international trip together in 2014, two weeks in Germany/France and it cost us around $5,000 in peak season (over $3,000 of that was airfare... I don't recommend going in July mainly for this reason, but it's when it worked to travel with our family members and for the people we stayed with--for free--in Germany).

We are going to the Netherlands for about two weeks in spring 2015, and I'm expecting that to also be around $5,000, but we spent less than $2,000 on the airfare. Hoping to rent an apartment and do some of our cooking/eating in or making picnics to keep restaurant costs down. It may end up being less than $5,000, but I'm fine with that amount. We won't be taking any trips in 2016 since my DH will be graduating from grad school and likely job hunting or starting a new job with not a lot of time off, which is why we timed our Netherlands trip for this year instead of next year when it might make more sense.

Neither of us travel for work, so if we want to go anywhere, we have to fund it ourselves.

Ahh you should've waited to end of this year. Tickets are cheap now round trip...ohhhh!

h2ogal

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2015, 06:27:04 PM »
In the past we spent about $10K per year on Travel and related entertainment.  Recently we began focusing more on FIRE and plan to spend a lot less per trip in the next few years. 

Our first Mustachian trip was over Christmas vacation this year!  We took a road trip down the east coast from New York to Florida.  We mainly stayed with Friends and Family along the way, spending only 2 nights in a hotel on a 17 day trip.   We spent about $2000. 

Most of our spending was on food.  When we stayed with Family and Friends we insisted on taking them out for meals or buying food and cooking meals for them at home. 

It was one of our most fun vacations because we spent time catching up with old Friends and Family.