How do you afford to travel so much?????

Nov 19th, 2002, 04:47 PM
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A Ford Explorer and a Honda mini-van are simple, family cars? Maybe compared to a Landrover and Lexus. Did you buy them used? If you didn't, you spent a ton of money on them new when there were cheaper alternatives available. And with gas prices the way they are I hope you don't have to drive that Explorer very far every day.

People rarely understand how expensive cars are. When the US government gives you a 32 cent a mile allowance to operate a car, it's for a reason. On average it really does cost that much to operate one.
Nov 19th, 2002, 04:49 PM
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Your husband is fortunate to have a wife with a brain. Most of the physician's wives I know just spend the money and don't worry their little heads where it came from. My wife and I both work and she knows money doesn't grow on trees. The truth is that most of the posters here don't have four children. My two brothers and I NEVER got to go on a vacation out entire childhood, just grandparent visits.
Nov 19th, 2002, 04:50 PM
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This is similar to another post on the Europe Thread. My husband & I had his 2 teenagers for a time when we were 1st married (and child support included) so our trips were verrry low budget (camping, day trips,...). Now it is only the two of us, so we do have alittle more disposible income, but I still hunt out the bargains to keep our costs down & we can enjoy more (since we both work - duel income)- We live in a small house, eat out most of the time for breakfasts (cheaper that dinners!) and only dinners once a month, keep our 2 cars for a long time, coupons & Sales!!!,... Any extra $'s we get (bonuses, overtime pay, refunds & rebates,...) goes into a separate savings account. We generally do a really big trip (2 - 3 weeks) about every 1 - 2 years and smaller trips inbetween (a few days to 1 week). With this plan we have gone to So. California 4 times in the last 2 1/2 years - Alaska Cruise (definatly in shoulder season & like above booked an inside room - much less expensive.) - and now planing on a 3 week trip to Edinburgh / London & Ireland for July 2003 (can't do shoulder or off season as we usually do because a wedding is our reason for going in July). We also save for our retirement - but why wait when we may not beable to get around as well when we retire? It is definatly a priority matter.
Nov 19th, 2002, 05:28 PM
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I am self employed (wife doesn't work)and make pretty good money. We keep expenses to a minimum where possible.

I view travel with my three children almost, if not more educational than going to school. We try to take at least two or three vacations each year, the last one running around 10k. We have not taken our kids to a theme park since they were about 7 or so and have no plans to ever go again.

This year we went to the NE and to Canada, next year it is to SF, up the coast and back down to SLC. Next year we are going to Europe. Heck yes it is pricey but worth every dime and the memories are....priceless.

Nov 19th, 2002, 05:52 PM
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We love to travel. Just average folks. Fortunately, we don't have expensive cars, or a whopping mortgage. We live very simply, and our biggest advantage is we don't have any kids. We can take 2 nice vacations a year. Sometimes we may sqeak in 3 if we find that spectacular deal! I'd say the biggest expense in your case is the kids.
Nov 19th, 2002, 08:41 PM
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I go off season, otherwise I couldn't afford it.Searching the web for deals all the time.
Nov 19th, 2002, 09:03 PM
Daniel Williams
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I'm a single guy and make a pretty modest salary (around K$50). However, my monthly rent is quite reasonable here in Montreal and I do not own a car, which saves on expenses. Travelling is such a joy to me, that I give it high priority in life. I feel it helps me understand how others think, what their perspective is, which is priceless to my eyes. I'm willing to take Greyhound (I even enjoy Greyhound sometimes) to experience somewhere new and different; I stay with friends (who can and do stay in guest room) and don't mind sleeping on the couch if that's all a friend has. Some cities have dormitory accommodations in the summer for quite reasonable prices, which I have no shame in staying at. I find time the limiting factor in taking vacations more than money (admittedly though I've been travelling mostly around North America these days; furthest recent trip was to the Bahamas).
Nov 19th, 2002, 09:48 PM
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I can't imagine spending 8 grand in Cancun. You've gotta learn how to bargain shop. Whenever I get an "inkling" to travel-which is often, I just put in extra hours at work. I call this my "splurge" money because that's exactly what I like to do when I vacation. I like to spoil myself and be spoiled. So glad my boyfriend understands this. So, room service and great shopping in wonderful places is what I live for.
Nov 20th, 2002, 04:53 AM
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Wow, 8 grand is a LOT for a week's vacation, even for 6 people!

We travel inexpensively by

1. doing home exchanges,

2. using frequent flyer miles (get a cc and put EVERYTHING, including groceries, on it),

3. yes we did stay with relatives once,

4. chosing economical accomodations, even camping,

5. traveling off-season when possible

6. choosing economical activities and meals, rather than an all-incllusive deluxe place

7. not spending money on cars, clothes, other optional stuff (I drive a 1993 Escort, THAT's "driving simple")

8. driving rather than flying

Using the above techniques, I have (for instance) taken 4 people to England and Wales for 3 weeks for $2500, 3 people to Hawaii for 10 days for under $1000, 3 people to Amish country for a week for under $500.
Nov 20th, 2002, 05:16 AM
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I think if you really set your mind on bargan shopping for vacations, you could come up with some deals. It has to be a hobbie, and you need to be diligent in searching for the deals. Granted, 4 kids is a drawback in terms of traveling. You also don't mention there ages with the exception one is an infant, but still I think 8 grand is extremely high for Cancun. I still think you could do educational trips as a family. Rent a place along the beach someplace, even if it meant cooking some meals versus eating out. I would check into some summer rates, along PDC in Mexico. You could check into Disneyland since you are in the west. Driving there wouldn't be that bad, then spend a week. I think you could do better than 8K. Maybe even consider leaving the baby with someone at this time, since it he/she is young and wouldn't benefit a vacation at this time. I also think you and hubby should plan some time away if even a long weekend someplace. You need some time alone!For other family ideas, it seems you could go to San Diego, do the zoo, Sea World, etc for a week and not spent 8K. EVen considering a cruise which leaves from S.D. would cut down on air fare costs if you drove. Just throwing out ideas.
Nov 20th, 2002, 05:20 AM
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Agree with a lot of the things said here. The main reason we can afford the things we do is: we live in a house that is WAY below our means. Yes, it would be nice to have a better home, but this really frees up a lot of our income.
Nov 20th, 2002, 06:16 AM
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From the original poster: Thanks to all of your sincere replies. Wow!!! This was the longest thread I have ever read without even one nasty response. Thanks so much. Regarding our cars- the Ford Explorer my husband drives is over 10 years old. (It really is a "simple" car when you compare it to the luxury cars... Jags, BMWs... in the doctors' parking lot... it really is comical how it stands out. We're actually quite proud of that. LOL!!!) We do use our American Express card to charge EVERYTHING we can (paid off monthly, of course) to get the FF miles. We have almost 200,000 miles. I've found, however, that they can be so difficult to use. For example, I tried to book trips on USAirways and Delta to the caribbean ONE YEAR in advance for the family (then 5 of us) and the seats were already taken. It's frustrating! Thanks to the poster re: the idea to cruise from Southern California. What a great idea. That way, we can drive to the port and save on airfare. Thanks again to everyone for your civil replies.
Nov 20th, 2002, 06:24 AM
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RM, you have your priorities right, IMHO. I also think Suzanne has a refreshing attitude about shopping for a lady (hope you get that apartment AND still get to Florida once in a while to eat those stone crab claws LOL).

Our family of 6 chooses travel over some of the luxuries that most folks take for granted. I just shake my head when people post about the $400 hotel rooms and $350 facials/massages. Just my opinion again, but anyone who foregoes family travel for the sake of owning a new SUV has caved in to society`s pressure. My wonderful wife does not work outside the home, I do not have a high paying job. Our kids laugh at the idea of paying $75 for a pair of tennis shoes that Nike has produced for all of $7. We are so fortunate to live in the fattest country in the world, if you can`t make it here you can`t make it anywhere (sorry Frank). My advice to the poster of this thread is "allow yourselves to quit the rat-race while you still have your health (yes, that means quitting that dead end job, and your husband knows what I mean), drive those cars into the ground and find alternative means of income, and devote your lives to being with your kids". That may sound harsh, and I don`t mean it to. It is real advice meant in the kindest way.
Just so nobody thinks I am advocating poverty, I must add that our 4 kids lack for nothing meaningfull, they have been all over the world and understand that they are incredibly well off compared to most of the world. They might be a little more inclined to look at our society in an iconoclastic way, taking the real value and passing on the 'hype'.
Nov 20th, 2002, 06:28 AM
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The only way I can afford to take my two teenaged daughters to NY for 5 days over Spring break, is to incorporate it into theie Christmas gift. (I also have a boy, 8yrs old.)
The girls are getting a nice piece of luggage with air tickets and 200.00 shopping money inside. My son will not fly on a plane. Maybe when He is older. My husband gave me a choice. New wood floor in kitchen, or a trip to NY before my daughter goes off to school. They always wanted to go, my floor can wait. It is all about choices. Priorities. Just my 2 cents worth!
Nov 20th, 2002, 06:56 AM
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You are welcome for the cruise suggestion from S.D. I think if you really concentrate on it, put forth a lot of effort, not just jump into the first idea,(like 8K for Cancun) you will find something afforadable.
Nov 20th, 2002, 06:57 AM
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I agree that the Explorer and Minivan are simple cars.

My husband and I have no children (don't want any) and we can spend our money on ourselves. We both have stressful jobs and getaways help.
Nov 20th, 2002, 07:05 AM
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Dining out is incredibly expensive when you travel. That is why we usually stay at Marriott Residence Inns, they include a hot breakfast and a kitchen. You can pack a lunch at a small fraction of what it costs to eat out. Dinner can be a simple meal prepared in your hotel kitchen. Residence Inns even do your grocery shopping for you at no additional charge, except for the groceries, of course! Also, visit places where the natural landscape is the destination instead of the man-made version. We, too, make a very good living. My husband is a VP, one son in college and one in HS, and I don't work. It isn't that I mind spending $$$, I just HATE wasting it!! Good Luck
Nov 20th, 2002, 07:36 AM
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You know one of your best bests would be to rent a condo and forget the hotel idea. For example, you could rent a nice condo almost anywhere, say for example Las Vegas which is also close to where you live reducing air flight costs. It is a very economical place to travel A nice place with great swimming pools,etc. You could cook, or eat out and the food is also cheaper there. There are many kid places to entertain them that is also cheap. Include a day at Hoover Dam, and local sites as well. You could probably do this for several grand. Maybe 3K for a enture week. (well maybe 4K) Somewhere in that bracket. Half of the Cancun costs.
Nov 20th, 2002, 07:55 AM
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We (2 adults, 2 kids, 2 moderate incomes) spend about 15k per year on travel. In a typical year that gets us:
-- a couple weekend ski trips. We drive (live in N. England), stay in town rather than on site, pack lunches.
-- a week at the shore (New Jersey or Cape Cod). We rent a house with friends/family and cook our own meals. Kids ride around on bikes, hang on the beach and boardwalks.
-- a ``big trip'' maybe to Disney or Grand Canyon or Italy. We look for great airfare and hotel deals before deciding when, where, or whether.
-- Weeklong trips to grandma and grandpa's, summer and holidays. We drive, stay in cheap hotels. G&G do the cooking.
Nov 20th, 2002, 08:15 AM
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Sometimes you just have to be inventive. There are lots of good ideas on this post and I'll take the one about renting a condo a little farther. Many people are not aware that you can rent a timeshare condo (and they can be extremely nice) They can also be much cheaper than hotel rooms for 5/6 people.

This site gives rates for condos that are for rent - take a look - you might find a place you'd like to visit and you can cook some meals in and eat some out - result cheaper vacation more fun. Take a look
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