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What do you spend on the average family vacation?

What do you spend on the average family vacation?

Old Feb 7th, 2008, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 142
We take a family vacation every year about $4000-5000 and a trip without the kids, usually with FF miles to Caribbean, so that costs about $2500-3500. We also take 2 or 3 weekend trips a year about $500-800 each. Next weekend we are driving to the indoor waterpark in WI Dells. Before we moved from CA to ILL we would go to Palm Springs.

I'm sure we could stay at less expensive hotels on vacation, but my husband works very hard, frequent overtime, so we choose to stay at nice places and enjoy ourselves.

We were flying 3 times a year to visit family in OH from CA, but now we can drive, so that saves a bunch of money a year. I did travel back to CA last year to visit friends, but a week in San Diego cost me about $800 for airfare & food since we stayed with friends and just went to the beach all week and cooked at home.

Live and let live : )

Happy planning! & Have a great weekend!
luv2plan is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
You can get part of your travel covered and a few additional hotel days by mystery shopping. Hotel companies will reimburse your stay, pay a small fee, and pay an additional travel fee for well written evaluations of their services. These evaluation take 5-7 hours to write which is why these companies are willing to absorb these costs. If you like to write and travel this is a great way to help fund your vacations or to take weekend trips for free. Coyle Hospitality Group evaluates luxury hotels, spas and cruises. You can click on 'Evaluator Opportunities' on their website to fill out a survey to become an evaluator.
jzike is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Hey Dawn, have we discussed this before - are you in Desert Springs I or II. We own two weeks at II, and usually go for 5 days in October. (We trade one of the weeks for points, and usually split the other - using the larger portion and trading the smaller).
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875
dmlove - we own in 11. Oct is a lovely time to go! Last time we went we ended up staying in Villas one and I was a little sad to see it is a little run down... we trader our last year for points...
dawnnoelm is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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Just a thought on the priorities as well. I couldn't tell you how many of the cars on the road are leased, but that becomes a never-ending debt. Two 'normal' cars will run you $1k/month easy. That alone is $12k/yr. I can take a pretty good (actually about 4) vacations for that amount of $$$. Clothes have never been a priority. Now we do like food & wine, but hey, everyone HAS to eat...!
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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BTW, I believe I took my first plane trip when I was in my early 20's. We have since taken a nephew, a BIL, & our two children on their first flights as well. First trip to Europe, I was 30. My oldest (now 5), has already been there twice, my youngest (2), only as far as the Caribbean (2X). I hope I am raising children, w/the same love of travel, that I possess.
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875
Brutforce - my first to Europe was at almost 40
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Old Feb 8th, 2008, 05:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 227
Interest thread.

DH and I take 1 "big" vacation per year. One small 3 to 4 night trip and 5 or 6 w/e trips. Cost varies year by year for the big trip. Some years it $3,500 to $4,500 (paris/london/st. lucia). Other years its $2,000 to 2,500 (DC/Boston/Jersey Shore). The shorter trips can run $250 to $1,000.

For us too, traveling is a prioity. We keep our lower cost cars (Nissan Altima and Ford Ranger) for at least 5/6 years. We have zero credit card debt (only a mortgage) because we just don't buy that many toys (no big screen tv/ no speed boat/ no hi-tech games or equipment/ no artwork or high cost jewlery). Our house is a 1650 sq foot raised ranch and we have no children. We both work.

We know we are blessed to be able to travel as much as we do and we understand that other people may not be as fortunate as us. But we also know that we give up alot of daily comforts to be able to afford our travels because that is what is important to us.
KarenL is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2008, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2
I think it's important to take your family on vacation when your children are growing up, even if it's an economical, camping vacation. I have cheap relatives who never took their children anywhere, maybe one trip in 10 years. Now the children are all grown and the relatives suddenly have money to spend on numerous vacations for themselves. Make those memories while you can, you won't regret it. Give them experiences they can always cherish.
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Old Feb 12th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
I was talking to my husband about this thread and how for a lot of people, travel (or lack there of) is definitely about priorities.

We were at a party at the house of some close friends not long ago, and the subject of Germany came up - DH and I went to Germany a couple summers ago and one of our friends did a semester abroad there when he was in college.

Our friend said he would love to go back to Germany and take their children, but that they can't afford it. His wife said that she would LOVE to go to Europe, that is has always been a dream of hers. This conversation was happening in their 5 br house which overlooks a redwood canyon (that they own) and is only a 5 minute drive from the beach. Out front was a practically new car and in their bathroom was a brand new $3500 bath tub.

Of course they can't afford a family vacation to Germany - they have allocated their money elsewhere.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2008, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Yes, there are people who can't afford to go ANYWHERE, ever, but you would be amazed at what an adjustment of priorities will do for you. We live in a two-bedroom, approximately 700 square foot apartment which we rent. It is the cheapest decent rental we could find in the school district, and deliberately chose it for that reason. The rent on it is about half what the mortgage on an extremely modest house would be, and three-quarters of a fancier apartment. We drive one car. I take public transportation most of the time. We have bought some halfway decent furniture in the last few years, but there's only so much you can stuff into an apartment that size, so it tends to keep us honest about the acquisition of material goodies. The money that we're not spending on housing goes, eating out, and things like concerts, museums, etc. My husband's family thinks we're completely nuts, but they also think of Europe as someplace you get stationed, and an exotic vacation would involve the Maryland shore instead of the Jersey one. Most people wouldn't do it this way, but even a very modest income can be stretched to accomodate some travel. By the way, on average we spend about $2500 for a weeks vacation. We would like to go to Europe this year or next and will budget about $6000. And watch out if we ever win the lottery!
persimmondeb is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2008, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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inform gives wise advice. I would add that you might want to listen to Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle" carefully, run it through your head, and think about how fleeting life with children is. Life can't be rewinded like a VCR.
GeorgeW is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2008, 04:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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For years, we have saved a predetermined amount per month for vacation. At first it was $150 per month ($1,800 per year.) We based our vacation on how much we had to spend, figuring in some extra money from our income during the month of the actual trip.

I won't lie and say we never dipped into our regular savings account for a trip, but we never went into debt for one, either. Each and every one have been worth the money, compared to all the material "things" we could have spent it on.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 01:41 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Since 1998 we've been touring the US and Canada every two years(due to the cost)abd in the 5 times we came over from Belgium, each time for between 26 and 30 days,touring with car rental our total expenditure was between 9600 and 10200 $(at the current rate of exchange).Paul
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 07:03 AM
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Persimmondeb-- I like your style!
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 07:18 AM
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Thanks! We occasionally feel that we must be terribly irresponsible people (although we have life insurance, 401k's, etc.), but our lifestyle has allowed us to do things that would otherwise have been impossible, and while that isn't the main reason we live the way we do, I suspect it's more responsible from an environmental perspective too.
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Old Feb 13th, 2008, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 227
J Correra that's the point for me. We (my DH and I) could have the bigger house, the better cars and the better view. However we choose not to invest in those things so that we can invent in travel (and retirement) instead. It's all what you love.

Of course I understand that there are lots of people who can't afford any travel at all because they are barely covering living/survival expenses. I grew up in that environment. When I was a kid we rarely travelled for fun. We went camping several times but that was it. That's why I realize I'm much more fortunate as an adult.

It is a fortunate parent who has the priviledge (sp) to share travel with their children.
KarenL is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 52
It all depends of the type of rooms you take and which hotel you will stay in, on the strip, off the strip. You should check out they seem to have great deals and you book direct from the official website.
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