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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Metta on January 04, 2015, 07:34:09 AM

Title: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Metta 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?
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Zamboni 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Villanelle 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. 
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: takeahike 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: TerriM 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: takeahike 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. 
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Monkey Uncle 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. 
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: NinetyFour 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: JLee 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: JoJo 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).

Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Returnoftheyeti 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
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Kaminoge 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: limeandpepper 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Villanelle 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: boy_bye 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...
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: deborah 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: BlueMR2 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: TerriM 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!

Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Cassie 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.   
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Abe 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).
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Monkey Uncle 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: starbuck 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: chasesfish 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: kpd905 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Irishtache 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!
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Christof 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: ltt 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: brooklynmoney 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: mm1970 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: totoro 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Workinghard 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: pachnik 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: MsPeacock 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. 
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: lielec11 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: crispy 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. 
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: takeahike 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: takeahike 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: rubybeth 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Cookie78 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Philociraptor 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: lielec11 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).
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: takeahike 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 ;)
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: acorn 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: astvilla 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!
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: h2ogal 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.

Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Metta 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!
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Metta 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: tomita 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
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Philociraptor 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: aspiringnomad 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Gray Matter 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)
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: starbuck 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!
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: SailAway 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....
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: HattyT on January 06, 2015, 05:57:49 PM
TerriM, how did you discover the bacon cooking tip?  Is there a story there?
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: boarder42 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Daisy 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!
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Nudelkopf 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...
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: rubybeth 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Peacefulwarrior 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Teddy25 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
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: chouchouu 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Cassie on January 11, 2015, 12:25:26 PM
When you go to poland be sure to go to Krakow-it is awesome!
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: pipercat 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/
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Zikoris 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: NonprofitER 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!)

Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: takeahike 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Christof 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Cassie 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Jules13 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!
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: MustardTiger 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Kansas Beachbum 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: nonsequitur on January 20, 2015, 08:40:09 PM
We budget AUS$10k a year for travel, family of four.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: JustTrying 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.
Title: Re: How much do you spend on travel?
Post by: Jules13 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.