Author Topic: How much do you spend on travel?  (Read 17116 times)

Metta

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2015, 07:23:36 PM »
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.

I think you are right. The problem is knowing what we will want. At the moment we wish we could travel less, that people would stop dying and getting sick, that work would settle down, and that we could spend time just resting. I know that this is not normal for me (though my husband tends to be more of a homebody than I am). I used to love traveling and would happily go just about anywhere just to be on the road. Right now I want to see more of the inside of my own home, but I suspect about a year or two after retirement my yen to travel will return. Once it does, I want to make sure that I have enough money put aside for travel. So this conversation has actually been very useful to me. It's given me a window on how much other people spend and what they are getting for their cash.

My cousins recently retired young and they've been spending several months each year in Italy. They say they don't spend much, but that's pretty much what everyone says of how much they spend: "Oh, I don't spend that much, besides, travel is so worthwhile." It's very hard to get a sense of a budget from statements like that. That's why I'm grateful for the detailed view into other people's travel expenses that the responders to this thread have offered!

Metta

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2015, 07:26:10 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.

What sort of category do you use for those expenses? We have a travel category that we subdivide into Family Travel, Work Travel, Race Travel, Vacation Travel, and Other Travel. Most of our expenses come from Family Travel, which includes weddings, funerals, and other family-related activities.

tomita

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2015, 07:31:51 PM »
2014: 1 trip to EU only 1650 CAD for 2 ppl as we stayed w family
2014: 1 flight to Florida  700 CAD for 2 ppl + ~$200 for a shuttle bus (& we used 300 from rewards) and stayed w friends

I just booked 1 trip for 5 ppl   to EU _NL  5000 USD (all 5)  ( 2 weeks end of Aug) i just have to figure out how to pay for this now....I'm reluctant to tell my DH
I estimate  1000 USD is enough for renting something and imposing on some friends too as a  stop gap....

thanks to reading this post I realized now's the time to book for summer

Philociraptor

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2015, 08:21:21 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.

What sort of category do you use for those expenses? We have a travel category that we subdivide into Family Travel, Work Travel, Race Travel, Vacation Travel, and Other Travel. Most of our expenses come from Family Travel, which includes weddings, funerals, and other family-related activities.

They just roll into Fuel, Restaurants, and Fast Food. I try and keep the categories to a minimum.

aspiringnomad

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2015, 10:53:52 PM »
Pretty much as much as we want. Travel is at least as important to me, and more important to her, as FIRE. Luckily, we both love cheap "adventure" travel through hostels and ecolodges. Together, we probably spend 10k a year and it would be more if I weren't so aggressive about collecting and using airline miles.

Gray Matter

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #55 on: January 06, 2015, 06:10:55 AM »
It varies quite a lot for us, but it's never cheap!

2015 - $10,000 budgeted for several trips within US for family of five, requiring airtravel
2014 - $4,500 (several short trips within the US, mostly driving distance)
2013 - $25,000 (big international trip)

starbuck

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #56 on: January 06, 2015, 06:37:50 AM »
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.

Me too! I love wandering up and down the aisles looking at all the different products, flavors, and packaging. When visiting a friend in Hong Kong, we would go to the little grocery store every night before heading back to his apartment. Everyone would pick out something weird to try. It was so much fun!

SailAway

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #57 on: January 06, 2015, 11:39:27 AM »
We probably average $6-7k a year on travel. Usually 1 "big" trip and one or two small trips. Sometimes with just the two adults and sometimes with kids. Flights are what kill us. Well, and eating at restaurants, particularly with the kids.

This year we have one trip planned to take the kids to an amusement park, which will probably cost about $1200 for four or five days. An opportunity to go to Fiji or the Mediterranean just recently came up, so that may have to happen. And I've been wanting to go to Costa Rica....

HattyT

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #58 on: January 06, 2015, 05:57:49 PM »
TerriM, how did you discover the bacon cooking tip?  Is there a story there?

boarder42

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #59 on: January 06, 2015, 06:09:13 PM »
My best guess from 2014 is 4-5k but I travel for work and we use my airline and hotel points so that number could increase for us in retirement.
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Daisy

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2015, 09:24:56 PM »
I spent about $7000 in 2014.

- A one week ski trip. This was mostly free for me since I was a trip leader for group. I only paid for a 5 day lift ticket.

- Followed by a separate two week ski trip which was one month later so I had to pay for flights. I was going with a (spendy) group for a week out there. But, since I was buying a season pass for this and already had to get a flight, I turned it into a two week trip by staying with a friend that owned a condo nearby for the week before. The whole trip including food was probably around $3k for the two weeks. Costs could have been greatly reduced if I had planned this myself as I would have preferred a condo to a hotel room to eat breakfast and some dinners in, but that just didn't roll with the group I travelled with...sigh. I was called "lucky" from others when they found out I actually went for two weeks instead of one and probably spent less than them because I focus on getting really good deals on flights as well.

- Another $3k for a two week trip. One week of bicycling some trails. We rode with a planned group for trail support and luggage transport but found one of the cheaper options.  Then spent a whole other week in a big expensive city. Stayed at an apartment found on VRBO. I guess not too bad including that price was flights and food and one week bike rental and everything for the two weeks. I planned most of this trip, so my travel mates were stuck with my suggestions. ;-)

- A couple of weekend trips in my state.

I could be a lot better with certain costs. My old ski buddies either no longer go skiing or have become ex-boyfriends, so I've had to reconstruct a new group. Now that I've met some new friends through these clubs, we are talking of planning our own trips in the future. Some others are frugal as well so they like my suggestions of staying longer and getting a condo instead of staying in a hotel room. Better digs for better prices! Hotel rooms are way to restrictive and space constrained. I'm looking forward to some frugal ski trips in my future!

Nudelkopf

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #61 on: January 06, 2015, 11:05:20 PM »
I spent about $5000 (or a quarter of my expenses) on domestic travel.

* Interstate for a wedding for 10 days (about half of my travel budget)
* 1 week at my parents' place in middle of the year
* 7 day cruise in the Pacific Ocean
* 2 weeks at my parents' place for Christmas
* 1 week at the beach staying with friends for NYE

So, a total of 6.5 weeks domestic travel, totaling $5000 for a single person...

rubybeth

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #62 on: January 07, 2015, 12:34:54 PM »
Ahh you should've waited to end of this year. Tickets are cheap now round trip...ohhhh!

Yeah, timing is huge. We had to do our trip in summer when my sister, who works in a school, was off, plus my DH only had one month when he wasn't taking summer classes, and we had another local family vacation planned in August, so it had to be July. For the Netherlands, we'll be there at the tail end of tulip season and should be able to catch Keukenhof with some flowers still blooming. :) Once DH is done with grad school, we'll be able to travel at off-peak times to catch good deals.
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Peacefulwarrior

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2015, 04:27:50 AM »
Pretty much nothing these days. I lived abroad and travelled a lot in the last 10 years, so the last 3-4 years I haven't really felt the need to do it. Next summer my grandmother will take the whole family for a big family vacation with everything paid for to celebrate her 80 year old birthday. So in 2015 that will be all the travel me and my son does and it will cost us nothing. After that I think it will be a few years before I decide to do any kind of traveling again. I don't really feel like. There's so much to do where I live.

Teddy25

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #64 on: January 11, 2015, 02:30:25 AM »
Thanks to the credit card deals I have not exceed 3k in the last few years.

a RTW last year(lhr,fco, mad,doh,sin,syd......) plus a disney trip(hk and tyo) only cost 2k
2015 trip 1mxp prg vie, trip 2 India, trip 3 west coast, trip 4 Midwest currently budgeted for 2300

samusugiru

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2015, 06:31:23 AM »
Travel is expensive for us since we live in Australia and DH family are in Europe. So tickets alone during the summer months are close to 10k for our family and will get more expensive once the kids are in school and travel during peak times. We keep costs down by rarely staying in hotels and DH family have a summer house in the countryside that is shared by DH and his sister. So far DH mother has paid most costs associated with it but we need to put in a few thousand since its having a refit. Other places we just stay with friends and family. This year we plan on spending about 5k but DH mom offered to pay for our flights. I hope to offset the costs by renting our place back home and we will be travelling to London, Paris, Brussels and Poland. We will stay in a hotel in Paris but friends and family elsewhere.

Cassie

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2015, 12:25:26 PM »
When you go to poland be sure to go to Krakow-it is awesome!

pipercat

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #67 on: January 11, 2015, 02:37:58 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.

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).
Slightly off-topic, but this idea of living like locals reminds me of our honeymoon.  We used a company called Untours.  I'm not sure if they are well-known or not.

If you've never heard of them, check them out.  We had a great time, and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again.  We went to Prague BTW.  It was basically the cheapest destination, but it was great!

http://www.untours.com/
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Zikoris

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2015, 03:28:21 PM »
We spent $8373 on travel in 2014, split between two of us. That included:

- Incidentals for our January Guatemala trip, most of the trip was paid for in 2013

- Two weeks in Budapest, Vienna, Zurich, and Paris in the summer

- One long weekend trip out of town (still in Canada) to visit family

- Most expenses for our one week January 2015 Hong Kong trip that we just got back from yesterday!

We usually spend a bit less, but the summer trip was quite expensive due to the countries we chose to visit.
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NonprofitER

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #69 on: January 20, 2015, 01:17:36 PM »
Wow!  I'm really surprised by the lack of travel hacking in this post. I thought all MMMer's were hardcore travel hackers.

I'm new to travel hacking, but in just a few months we've racked up a Southwest companion pass and almost 200,000 AA airmiles.  We're hoping to turn our 2015 $2000 vacation budget into a 8-10 day trip to Europe this year to celebrate our anniversary, thanks to credit card bonus sign ups (airmiles and hotel points).  All we'll have to cover is food, on the ground transport and excursions.  We're also visiting family (3 flights) in March.

Last year, we spent $1800 as a family of three (two adults, one child under 6) for a family reunion (included hotel), several trips to see family by car/plane and a weekend cabin trip with friends.

In ER, we hope to spend closer to $5- $6k a year on travel, but right now, travel hacking is allowing us to keep seeing places for cheap. 

For those whose have multiple airfares as their highest travel expense, I would encourage you to dip your toes in travel hacking.  You don't have to pay $1500/pp to travel overseas!  (I wish I had known this years ago!)


takeahike

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #70 on: January 20, 2015, 02:38:05 PM »
Wow!  I'm really surprised by the lack of travel hacking in this post. I thought all MMMer's were hardcore travel hackers.

I'm new to travel hacking, but in just a few months we've racked up a Southwest companion pass and almost 200,000 AA airmiles.  We're hoping to turn our 2015 $2000 vacation budget into a 8-10 day trip to Europe this year to celebrate our anniversary, thanks to credit card bonus sign ups (airmiles and hotel points).  All we'll have to cover is food, on the ground transport and excursions.  We're also visiting family (3 flights) in March.

Last year, we spent $1800 as a family of three (two adults, one child under 6) for a family reunion (included hotel), several trips to see family by car/plane and a weekend cabin trip with friends.

In ER, we hope to spend closer to $5- $6k a year on travel, but right now, travel hacking is allowing us to keep seeing places for cheap. 

For those whose have multiple airfares as their highest travel expense, I would encourage you to dip your toes in travel hacking.  You don't have to pay $1500/pp to travel overseas!  (I wish I had known this years ago!)

Oh, we earn about 250,000 legit points on a travel card and use every last one of em. My husband's business purchases monthly stock through a points card. It sure helps. I plan on doing more travel hacking as well.

Christof

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #71 on: January 20, 2015, 03:41:02 PM »
Wow!  I'm really surprised by the lack of travel hacking in this post. I thought all MMMer's were hardcore travel hackers.

A few years ago I would have said the same thing.... well, almost. I don't like the term travel hacking.

I've played this game for a number of years. Enough pyjamas to last for a life time from international First class flights. Spent less in flights then others spent on parking their car at the airport. Still, it is only a period of time in life for several reasons.

Most traveling on miles have to decide whether they want as much travel as possible or as much perceived value per flight. Since European airlines charge YQ on award tickets, but US airlines do not, you will find that many European members value luxury over number of flights. Luxury is something you can get used to and easily rationalize why you should pay for a higher class even when you don't get an upgrade with miles.

The sweet point of traveling is two persons. There are offers that give you a second ticket for free or little extra. Most airlines do also release two seats or more in most cabins. Add kids to the mix and it gets a lot less compelling. Seats are harder to get by. Travelling is limited to school holidays and high season. Luxury travel is not relaxing when you spend the time calming down a small kid.

It is risky. There is no guarantee flights are available, airlines stay around, prices don't change, offers are honored, miles are credited... If you can't afford to lose your miles, you shouldn't collect them. If you depend on specific redemptions, you need to realize there is no guarantee.

This game narrows the focus. Maybe taking the train or finding a vacation spot close to home would be financially more effecient. When you have miles, every vacation looks like an international flight.

Cassie

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #72 on: January 20, 2015, 04:26:38 PM »
My mom & my sister found that it can be difficult to get tickets to a desirable location using miles. One thing that we do to cut costs is to bundle the airfare, hotel & rental car (if we need one-depending if we are city or rural).  So for instance by doing this I spent $1,000/person for airfare & hotel for 10 days in Rome in 2003. In 2008 spent $2500/person for all 3 items in the Tuscany region of Italy.  I was just looking and can get Room & car for $499/person in Ireland for 8 days.  WE don't like escorted tours because we want to do our own thing & not have to follow the crowd.

Jules13

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #73 on: January 20, 2015, 07:47:53 PM »
Definitely depends on where, overseas, you are going when you talk about costs to travel internationally.  Yes, places in Europe are expensive, but it's not the most expensive.  My family (2 kids) are going to Australia in a couple of months and we spend just over $7200 on flights alone.  If we didn't have family to stay with and the ability to cook while we were there, no telling how much it would cost us.  Everything is expensive there compared to the states.  I haven't even figured out our budget yet for while we are there. 

But, having said that, travel costs really depend on not just where you want to go but what type of traveler you are.  I think you just have to decide what your travel budget is going to be and then you try to fit your travel into that budget.  Maybe you want to do lots of small trips more often or maybe you want to do a big trip every other year.  Or maybe your budget is hefty enough for big trips every year.  It will just depend.  Good luck with your dreaming and planning!

MustardTiger

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #74 on: January 20, 2015, 08:07:02 PM »
Something I struggle with.  Before MMM I was basically already living a similar lifestyle minus travel and food.  Throughout my 20's I travelled loads and lived in SE Asia for a few years and all subsequent costs with travelling back to america.

My wife is Thai, and we recently took a trip to bkk.  For everything we spend around 7k (4500 just for the flights there).  Visiting family is something we place a high value on though, and we will probably continue to pay ludicrous amounts to go overseas once every few years.

Kansas Beachbum

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2015, 08:31:37 PM »
We really love to travel.  It's a big world out there, get out and see it!  We probably do spend more on travel than most, but it's our only real splurge.  In 2014 the Mrs. KBB and I took a dive trip to Grand Cayman for a week, and spent another 5 days in the Florida Keys diving & drinking with friends (well, ok...mostly drinking with friends).  We also took a summer vacation with the whole family to Nashville for about 5 days, which was drive-able, barely.  Also went to AZ a couple times to see our oldest child, and drove to Indianapolis to see a JB concert.  We try to do things as cheaply as possible, and take full advantage of credit card points and airline miles programs...for example, for an upcoming trip to AZ we got two airline tix and 3 nights in a pretty nice hotel on airline miles/credit card points.  All in for 2014 I'd say something like $12K - $15K maybe, but we did quite a bit of travelling for the money we spent.
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nonsequitur

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2015, 08:40:09 PM »
We budget AUS$10k a year for travel, family of four.

JustTrying

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2015, 08:45:39 PM »
We spend around $3,000 per year for a family of 2 on travel. We take an international vacation every year. We keep costs low by staying in 2* hotels, traveling during non-peak season, choosing the destination based on travel deals (rather than choosing a destination first and then shopping for deals), using frequent flier miles, eating out only at dinner (breakfast and lunch are either including in lodging price or made using items from the grocery store), using public transportation, and staying with friends when possible.

Jules13

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Re: How much do you spend on travel?
« Reply #78 on: January 21, 2015, 11:45:31 AM »
Wow!  I'm really surprised by the lack of travel hacking in this post. I thought all MMMer's were hardcore travel hackers.

A few years ago I would have said the same thing.... well, almost. I don't like the term travel hacking.

I've played this game for a number of years. Enough pyjamas to last for a life time from international First class flights. Spent less in flights then others spent on parking their car at the airport. Still, it is only a period of time in life for several reasons.

Most traveling on miles have to decide whether they want as much travel as possible or as much perceived value per flight. Since European airlines charge YQ on award tickets, but US airlines do not, you will find that many European members value luxury over number of flights. Luxury is something you can get used to and easily rationalize why you should pay for a higher class even when you don't get an upgrade with miles.

The sweet point of traveling is two persons. There are offers that give you a second ticket for free or little extra. Most airlines do also release two seats or more in most cabins. Add kids to the mix and it gets a lot less compelling. Seats are harder to get by. Travelling is limited to school holidays and high season. Luxury travel is not relaxing when you spend the time calming down a small kid.

It is risky. There is no guarantee flights are available, airlines stay around, prices don't change, offers are honored, miles are credited... If you can't afford to lose your miles, you shouldn't collect them. If you depend on specific redemptions, you need to realize there is no guarantee.

This game narrows the focus. Maybe taking the train or finding a vacation spot close to home would be financially more effecient. When you have miles, every vacation looks like an international flight.

This is SO true.  It's a lot harder to "travel hack" with kids when you need more tickets and are restricted by the school calendar.  We have over 250k AA miles (and about to apply for more), but do you think I could find even ONE seat to Australia during the upcoming Spring Break holiday?  No.  I even checked summer (even thought I didn't want to go then since it's their winter).  So, we paid for them all and plan to use the miles another time.