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How much do you budget for travel?

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  • How much do you budget for travel?

    Ready to take our 4 kids on some vacations after being hunkered down for a year and a half

    Have a beach trip planned this summer where we’re renting a nice house thats large enough to accommodate extended family, but it’s a small fortune (12k). We’re following months later with an Orlando theme park trip this Christmas that should cost around the same.

    Ive never spent money on vacation like this in the past but I don’t care about overcompensating this once after this past year. I have no loans other than a mortgage, and can still meet my investing goals of 20% gross. Still…it’s hard to press the button on these deposits

    just Curious what kind of vacation budget people have, especially with kids hitting the prime years for travel (6-10)

  • #2
    Next year we have a big 12k trip with the kiddos (young buddies not yet in school). This year, three smaller trips (2-3k range each).

    The 12k trip is the most we would have ever spent on a single vacation, and is a combo of us getting our financial house in order plus delayed gratification due to COVID.

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    • #3
      Other than taxes, retirement savings, and mortgage, travel is our biggest expense, and some years rivals or exceeds the amount we pay toward our mortgage annually. That being said, we have a list of places we want to go, so we look for deals on those places when we can.

      We made the decision years ago that we would rather pay more for experiences than stuff, so our travel budget is quite liberal.

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      • #4
        We're only spending about 10-15k on travel this year but next year I'm planning around 50k. We had a LOT of trips canceled in 2020 so we're basically repeating that planned year. We did buy a cabin 6 months ago so I suspect it will bring down our travel costs in the future as going there really does fill the need to just get away on a regular basis.

        We have kids ages 4 and 13.

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        • #5
          I like variety. The spendiest was about 20k to take the extended family to Disneyland. The cheapest was 3 weeks in Vietnam for $700 plus airfare.

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          • #6
            Ugh Orlando theme parks. We are a few years behind you kid wise but I know that will be an expensive trip when we get there. However we see it as a once or possibly twice in a childhood trip. I know people who go yearly or more. I have no idea how they afford it.

            When you have 4 kids going anywhere is going to be expensive. When we do a big trip like that it would be the only one for the year. Alternatively a couple smaller trips would be nice.

            We don't have a budget but it would pain me to pay that much. I would never spend so much that it would not allow us to meet our savings goals

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            • #7
              I look at vacations as enjoying life experiences. Once I make sure all my retirement/investment accounts are funded adequately, I have no problem spending money on vacation

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              • #8
                When I graduated I gave myself a yearly $10k "travel" fund. Now that I'm 3 years out and doing well thinking about doubling it.

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                • #9
                  You should spend your money on experiences, the memories they form for kids last longer then the items you will purchase will. We just went to Disney, you can really burn a lot of cash there. There are a lot of variable expenses you can save on though. Get mouse ears for the daughter at Amazon before going. The one thing that I like saving money on (but my wife does not) is lodging. As long as the place you are staying is safe, convenient, and clean, I would rather spend the money on something other then a place you will just be sleeping in. We stayed in the animation studios at Disney. We will probably be spending over 10K for cruise vacation to get a better room. A cruise is probably different, you don't want to get sea-sick or claustrophobic in an inside room.

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                  • #10
                    Dive weekends on a SoCal dive boat: few hundred bucks including accommodations below, three squares a day, and some good experiences.

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                    • #11
                      Travel is key for our family! When we were still paying off my student loans, we still made sure to budget for travel. At that time, the budget was less, probably around $5000-$6000/year. Now that we paid off my loans and only have a mortgage, we have increased the budget to $20,000 for now. We could probably do more and will likely increase that budget later in life. We prefer to spend our money on travel and don't really buy a lot of "stuff". I've seen too many people wait to travel and then something happens (cancer, death, significant illness). I want those memories with my family and am willing to save for it.

                      And I will say Disney can be done for less than some of the prices listed above! We are a Disney every 2 years or so kind of family, and we've done all of our trips there for less than $4000. Some of it depends on what you want to spend money on and what you don't. We try to travel at off-peak times and do take the kids out of school for some trips, as our schools allow up to a week out of school per year. We don't usually stay at the priciest hotels there, although we may splurge for a future visit. We will probably phase this out as the kids get older, so we try to enjoy it now.

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                      • #12
                        How much do I budget for travel? Not nearly enough! (Right now vacation time rather than funds are what is limiting me, though.)

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                        • #13
                          Wow, we are relatively cheap to a lot of you. We don't have a specific budget line item, but I don't think we ever spend more than $10,000 in a single year. We don't have kids though. We have done a weeklong $8,000 beach house rental twice, but split it with the siblings that were coming with us, so our share is less than $3,000. We did splurge on a Europe trip right after partner graduated residency - that was two weeks, including a weeklong mediterranean cruise, total cost was around $10,000. We did a week at an all inclusive resort in Mexico right before Covid, which was around $4,000 for the two of us, including airfare. Usually we do extended weekends in cities we want to see around the US - we are going to Seattle and Denver/Colorado mountains this summer, would love to go to the east coast this fall maybe. Both of those should be sub-$3,000 including airfare and nice hotels. I don't see us going international anytime soon, the restrictions are too confusing, we can just wait it out.

                          We use airline cards for every purchase possible, so when we can help it we use miles to buy airline tickets.

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                          • #14
                            As long as you are meeting your retirement goals, you can spend on whatever you want. Im a big travel spender, but do not buy teslas or bmws, etc. Others prefer fancy cars or a big house. If travel is a priority for you, there is no shame in spending whats left over from the other 80% (you mentioned 20% as your goal savings amount) after necessities all on travel.
                            And rack up/use miles if you travel a lot. Chase sapphire, AMEX, etc depends on which airline uses your city as a home base.

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                            • #15
                              I settled on $20,000 a year for the travel budget. Might be more some years; it was obviously less last year.

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