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What % of your gross annual income do you spend on vacations?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by bovie View Post
    Highly variable, but simply a portion of discretionary income and no more specific than that.
    yes, I would say about 2-10k per year.

    Will probably increase to 10-20k per year.

    You cannot take it with you.

    I drive a civic, our house is paid for and we have zero debt.

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    • #17
      We both love to travel. But we don’t necessarily agree on how frequently to travel. We are at the stage of life where our kids are launched, and other big expenses like mortgages and college tuition are all in the rear view mirror.

      My spouse likes to go on perhaps 3 to 4 major trips per year. I like to travel more than that. So we work on compromise. Given that there are no other major expenses, we may spend a lot on flights, accommodations, and experiences while traveling. We do things like flightseeing in Denali National Park, or heliskiing, or eating a meal in one of the most highly renowned restaurants in the world, or staying in a private villa with a private pool and incredible views in Bali.

      I like flying in the front of the plane. These days I enjoy flight hacking for business class seats with points, or by finding the right time to travel. Yesterday I scored a flash sale for 2 connecting business class suites to Europe. The fare for both of us, round trip in June high season, is 4k. Pretty sweet deal!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by pierre View Post

        How much do you have to spend to earn enough points to cover the cost of a trip like this?
        Exactly

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        • #19
          Originally posted by 8arclay View Post
          For us its less than 1%. Combination of high income, infrequent vacations, frugal trips most of the time, and travel hacking (reward points/miles).

          Example: We're going to an all-inclusive in the Carribbean in February, business class round trip. All in out of pocket will be under $500
          I cannot get a flight alone for less than 300-500, I don’t think this is realistic for the average vacation.

          Flight 400, (after bags /fees etc)
          Hotel 100-200/night,
          food $40/day, x 5

          so total for 5 days is 400+800+200 = 1400 and that is a pretty cheap vacation.

          Add in rental car etc. and you are easy up to 2k

          I think 2-3k is easy to spend.
          Last edited by Tangler; 04-27-2022, 03:24 AM.

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          • #20
            no budget. i've been eyeing up the Abercrombie &Kent private journeys for $159k per person. Has anyone taken these?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by pierre View Post

              How much do you have to spend to earn enough points to cover the cost of a trip like this?

              I churn for sign up bonuses, maybe 3-4 cards/year between my wife and I. Its a bit of a hobby and I keep track in a spreadsheet. But to answer your question, the resort was about 90k points for the week, the flight was another 85k points. So call the total trip 175k points

              Sign up bonuses are typically 50-100k points for spending $3-5K in the first 3 months. We meet this pretty easily, our household spending is
              in the $5-7k/mo range, so nothing too crazy (we dont buy anything we otherwise wouldnt to meet a spending requirement).

              We go on a trip like this every year or two, plus maybe another couple flights/hotel stays are covered during the year. I find it to be worth it

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              • #22
                Originally posted by 8arclay View Post


                I churn for sign up bonuses, maybe 3-4 cards/year between my wife and I. Its a bit of a hobby and I keep track in a spreadsheet. But to answer your question, the resort was about 90k points for the week, the flight was another 85k points. So call the total trip 175k points

                Sign up bonuses are typically 50-100k points for spending $3-5K in the first 3 months. We meet this pretty easily, our household spending is
                in the $5-7k/mo range, so nothing too crazy (we dont buy anything we otherwise wouldnt to meet a spending requirement).

                We go on a trip like this every year or two, plus maybe another couple flights/hotel stays are covered during the year. I find it to be worth it
                Sounds like you have a knack for it.

                Seems like a lot of snake (CC) handling and churning (changing credit cards frequently etc.)

                I have one CC (amazon prime) and that is enough for me.

                Can not deny that you seem to have a system.

                If you enjoy it, more power.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by bean1970 View Post
                  no budget. i've been eyeing up the Abercrombie &Kent private journeys for $159k per person. Has anyone taken these?
                  Not the private journey you reference—absolutely plan for some version of that in the future though—but did use them for honeymoon.

                  Highly recommend.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Notsobad View Post
                    I’m shooting for 50%, one day. Not sure that we will hit that, even in the first couple years of retirement when we go on a traveling binge.
                    I share the sentiment. Except we’ll be shooting for >90%, at least for the first few years.

                    Well, not shooting for per se, but absolutely expect to end up hitting that.

                    Can’t wait. It’s a big world out there.

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                    • #25
                      There is certainly a learning curve, but once you get a routine and rotation the effort is pretty minimal. Literally about 15 minutes every 3-4 months

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by bovie View Post

                        Not the private journey you reference—absolutely plan for some version of that in the future though—but did use them for honeymoon.

                        Highly recommend.
                        I'm using them this summer for a custom journey and then this fall for a small group journey. I've heard they do a fab job. This summer trip is a 2020 rebooking and they have been great to work with, But I keep getting the flyer for the private journey and totally on my bucket list.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by bean1970 View Post

                          I'm using them this summer for a custom journey and then this fall for a small group journey. I've heard they do a fab job. This summer trip is a 2020 rebooking and they have been great to work with, But I keep getting the flyer for the private journey and totally on my bucket list.
                          They have very nice printed materials. Get a nice thick catalog/brochure at least once a month.

                          It’s smart too—usually flip through the whole thing and take mental notes for future aspirational trips.

                          And now I know what they use all of my money for LOL.

                          As an aside, their trip-specific webinars are great for details and recon for the very expensive ones you may be considering later on.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Mdmulier View Post
                            What percentage of your gross annual income do you spend on vacations? Is there a rule out there somewhere?

                            I've read a lot about allotting > 20% of yearly salary for savings and retirement, but haven't really seen much about what's considered "sensible" when it comes to vacation budget.
                            Interesting way to phrase the question. It's a tiny % of our income, but a large % of our spending.

                            The only rule is spend your money on whatever you like ONCE you've taken care of business.
                            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                            • #29
                              These responses make me happy and sad at the same time. I'm glad folks see travel/experiences as worth spending money on; but it seems very American to need to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to see the world.

                              I've talked with a lot of Europeans the last year or two and they have such a different worldview and a completely different approach to travel. Granted most of them have been younger, still in their 20s-40s and without kids. But they travel very light. Travel is not a twenty thousand dollar seven day whirlwind plugged into their hectic busy lives; travel is a six month journey to Indonesia and Thailand during which they might do a little remote work to make ends meet - or not. They spend a year in Australia following the harvest, taking large blocks of time off to surf or hike. They spend wine harvest in Bordeaux helping their parents out for a couple months before heading back to Japan for four months to see friends, practice their Japanese, and learn Japanese drumming. One guy followed his girlfriend to Brazil where he learned jiujitsu and Portuguese - he stayed for a year. He did end up working some during that time but now wants to move to the US to experience six months in a college town with a big football team (I suggested a Big Ten town - other ideas?). One woman moved to New York and works about 40 hours a week - but goes to Mexico twice a year for about two months each time where she stays with friends and surfs and rides her bike and gets some sun.

                              None of this travel involves business class airfare or first class hotels or tourist guides or three star restaurants. There are camper vans, train trips, adventures with cabbies, strange foods, escapades with government officials. But they are really traveling, really experiencing other cultures, and truly enriching their lives. They're relaxed and happy and the glow lasts much longer than the duration of their latest ten thousand dollar seven day trip to Disneyland or Aruba.

                              Obviously the demands of our high dollar jobs get in the way of this for most of our careers. I'm not sure it's worth it in terms of stress, longevity, and true happiness, but we've made our beds, taken out our student loans, bought our seven figure houses and six figure cars and so on, it takes a brave soul to really shift course midstream. But these friendships have really opened my eyes that a lot of the world doesn't live like we do in America - and that we've sacrificed an awful lot to have 4000 square foot houses and two Teslas and a boat in the three car garage. As soon as our youngest is off to college it's hasta la vista to anything that keeps me from long slow travel. And it might be sooner than that.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post
                                These responses make me happy and sad at the same time. I'm glad folks see travel/experiences as worth spending money on; but it seems very American to need to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to see the world.

                                I've talked with a lot of Europeans the last year or two and they have such a different worldview and a completely different approach to travel. Granted most of them have been younger, still in their 20s-40s and without kids. But they travel very light. Travel is not a twenty thousand dollar seven day whirlwind plugged into their hectic busy lives; travel is a six month journey to Indonesia and Thailand during which they might do a little remote work to make ends meet - or not. They spend a year in Australia following the harvest, taking large blocks of time off to surf or hike. They spend wine harvest in Bordeaux helping their parents out for a couple months before heading back to Japan for four months to see friends, practice their Japanese, and learn Japanese drumming. One guy followed his girlfriend to Brazil where he learned jiujitsu and Portuguese - he stayed for a year. He did end up working some during that time but now wants to move to the US to experience six months in a college town with a big football team (I suggested a Big Ten town - other ideas?). One woman moved to New York and works about 40 hours a week - but goes to Mexico twice a year for about two months each time where she stays with friends and surfs and rides her bike and gets some sun.

                                None of this travel involves business class airfare or first class hotels or tourist guides or three star restaurants. There are camper vans, train trips, adventures with cabbies, strange foods, escapades with government officials. But they are really traveling, really experiencing other cultures, and truly enriching their lives. They're relaxed and happy and the glow lasts much longer than the duration of their latest ten thousand dollar seven day trip to Disneyland or Aruba.

                                Obviously the demands of our high dollar jobs get in the way of this for most of our careers. I'm not sure it's worth it in terms of stress, longevity, and true happiness, but we've made our beds, taken out our student loans, bought our seven figure houses and six figure cars and so on, it takes a brave soul to really shift course midstream. But these friendships have really opened my eyes that a lot of the world doesn't live like we do in America - and that we've sacrificed an awful lot to have 4000 square foot houses and two Teslas and a boat in the three car garage. As soon as our youngest is off to college it's hasta la vista to anything that keeps me from long slow travel. And it might be sooner than that.
                                seriously boss, What are you talking about?

                                These people sound like 20 year olds undergoing a "gap year" not a 30-50 year old doc with a physician job, family, moca requirements, credentialing and licensing etc.

                                A year in Australia, or Brazil or Japan......yeah, that's more like a midlife crisis and / or FIRE rather than a doctors vacation.

                                If you are going to slow travel, seems like you will need to have hit the FIRE button. I don't think it is realistic for a lot of docs.

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