I published our FIRE Travel Framework a couple years ago and thought I would send out a link to it again today, as we have taken our big trips for 2018.
Our budgeting for travel has worked out very well. We have been taking trips 4x a year – or roughly once a season since we stopped working:
- Sunny Winter Trips: Disney World, Los Cabos, Miami/Cruise
- USA Trips: Wine Country, Tennessee/NC, Super Bowl LII
- Summer Long Weekends: Chicago, Door County, Toronto
The good news is that after a dozen trips, it seems that we have actually spent 15% less each year than we originally budgeted for. Despite that, we’re not lowering our budget in the future to save more. Instead we’d rather think about how to ‘invest’ it in some more fun!
This weekend, my wife is on a long weekend with some of her girlfriends in in Nashville for some Country music fun. I’m going on a Charity Road Rally across the South Dakota to Deadwood & Devil’s Tower later this month with a buddy.
These aren’t the first girls/guys trips that we’ve ever taken apart from each other, but I think they will be great – unbudgeted bonuses from spending less than our FIRE Travel Framework was set up for.
How do you organize your travel budget each year? Are you tracking ahead or behind of what you’ve budgeted for 2018?
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5 thoughts on “Travel Framework Update – Bonus Trips”
When you travel, are you dining out or usually eating in? How much are you budgeting for meals & activities, just curious. I just got back from Germany & Switzerland and I found that the cost of dining out in Switzerland was way higher than I anticipated, while Germany was more in line with US prices. Also the cost to do activities in Switzerland was also quite high.
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I have our budget fully detailed in the first link of today’s post. We budget $150 per day for ‘food/fun’. This can really vary by trip and by day. On a cruise, an excursion could be way more than that. Hiking in a park could be way less than that. For food, we usually have a small breakfast (sometimes at the hotel as part of the lodging), lunch is usually something quick, and dinner is sit-down in a restaurant. Our dinners run $40-$75 typically when we travel.
MFJ, I think you can just shorten that to “The cost of Switzerland is high.” Groceries are also higher, as well. We were in a mountain town and initially choked on dining option costs, but found that groceries, in particular meat, made it prohibitive also.
Yes – I suppose being a landlocked country in the middle of the EU doesn’t help keep the cost of living down there. We were in Israel early this year and had some sticker shock there as well.
We normally plan our monthly income accruals for all expenses including travel. Like you, we had initially targeted one big trip per quarter with those monthly accrual amounts. But after nearly two years of traveling, we are finding we like smaller get-aways more often, so we’ve actually split up some of our larger quarterly excursions into two or three shorter trips during those quarters. It’s nice to have those options. We are still positioning ourselves to start spending a couple of months further South, during our worst winter months (Jan-Feb) on the East Coast. But we will probably not start those extended stays until 2020, as we are planning a three week trip to Seattle, Victoria & Vancouver later this month to visit our oldest (not exactly a warm winter destination!). Interestingly enough, I also budget between $150-$200 per day. Like you said, it typically averages out to about $150/day in the end.