Author Topic: Any expat mustacians with large travel budgets??  (Read 3911 times)

Jules13

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Any expat mustacians with large travel budgets??
« on: May 03, 2013, 08:21:54 AM »
Hi, I'm new here.  My hubby is Australian (and currently chuckles at my new obsession with this blog since I just stumbled upon it the other day). 

My question (and please direct me elsewhere if there is already a thread about this!) is whether there are any expat mustachians in the US with large travel budgets to visit family overseas?

I know that MMM is Canadian, but you can drive fairly easily to Canada.  Not the case when wanting to visit family in Australia.  It's far and very expensive to get there.  Over $2000 per ticket expensive. 

So, I'm wondering if there are others in the same situation and how they handle it, other than just not visiting.  That is not an option for us.  We love our Aussie family and visiting is a high priority.  But, this also means a $10k/per year travel budget (well, nearly as sometimes we will have enough miles for free tickets). 

Would love to hear how others have handled this!  I will also be posting soon asking for help on how to trim our budget.  I've gotten pretty slack lately with it and need to get back on track.

Thanks!  Looking forward to hearing from you!
Jules

arebelspy

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Re: Any expat mustacians with large travel budgets??
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 08:29:11 AM »
Welcome!  Glad to have you here.

I plan on having a 10-15k budget in FIRE for plane tickets (not "travel," just plane tickets).  That may change over time as we do more slow travel (but with a family of 4, switching continents will be expensive).

Sometimes that's what you have to do based on your plans.

I'm assuming you already do all the tricks for free miles?  (Credit card shenanigans, finding deals, etc.)

Here's a decent post from Tynan that has three less common tricks (ones that you may not have heard a million times):
http://tynan.com/cheapflights
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Paul der Krake

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Re: Any expat mustacians with large travel budgets??
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013, 08:36:16 AM »
I'm an expat and fly to Europe once or twice a year, but it's usually just me travelling (sometimes the SO tags along but not often). Long stays and flexible dates are key. I love Kayak's emails discussed in the link above. It really pays to have an employer who lets you travel on short notice.

You should also try renting your home to trusted friends looking to visit your area.

psychomoustache

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Re: Any expat mustacians with large travel budgets??
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013, 09:06:15 AM »
We use our Air France frequent flyer miles my husband gets through his work to go back to the States, or to fly my mom here for a visit. We have a vacation budget that gets fed regularly all year long.

but honestly I don't go back to the States nearly as much as I'd like... I was there in 2009, and will go this summer. That's a long time - too long.

bogart

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Re: Any expat mustacians with large travel budgets??
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2013, 09:25:44 AM »
We're "inpat," but my only sibling and his family are expat (Europe), and much of my mother's family (my aunts, uncles, and cousins) live in various parts of Europe.  It's not "Australia expensive" (we live on the US East coast, and near a decent sized, though not huge, airport -- there's exactly one direct route to Europe that leaves from our home base -- but it's not cheap. 

Anyway, my short answer to your question is that we just try to include travel money as an important expense.  Obviously it's not essential, there are other things that take priority, but it's pretty high on the list. 

Is there any chance you or your hubby do work that would lend itself to a stint in Australia?  I'm contemplating trying to find a job to land myself in my brother's family's home base (likely with his help) for either a summer or a year, at some point, though just to be clear this would be something that would help cover some costs rather than all of the costs of being there.  But still.  It does help that my DH is RE (though not FI unless you count me as a means of support), so his whereabouts are flexible, though unfortunately he's not overly fond of my brother's family's home base as a locale to visit (or live).

Jules13

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Re: Any expat mustacians with large travel budgets??
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2013, 10:28:09 AM »
Well, it's great to hear that we aren't the only ones with large travel budgets that are also striving to save as well. 

Thanks! I signed up for those kayak alerts as I'd not heard of that!  My husband's job isn't super flexible, but might be flexible enough...not sure.  We've never tried a last minute trip before for a long period.  We normally try to go for 3 weeks since it's so expensive.  It's one of the reasons I've chosen not to go back to work, since it's unlikely 2 employers would allow for 3 week holidays every year. 

I do have an American Airlines (partners with Qantas) credit card and sign up for bonuses occasionally in order to bump up to an extra ticket (we currently have enough miles for 3 tickets but haven't been able to go due to other reasons).  We are a family of 4 too, so a big travel budget is important.  Also, my husband and I met in Edinburgh, so we want to take the kids there in a few years. 

We have thought about doing a stint during summer, but of course it's winter in Australia during that time, which doesn't appeal to me.  With kids in school, that makes travel other times of the year harder, but who knows, I might head toward homeschooling for this very reason as we get closer to our goals of FI. 

I'm working on our budget now and will post another thread to get some advice on that.  I'm amazed at some budget lines of MMM.  How in the world his utilities are so low, for example.  I can't get over that.  And the home/car insurance.  Going to start doing some analyzing/making phone calls. 

What is FIRE budget? 

Thanks!  Was shocked that I had responses so soon! :)
Jules


arebelspy

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Re: Any expat mustacians with large travel budgets??
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2013, 11:33:26 AM »
What is FIRE budget? 

FIRE = Financially Independent, Retire(d) Early

One's your budget in early retirement, basically.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.