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What do you spend on the average family vacation?

What do you spend on the average family vacation?

Old Feb 6th, 2008, 06:34 AM
  #1  
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What do you spend on the average family vacation?

For a week?

This is a threadjack of the "most polular American destination" thread.

We're a family of four and typically spend between $3,000-$4,500 for a weeklong vacation that requires plane travel or $2,000-$3,000 when we drive. I'm pretty good about finding bargains at high end places.

I'm really curious about others, so what's your budget for the family vacation?
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 06:53 AM
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These are pretty good ballpark numbers if you aren't watching expenses tightly, but there are huge variables: how much driving; do you count mileage or just direct costs; how many in a room at a hotel; is breakfast included; chain restaurants, local restaurants or picnics for meals; big meal at lunch or at dinner; tipping; tolls and parking fees; entrances to attractions; snacks, breaks, and alcohol. Etc.

The two of us generally spend at the lower end of your numbers when we travel, not really enjoying resort or high end hotels because they are too much like the places we have had to stay for work.

We do like to enjoy two or three high end meals in a week of traveling, but we also love local joints where lunch doesn't cost much if anything above Wendy's, so it evens out. city.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 06:57 AM
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I read recently that the average family vacation in Hawaii costs $600 a day, if you include airfare.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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Oops, that is $600 a day without air fare.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 07:01 AM
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Ackislander you live on vacation! We've rented houses on Nantucket for 17 years, but not for the last 3...the rental rates have just gone through the roof!

We usually rented the last week in June to save money, and we only rent 2 bedroom places, the rent alone is about $2500 if we're lucky, then $400 to ferry the car, a couple of dinners out then we cook in the rest.

I miss it so much, we may have to go back this summer if I can find a deal.

Want to do a house swap? Ours is really nice, maybe you want to be near NYC for a week, lol!
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 07:01 AM
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Hawaii is WICKED expensive!
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Gosh nina. That is a hard one.

My husband probably lost close to $2000 on our recent three nighter to Las Vegas and NYC is also wicked expensive.

Florida we can do for a week on $2000 easy.

If we fly out of the country it tends to be somewhere all inclusive so around $3500-$4000 sounds right for the two of us.

It really depends where we are going.
 
Old Feb 6th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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gosh it really depends...we went to Europe for over 2 weeks last year - 4 of us. cost a lot.

I would say though on average I try to keep it around 5,000.00 or less.

This summer we are going to Lake George - with family - the house rental, airfare, we are staying in NYC for two nights prior (on points)... I will come in way under the 5,000.00 only due to using points et.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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$ 3000 for a week at the beach. With a recession on the way, I bet millions of Americans will be cutting back on vacations. I cut one week last year for my family and will most likely cut two this year. The travel industry will be hurt pretty badly by a recession.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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For the 2 of us:

Last summer we spent about $3000 for 10 days in New Orleans and southern Louisiana, including airfare. So if that had been a 7 day trip, it would have been closer to $2200 or so.

Summer before, we spent 2 weeks in Germany and spent about $4000, not including airfare (FF miles). A week would have been closer to $2000.

This summer we are planning a 2.5 week trip to SE Asia, budgetting about $6000 for that, including airfare, which is half our budget.

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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 09:15 AM
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DH & I have to maximize our vacation days from work so always try to bookend a week off with w/ends, making 9 vacation days.

Christmas 2006, South FL (South Beach, Everglades, Key West): $3850

Christmas 2007, Disney World: $4650

T'giving 2007, NYC (4 days): $2000

I always try to find deals on hotels, etc. Typically we go visit our folks once or twice/yr but I don't count those since there's no accoms, and often times we even borrow their car...LOL!

Unfortunately we can usually only get time off work during peak periods. Hopefully soon we'll be able to travel more during the shoulder seasons.

Enjoy-la!
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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klam chowder, where did you stay in NY over Thanksgiving? We were there too (3 of us), for 5 days, and our hotel alone (a very middle-of-the-road hotel) was $2000 plus tax. Entire trip, about $4000, including air, transportation, etc.

Hawaii, summer of '07, 3 people, 10 days - about $5100 including air, hotels, cars (not including food - I never include food since we eat out so much at home anyway, it's usually a wash). For 5 of those days, we had a "deal" at a Marriott timeshare resort.

In 1998, we spent a month in Europe with our then 11 and 13-year olds. That trip cost about $12,000 (and was worth every penny). We stayed in everything from nice apartments on Sloane Gardens in London to what I refer to as "class Z" bed-and-breakfasts, and everything in between.

I guess every trip is different, depending on where and when we go.

 
Old Feb 6th, 2008, 09:57 AM
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When I read these replies, it occurs to me that $5000 a week is out of the question for the majority of the families I work around. These are usually families who are struggling, and maybe don't even have full health insurance.

It gives me pause. Camping in our state and local parks starts to sound like a very nice vacation.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Totally depends. We travel a lot 'off-season' so we can go to the beach for a week for less than $1500, & that is for a 3 bdrm right on the beach. We just booked flights to Maine for this summer on Skybus, $128 TOTAL r/t, for all four of our flights (yes, we've been watching those to come out for awhile). So, throw in the cottage & rental car & lots of lobster, I'm hoping to stay around $2500. We probably never spend over $3k unless we are going to Europe & that would entail (typically) a much longer trip for us. I would say for us, your figures are a little high. But again.....off-season.
 
Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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Marginal,

That's partly why I asked the question. I think there are either a lot of very affluent or in-debt posters on Fodors.

We're fortunate, we could spend a lot more than we do on vacations, and I love to travel, but whenever I plan a trip it occurs to me that it's almost impossible NOT to spend thousands on a family vacation unless you go camping (which is what I did as a child).

We had friends who just asked us to go out west on a ski vacation, that it was "only" going to cost us about 10K for the week...only? No thanks, we've got a senior in high school another heading off to college in 2 years, so I'm hoping they pick schools where I want to "vacation". Those college towns just might be our vacation destination for the next 6 years!
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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Brutforce,

What's Skybus? Also, we're a family of four with big teenagers, which translates to, they now need their own room, own beds.

The days of cramming 4 of us into a hotel room are over, and that adds a lot to the price of a vacation!
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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They are new, based in Columbus, Ohio, they have just opened another gateway/hub in Greensboro, NC (we reside in CLT & are from Ohio). www.skybus.com. They fly into smaller airports which helps them keep prices down. We're actually flying direct from Greensboro to Portsmouth, NH. A little driving is well worth the cost savings.
 
Old Feb 6th, 2008, 10:22 AM
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Thanks, I'll check it out!
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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Most of my family members can't afford to spend this much money on vacations either. When I was a kid, we camped, rented cabins, or stayed with family for vacations. In my husband's family, they didn't even do that much.

We wanted something different. Part of our ability to travel is good fortune and part is good planning.

We might be looking at some leaner years in the near future though, so it is a good thing we still like camping
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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My family couldn't afford vacations like this when I was young either --but we still vacationed/traveled. We camped, or we stayed in roadside motels. We ate at less expensive coffee shops, and fast food places when that whole trend started. We drove (I wasn't on a plane until I was 18)-- NY to upstate, to the Amish country, to Florida, to California and back. But we went, and I suppose it's because of that (thanks Mom) that a) I love to travel, b) I like nice places, but don't necessarily require the Ritz, and c) we prefer to go "off the beaten path" when driving (paraphrasing my late mother, there's nothing interesting on the side of the interstate).
 

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