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April 27, 2010


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We are doing Puerto Rico as a couple for six days while our two kids are at sleepaway camp. Got a great deal through Costco travel at a first-class resort--$900 including room, all taxes, resort fees, airport transfers (35 miles away), buffet breakfast every day. Plus we're paying $700 in airfare. Figuring $150/day for other food, entertainment, spa, casino and incidentals, so $2,500 for the whole shooting match.

And we're doing our annual week with the kids at an east coast beach. The beach itself is the best attraction in town and is free. Our daily cost for groceries (we eat in a lot), entertainment, and one meal out runs about $100 and we spend about that much in gas to get there and back, and over the course of the week. So for us it's about $800. We are lucky to have an oceanfront family condo in which to stay that would typically run about $1,300 for the week.

Our last years'summer vacation was 14 days in Seattle for me and my 2 kids. Total cost was $1900 including plane tix, car rental, and tickets to fairs and museums, but we saved big by staying at the 'hotel of family' including borrowing a time share condo on the beach for part of the time.

Of course I did spend about $400 of that amount on taking our family hosts out to dinner, buying salmon and making them all dinner, paying for some of their tickets to events when they came along, purchasing host/hostess gifts for them when we left. I think this is important! Even if we are family, it wasn't exactly super convenient for them to have the 3 of us staying at their house for 2 whole weeks!

This summer we're off to Seattle again (I have an elderly father there---I worry these days that every year might be his last) but this time I'm taking my BF to meet the family. The trip is still in the planning phase, but we're going to 1) try to do more traditional sightseeing because my BF's never been there before--which means we'll spend some $ on actual hotels closer to downtown (and also --yay!-- avoid the awkwardness of sleeping arrangements at the 'family hotel') and 2) we plan to spend some days at my Dad's rustic cabin in the mountains doing some hiking--hopefully my Dad will come along for some of those days at the cabin.

I expect this trip to be more expensive than last year, because of the added hotel costs and extra plane ticket. But I'm really looking forward to it! Especially the hiking....

My wife and I are going to Walt Disney World for our anniversary in June (we don't have any kids we just decided it would be fun). Over Christmas we're hoping to get a cabin in NE and take a couple we're friends with from church.

We plan to drive down to FL both to save money on plane tickets/rental car and also to see the East Coast. In Orlando we'll be staying in a timeshare condo that some other friends are letting us borrow for a week that will cost us $178. We'll be able to get 2 4-day passes to the parks for about $200 total (military discount) and with the condo kitchen we plan on eating most of our meals "at home". I plan to splurge a little for her anniversary present and take her to a Cirque de Soleil performance where tickets will run us $250 or so total. All told I'm hoping to get out for around $1000, maybe just a little over.

Our Christmas trip we plan on spending about $3-4000 because we'll be getting a rustic cabin at full price (can't mooch off friends too much).

My family of three went on a trip to Europe in March. Cost us around $9000 but we see it as a trip of a lifetime. We paid for it spread throughout the latter half of 2009 and part of 2010. Put it on the credit card and paid it off every month. I researched the best airfares and the best time to visit Europe when there would be less tourists. We chose almost all the optionals in the tour to enhance the expreience.

Worth it? I think so. It was a 11 day bus tour that covered London, Lucerne (Switzerland), Paris, Rome and Florence. I told my wife to choose between paying down for a new car or a trip, and she chose the trip.

For the balance of 2010 we will be doing a trip within driving distance in the US. I will budget around $1000 for this.

Spring 7-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera and 3-days in San Diego - about $3300.

Fall 1-week at Hilton Head in South Carolina - about $1200.

This last year was the one of best years for family vacations. We took the family to Disneyland for a week and to Kuaui for a week. We spent about $2,000 for the Disneyland trip and $750 for the Hawaii trip, as we had no expenses for airfare and or lodging (one of the perks of traveling for work).

I felt really good about the total prices paid for the vacations as the children worked to save up for the Disney trip (they saved almost $300 which was used towards the total), and we took the family on the Hawaii trip instead of giving presents for Christmas. One of the discussion topics on this board last fall mentioned the memory of experiences is better than receiving gifts (or something to that effect). This is absolutely true, as we had some awesome experiences with the family that the kids are still talking about.

We'll do the Outer Banks for a week this summer. It's driving distance for us. Renting a house for a week will be about $1100. We don't spend a lot while we're there: food, a little eating out, a tee-shirt for the kid.

For Easter, we drove to Austin and Waco to visit friends. We spent Friday and Saturday night in Austin and all day Sunday in Waco before driving back to Houston. We got to see a community theater play in Austin and took a private tour of a zoo in Waco. The whole trip cost about $200 for food and one tank of gas (love our Prius).

We're taking a 5 night Caribbean cruise this summer for $1550 plus souvenirs and excursions. We are budgeting for about $2000 total. We loved the same cruise we took last year and are looking forward to it soooo much!

We also usually take at least one weekend gambling trip to Louisiana every year and budget for $500 total. We've never lost or won more than $200, but we budget for a complete loss just to be safe.

Overall, our annual vacation budget is $3000 plus 10% of any extra money that comes in - reffing, this year's tax refund, a little from my side jobs like pet sitting, babysitting, and now my blog.

We have yet to use the whole budget, but will probably start next year when I get 3 weeks of vacation...that's more than enough time for two big vacations a year. :-)

I love to travel so I build it in to my budget every year. For the last couple of years I have been pretty lucky and have been able to set aside $3,500 a year.

I try to plan my vacations so that I save as much as possible on airfare, accomadations, and attractions. However, I love to eat, it's a close second to travel, so I spare no expense and eat out every meal on vacation. Before, I leave I spend coountless hours reading restaurant reviews picking out the places that locals like the best.

The budget this year is $4,500. One is a family beach vacation that utilizes approximately 2/3 of the budget and the second consists of long weekends planned for just my wife and I.

Travel is pretty much the number 1 priority in our budget after other normal expenses are covered.

Tomorrow we leave for the Amazon. It's a free cruise that we won, so we have $200 budgeted for any extra expenses that might come up.
In a week we leave for the U.S. for a month and a half to work (photograph a wedding) and visit family, we have $1500 budgeted.
In August we go to Spain to work (again, photographing a wedding) but we're staying some extra time to take advantage of seeing a new country, so we have another $1500 budgeted for that.

And we're running the Chicago marathon, which I'm pretty sure will run us at least $400 in hotel/food for two days.

In the end of May, I’m going to Vegas with some friends.
My budget $1000: flight + four nights at Luxor $420, the rest on entertainment.

Going to Peru for 8 days. The cost will be about $2000 per person, which includes airfare from Miami, hotel (hostel), meals and 4 days on the Inca trail. Waiting on partner to come up with his share, but looks like I might be going by myself. Most people don't have that kind of money to spend.
I have gone somewhere overseas at least twice a year. I have an account set up that enables me to travel. My 10 year old has been to Panama, London, Paris and Rome with me. What other kids out there can say they have seen the Mona Lisa in person or experienced a trip to the Vatican.
I say experience cultures and customs
different from yours your kids will have memories of it for years.

Irina: Inca trail is amazing. Cuzco is an awesome city. Lima not so much, although I regret not going to the museums since I love precolumbino art. That said, the Peruanos that I met in Lima were so nice and welcoming.

Travel is my biggest line item in my annual budget. I try to keep it to less than 3K a year, but we'll see this year since I've already spent about $2700 for a week-long trip to Panama in February. I'm thinking Morocco in September or a more traditional south of France summer vacation (I went there last year too because my friend's family has a condo there and I'm thinking of making it an annual tradition.

I rented a beachhouse last sumemr with some friends but the economy has really put a cramp on all of us. Some of my friends have no jobs currently and I honestly dont think i can afford 600$ again. But hey, it was worth it last year and im sure once our financial situations turn around we will get a place again. Maybe this winter=)
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I'm guilty of splurging this year. I'm sorry Old Limey and FMF!! I'm getting married and we're taking one hell of a honeymoon. Two weeks in the South Pacific = $7,500. if I get caught by Pirates, then the cost of this trip will go up substantially ;)

Just like a previous commenter, I budget about $3000 for travel, making it my biggest expense (bigger than rent, atm). Whether I actually get to spend this amount each year depends on how much time I can take off work.

During spring break I made a 2 week vacation to Spain (flying in from Belgium) which cost about $3200 for two persons. I'd like to travel more in Summer. We'll see if I can spare the time.

I'm going to Puerto Rico at the end of May for 5 days. The non-stop round-trip airfare was only $410 from Baltimore. The gem here is that I'll be staying with a friend who is from PR and has a family living down there = free lodging and free transportation. We would only be worrying about the foods and tourism costs.

I have 2nd summer trip planned to Toronto & Ottawa during 4th of July weekend. I'll be driving from NYC with friends in a rental car and stay at hostel. We took a similar trip to Montreal & Ottawa last summer and only spent about $250 for 4 days.

These two trips (outside of US!) won't cost more than $1,000 for me and I think it's a very good job of me!

I would be hesitant to compare Niagara Falls to the American West. For example, Yellowstone National Park alone has waterfalls to rival Niagara (especially if you consider Yellowstone's variety), large fauna, great views, fishing, the lake, backcountry, and of course the geological features are unprecedented worldwide.

I'd seriously consider the Western trip.


Not even spending the money to go to MasterPo's fishing club's annual conclave weekend (you can count the number of times MasterPo has missed the conclave in the last 30 years on one hand!).

Can't afford it.

Tell MasterPo again how "greedy" he's being.

Not racist.
Not violent.
Just no longer silent.

My hubby and I are planning to go to Ethiopia for 6 weeks. We're planning to spend around $8000. We expect the airfare from the US to Ethiopia will be a little over $4000 alone (but we'll be looking for a deal in the meantime- if we can't get cheaper tickets, we found a travel agency that offers a free stop over included in the cost of a regularly priced ticket- in which case we'll probably go to Dakar, Senegal for a week). The airfare is crazy expensive, but we have family there we haven't seen in several years and we've been budgeting for this expense. We will also take my mother-in law on cross-country trip.

Our family is heading to Sydney, Australia. The trip is cheaper because (1) we live in the South Pacific, (2) we are using points for a portion of our airfare,(3) we are using points for 5 free nights hotel (4) we are staying with friends for 3 nights. All told we plan to spend $1,600 for our family of five.

Near the end of May, My wife and I are heading to Vegas for 4 days. We're then flying to Phoenix (she has family there) and renting a car to explore Sedona and the Grand Canyon. We're leaving this part of the trip a little up in the air for spontaneity. Plan to get hotels through Priceline or Hotwire in whatever cities we lay down our head. Expect total costs to be around $2000.

We also take a trip yearly to the SC coast. Normally rent a house with friends in Surfside Beach. The hubbys get to play golf at several Myrtle Beach golf courses while the wives spend time doing whatever it is that wives like to do. Cost usually less than $1000.

One of my favourite subjects!

A couple of weeks in Florida in March cost about $3k.
We'll go home to Ireland over the summer for maybe another $4k all in.
Xmas in Cuba (any cheapy all inclusive) should be maybe another $2k.
And miscellaneous weekends here and there although we usually use hotel points for them.

Flights are a lot of that - it ain't cheap to fly out of Toronto and I despise budget airlines like Transat.

I'm getting married in June and we are going to the Mayan Riviera for 10 days. We are staying at an all-inclusive resort and the trip is costing about $3,400, including airfare.

we budget $4000 a year for our family of three. We live near the beach in SC but still love to cruise and hit the island beaches! We also alternate between Disney, Vegas and New York. Although New York has been squeezed in extra for a couple of girls only trips :)

Once our house is paid off in 6 years, we plan to travel the U.S.

I am retired and live on SS & 2 small retirements. I go 2x a year to see my kids in AL. On the first time I go, I detour from MO to IN for a church campmeeting for a week and then down to AL. The whole trip should cost me less than $1k. The second trip would cost around $500. I am going to Branson, MO for 3 days next week - cost around $700. I hope for a trip to Chicago and a drive to see one of my family. I live in the central U.S. and have immediate family (mine and my husband's) in IL, NH, FL, AL, OK, TX, AZ, NV, CA, and WA. So, as you can see, I can take some reasonable trips and stay with family. I only stay in hotels when I go to Vegas. My BIL has a small place and we usually go there for family reunions.

Last year I took my first ever Amtrak trip to WA to visit a SIL. Great trip and really reasonable. It was less than $500 for the round trip ticket.

I forgot. I also take numerous trips through the year (including Branson) on the MO OATS bus system. It used to be only for older adults, but now anyone can ride. For instance, I take a trip that is 80 miles away. It costs a suggested donation of $9. If I drove it, my gas would total about $15. They pick you up at home, deliver you to the front doors of doctor's and whatever stores you want to shop at, pick you up at the front door again, and deliver you back home. All for a cost of $6-12 r/t. It allows me to have more times to get out of the house at a price I can afford. I hope your areas have something similar.

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