Define expensive vacation

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  • Avatar HandFellow 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 216
    Joined: 01/18/2016

    A few participants have given the advice lately that other forum members shouldn’t be taking “expensive vacations” any time soon.

    So, what’s all y’alls definition of an expensive vacation these days?

    #193981 Reply
    Avatar Peds 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4695
    Joined: 01/08/2016


    #193982 Reply
    Liked by Lordosis, Tim, Craigy
    Craigy Craigy 
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 2111
    Joined: 09/16/2016

    Anything ~$3k or under I’d probably consider a cheap vacation.

    “Expensive,” at least at this point in my life, would probably be something substantially over $10k.


    #193983 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3059
    Joined: 01/03/2017

    Off the cuff, I’d say $5k for my wife and I. But, there’s a lot that goes into if a vacation is expensive or not.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #193985 Reply
    Liked by Tim
    q-school q-school 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2640
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    our budget is 50k per year.

    sometimes we spend all, sometimes we don’t

    family of 4


    #193987 Reply
    ACN ACN 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 669
    Joined: 01/08/2016

    I’d say over $10k is expensive but depends on where you’re going.

    Disney world can cost a family of 4 $5-10k easily for a week.

    Its all relative. Take the vacation you want.

    If you're ever having a bad day, just remember in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $2,300.

    #193988 Reply
    Avatar HandFellow 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 216
    Joined: 01/18/2016

    I hear of families of 5 or bigger going to Disney for 5 days and I don’t know how they afford it.

    Family vacation probably once per year around 5k.  Just me and the wife once per year for around 3k.  Any other trips are usually much lower key.

    I like that budget of 50k/year.  Sounds real nice

    #193993 Reply
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 8366
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    our budget is 50k per year.

    sometimes we spend all, sometimes we don’t

    family of 4

    Click to expand…

    Expensive (impo) is relative. For example, if I remember correctly, you are a mid- to late-career attending. I don’t recall your specialty. Your vaca budget, depending upon your goals and cash flow, may be perfectly reasonable at your point in life but outrageously expensive for an early- or early-mid career attending. In addition, your vacation budget may be fine for an orthopod (using the high and obvious example, there are plenty others) but scary for an employed pediatrician (again, going with the stereotype, no offense intended!!!) In my experience, $50k is certainly on the higher end for vaca budgeting and spending. No judgment, of course, and especially happy that you are able to afford these things that are meaningful to you and your family.

    Please enhance and correct if I am mis-speaking!

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP: I am not your financial advisor; any responses are for general purposes only ~ [email protected]

    #193998 Reply
    Liked by Scopemonkey
    Avatar DCdoc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 607
    Joined: 06/14/2016

    Depends on where you are in life – both in family situation and money. We traveled a lot – but cheaply as residents. Expensive stuff before kids. Then cheap stuff driving once they arrived. Travel is a high priority for us. We really want to teach to children to love traveling. Probably spending 30-40k annually now. 3-4 nice 1 week vacations and a 2 week international. We think budgeting 50k going forward is reasonable, after retirement we want to do a complete 6-12 month around the world cruise which can be 100k.

    #194000 Reply
    Liked by ACN, wonka31, q-school, Anne
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2144
    Joined: 01/15/2017

    Depends on your timeline and cycle.

    @q-school –  I want to be part of your family!   50k is our decade budget ATM 🙂

    anything more than 5K All-In for the family of four for the week is on the very high side for us.   We like to spend $$$ on food and entertainment, but do it in a very efficient manner with deals and steals and points.  So a 5K would probably be 10k in many cases.

    eg – going on a disneyland for 4 weekender next month – probably going to cost us $1.2k and that’s mostly the tickets and lunch meal.   And a phoenix/Grand Canyon 1 week trip for us about $1k for the meals and tickets to attractions.

    #194001 Reply
    Liked by Hank, q-school
    Avatar Anne 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1240
    Joined: 11/07/2017

    More money than you can afford to spend.

    I don’t have a number.  I basically like to walk or run around, meet people, and eat.  I feel more at home in an Airbnb with a kitchen so I can grab stuff at the local market both so I can see how the locals eat and don’t have to eat every meal out for 2 weeks straight.

    Iceland has really expensive food, but the walking in the countryside is both amazing and inexpensive.

    Japan can be very expensive but is not necessarily so.  Especially when you have Japanese friends who give you the inside scoop 🙂

    Singapore is pricey all around but small.  Add it in as a side trip to Vietnam or Thailand and it should all even out.

    Geneva can be pricey, esp when your husband accidentally drops a wad of several hundred euros into a drain feeding into Lake Geneva.  Ahh, the memories….

    I have a friend who really likes to stay in 5 star hotels, go only to fancy restaurants, etc.  Her 1 week trip to Paris cost many multiples of my 2 week trip to Paris + the French countryside.  I think we both would say we had the better experience.  To each their own!

    #194004 Reply
    Avatar spiritrider 
    Status: Small Business Owner
    Posts: 1974
    Joined: 02/01/2016

    If your student loans are paid off and your retirement fully funded, then this is a budget priority issue. Consider vacations in context of all other discretionary spending. Vacation expenses in a single digit % of net income is not unreasonable.

    #194005 Reply
    The White Coat Investor The White Coat Investor 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 4612
    Joined: 05/13/2011

    A few participants have given the advice lately that other forum members shouldn’t be taking “expensive vacations” any time soon.

    So, what’s all y’alls definition of an expensive vacation these days?

    Click to expand…

    Anything more than a road trip where you stay at a relative’s house. 🙂

    Seriously, it’s relative, but the point is to be frugal there because you have much better uses for money (pay off debt, max out retirement etc) if someone is telling you that.

    Site/Forum Owner, Emergency Physician, Blogger, and author of The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
    Helping Those Who Wear The White Coat Get A "Fair Shake" on Wall Street since 2011

    #194010 Reply
    Avatar MaxPower 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 374
    Joined: 02/22/2016

    I would say that it is any price paid that excludes you from being able to meet your other financial goals.

    For example, we spent $45k+ on vacations last year, but still saved 20% of gross income for retirement, plus put money in kids 529 accounts (3), and paid about $5k extra towards mortgage principal. Our student loans are paid off. Our one outstanding car loan is going to be paid off in 7 months (rate is 1.9% so I haven’t been in a hurry to pay more than the minimum). Since I knew where we stood vis a vis our financial goals for the year, we took some nice trips.

    Vacation costs also depend a lot on family size. My wife and I can take a very extravagant trip for < $5k, but when you add in 3 kids, the cost for the same trip goes up way more than 2.5 times (for an extravagant trip—I realize we can drive to Bozeman, MT and stay in a motel 6 for cheap, but that’s not our vacation style).

    We try and mix in some expensive trips (last year was a week in Paris and a nice Maui trip) with some less expensive vacations (again last year was Yellowstone in a VRBO shared with my parents and a trip to the Oregon coast, driving and staying in low cost cabins).

    #194011 Reply
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3486
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    I never skimp on vacations. Life is too short. But I never take a vacation that I cannot afford, which means that I can pay for the vacation upfront, in cash, and none of the other expense or savings/investing priorities are shorted or compromised.

    When I was younger in my career, there were a lot of trips to visit family and friends. Then beach vacations, Disney, and National Parks. Now Europe, once/year and guided expedition-type trips. Some of this stuff you have to do when you are still young enough (and have enough knee cartilage left) to enjoy.

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