Menu

Define expensive vacation

Home General/Welcome Define expensive vacation

  • CM CM 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1094
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    Anything I spend on hotels, airline tickets, and rental cars is too much. There is no value there for me.

    ……

    I’d spend a bunch for another year like that one, but it didn’t cost much at all.

    So, “expensive” isn’t a dollar figure so much as a ratio of price/value. Q-school receives great value from his travels (I hope :-)). Not so much for me.

    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried bags for Cyd Charisse (gracious). Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

    #194080 Reply
    Liked by ZZZ, childay
    Avatar FIREshrink 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 964
    Joined: 01/11/2017

    I’m actually tracking our expenses this year so I’ll let you know in December… I’m guessing we spend $20k per year but it could be more. I can only think of one very expensive trip, which was a two week cruise for four on Celebrity… At the holidays… And we got the kids their own cabin. Plus pre-cruise hotels, and flights… I think it was close to $15k all in. Great trip though. Glorious in fact.

    #194081 Reply
    Avatar BCBiker 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 225
    Joined: 01/10/2016

    We spend lavishly on vacation but are very measured on big rocks. A $10,000+ vacation doesn’t lead to 30 years of increased taxes, maintenance, heating, etc.

    Sometimes maybe we get carried away. We always say this will be the last one before we have kids and can never do things like this again. When you think like that you are not so measured.  I think travel is never going to be something we will regret. We have “overspent” but remain on track for our goals.

    My more controversial comment is that people are really bad at planning vacations. The world is so small and it is very easy to go to more creative places for a sometimes small premium over the typical places that everyone else goes (e.g. Disney, Hawaii, Mexico All-Inclusive, Cruises). I would be depressed spending $10K for a week in Disney but would be ecstatic about spending $30K hiking in the Patagonia and swinging by Lima and Galapagos on the way back.

    #194083 Reply
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 843
    Joined: 02/06/2016

    The definition of expensive vacation changes based on stage of life and financial circumstances.

    In the early days, we would gather the kids in the car and drive to a nearby state for some skiing, and the lift passes were kind of expensive, but we could afford it and we had a great time and we carry some terrific memories.

    In later times, we would rent a house on a Caribbean island over the holidays and fly the family there.  It was kind of expensive, but we could afford it and had a great time and still have some terrific memories.

    These days, with no debt, no mortgage payment, the kids tuition bills behind us, expensive takes on a whole new meaning.  We will jet off to an exotic, far flung place in business class, lie-flat seats for the long journey, stay in some amazing hotels, and eat at the Michelin starred restaurants.  It is kind of expensive, but we can easily afford it and the memories are terrific.

    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3351
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    the purpose of the post wasn’t to give myself peace of mind in my vacation planning.  I’m comfortable with that.  I’m more curious what everyone else considers expensive.

    For me, it isn’t the expense of the vacation that holds me back.  Instead, its the amount of vacation that I take since leaving work for a week leaves money on the table.  We have given our children and ourselves amazing experiences across the country and the globe.  Miles and points have helped with this, but mostly the advantage of a well paying job.  One of these years, I’ll start taking more time off.  Right now, I do about 3 vacations per year, 10 days each.  One trip is just me and the Mrs.  The other two bring the whole family. Q-school brings up a great point.  Are these experiences so valuable that we can’t afford to NOT take the time off to have them?

     

    Click to expand…

    Our most expensive vacation was a two week family trip to Italy in 2015, ostensibly to celebrate our 50th birthdays. The land, tours, experiences and airfare were $22,500 or so. We probably paid another $3000-5000 on the ground for food, additional experiences, tips, and tchotchkes. It was the best vacation of my life; I cherish the memories. I cannot remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday, but I remarkably remember virtually every meal (and detail) from the trip nearly four years ago.

    It was perhaps the greatest time in my life. Everyone was in good spirits throughout. The kids were getting along really well. Pure magic!

    If someone offered me to do the same exact experience, for twice the price, I would do it in a heartbeat. In some way, every European vacation since has been an attempt to recapture the magic of that vacation. It was truly priceless.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2355
    Joined: 08/01/2016
    I challenge the senior members of the board to really examine their life goals. One day you retire, hopefully young enough to travel and do lots of things you have hoped to do. At the same time, your income plummets. Are you comfortable and emotionally secure with the idea that your spending will quadruple for ten years while you are young enough to enjoy it? If not, how are you going to get ready? Not meaning to thread jack, if you have the answer, just send me a private message please.

    Click to expand…

    A few ways I have approached it over the years.

    1. Increase the spending slowly and proportionately so that you are never out of sync between your income and expense. The expensive travel has only occurred when our incomes rose. Till then we took US vacations or vacations to India where lodging was free for us.

    2. I cannot imagine the thought of retiring one day and have no income at all while having the same amount of expenses. Thankfully investing in entities that provide passive income stream means that even at retirement I will have q 3 monthly income. And I have proportionately reduced my work so that as my work income declines steadily the passive income increases and at retirement the total sum will hopefully be the same as when I had at the beginning, when all I had was W2 income and no passive income.

    3. I have believed in traveling while the health still remains good, as one day will surely come when long distance travel is impossible. I want to get my to-do list out of the way before that day arrives.

    #194185 Reply
    Liked by Anne, Vagabond MD
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 2627
    Joined: 09/18/2018
    alpha investing
    I cannot imagine the thought of retiring one day and have no income at all while having the same amount of expenses.

    Click to expand…

    That means you will depart this world leaving a very substantial estate in most cases. Never spending more that you earn. When do you target ceasing to increase the retirement funds? If your saving at a 20% rate, that becomes “available”. Do you plan to spend down the retirement savings?

    I view expensive as disappointed in the value when I realized the experience was either overpriced or I attempted to get a bargain and missed out. It isn’t the dollar amount, more like efficiency or the time and money. One example would be a deep sea fishing charter. Sometimes the bigger boat and experience is worth every dollar, sometimes its wasted. To me it’s expensive when you feel short changed for the experience, basically you overpaid.

    #194196 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2355
    Joined: 08/01/2016
    That means you will depart this world leaving a very substantial estate in most cases. Never spending more that you earn. When do you target ceasing to increase the retirement funds? If your saving at a 20% rate, that becomes “available”. Do you plan to spend down the retirement savings?

    Click to expand…

    I somehow cannot see myself spending every dollar before I depart because I don’t know when  I will depart and I also believe in paying it forward. So when I and my spouse are no more my daughter will probably inherit half and half will be given away to charity. Since tithing does not exist in my religion / culture and I don’t believe much in giving too much money to give to religious people and that they control the charity, I will instead distribute it myself to the poor and needy in this world. Also some money to save our environment for future generations.

     

    #194209 Reply
    Avatar hightower 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1450
    Joined: 12/07/2016

    Agree with Vagabond MD, you need to be able to pay cash for it up front without skimping on your savings.  Also, it’s HOW you travel, not WHERE you travel that makes it expensive.

    We just spent 2 weeks in Hawaii earlier this month and we managed to go fairly cheaply.  We flew with rewards points to LAX from the midwest for free.  Then, we bought Hawaiian Airlines tickets when they were on sale over the holidays (297 roundtrip each from LAX to Kona).  Then we stayed in a 367/night condo with 2 other couples and split the costs for the first week.  The second week my wife and I found a fairly cheap rental in a non-resort part of the island.  We rented a minivan and split the costs of that.  I cooked for at least half of the dinners, every breakfast, and we packed lunches while we were out and about each day.  The wrong way to do Hawaii is to eat out for every meal, fly during the peak seasons when airline prices are high, and stay in a ridiculously over priced resort.

    When we go to Europe we use Rick Steves travel books to plan the whole thing.  He preaches that Europe can be done on $125/day/person for lodging, food, transportation, activities (airfare separate).  And we’ve been able to have some amazing trips using his recommendations.

    It’s all about planning, being frugal wherever possible, and living like a local as much as you can.

    #194323 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 2627
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    @Kambam,
    I didn’t intend to hijack this thread. Q-school brought up that for many, retirement savings creates a nest egg to be spent on retirement expenses.

    Your intent is to create an endowment that you live off of the income.

    That greatly changes the math and the definition of retirement savings. All of the research like savings rates and withdrawal rates are geared to not running out of funds, which by definition means sometimes you have a withdrawal strategy. There is a distinction between financial independence and independently wealthy.
    Very very few physicians will reach the level you define.
    Actually, every dollar saved for retirement will never be available. That foregone vacation will be left 1/2 to your daughter and 1/2 to your desired cause. This is your personal trust, live off the earnings, never touch the principal. Q-school raises a valid question for 99.9% of most. Human capital earnings usually is financially and emotionally difficult. That is the question.

    #194404 Reply
    DocRambo DocRambo 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 11
    Joined: 01/17/2019

    If extended, exotic or overseas travel is something one enjoys or thinks is worthwhile, it should be part of the budget, after loans and debts are paid off or down almost next to nothing.  “Expensive” is a relative term.  Vacations seem a little sunnier, the snow a little deeper, the mountains a little taller and the hikes more refreshing when one doesn’t have a nagging feeling of a ”better” way to spend their dollars to pay down debt. I moved overseas to practice to specifically give my children a chance to enjoy more of the world. I was always a big believer in Mark Twain’s saying “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” There is a lot of value in life experience outside the classroom.  I have been able to expose them to so much on a fraction of the budget due to our location. In the long run, don’t know if it will make a difference in their lives, but at least they have had opportunity and exposure and we’ll see what sticks.

    #194407 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2355
    Joined: 08/01/2016

    Your intent is to create an endowment that you live off of the income. That greatly changes the math and the definition of retirement savings. All of the research like savings rates and withdrawal rates are geared to not running out of funds, which by definition means sometimes you have a withdrawal strategy. There is a distinction between financial independence and independently wealthy.

    Click to expand…

    I really don’t have a huge accumulation to call it an endowment. My net worth is similar or less than many people on this board, just that it is in a different form.

    In fact I don’t even have the traditional retirement savings like 401K and other strange alphabet soup combinations like 403b, 457b, cash balance etc etc. It is due to education and work in different countries and running a solo practice where a retirement plan for all employees would have been too costly. So all I had was taxable vehicles to invest and thus I don’t have a withdrawal strategy or need. All I need to make sure that my investments give enough for me and my spouse till I depart this world.

     

    Actually, every dollar saved for retirement will never be available. That foregone vacation will be left 1/2 to your daughter and 1/2 to your desired cause. This is your personal trust, live off the earnings, never touch the principal. Q-school raises a valid question for 99.9% of most. Human capital earnings usually is financially and emotionally difficult. That is the question.

    Click to expand…

    Most American systems are there to take care of the individual/couple unit. You work, save for retirement, have children along the way and help them out as much as you can, but that is not the primary objective, and then you retire and use up all the retirement savings before you die. The children start out as their own separate unit and do the same. Rinse and repeat.

    In many Asian cultures ( and a small segment of US too) there is a continuum. You are just one piece in a long segment. You have the support of you parents above you to help you completely till you finish education, give you some savings, maybe help with the marriage and even initially support you post marriage. But since that was also the same situation for your parents they (and you) still have enough savings to live out their life comfortably and if anything is left it is passed along to the children. The children do the same to their children and so on. Maybe in USA this strategy may die out but it is still prevalent in the home countries. It is not the size of the wealth or trust that defines how one lives but how you were raised. The person with $1M wealth does it in the same way as the $10M one, albeit at a lower scale.

    To answer your question there is no foregone 1/2 vacations. Those vacations in India, UK and US were the result of my father educating and supporting me and giving me seed money so that I did not have to take loans and repay to a lender. I have therefore saved that money and passing it along to the next generation. The rest will be used by me and my spouse. No idea what the future generations will do.

     

    #194455 Reply
    Liked by Tim
    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2355
    Joined: 08/01/2016

    @wonka31. Africa. Come to think it might have been more than 20k. One lodge was $2000 night per person which was half the trip. Other lodge was a little less. Used points for flight. Husband just asked if we should go again this year. We went three years ago.

    Click to expand…

    A continent I would like to explore. The great migration has me hooked. Egypt to be seen before it is too late.South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Victoria falls and the mountain gorillas of Rwanda round up the to do list.

    #194457 Reply
    Liked by Phoenixdown99
    Avatar hightower 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1450
    Joined: 12/07/2016

    If extended, exotic or overseas travel is something one enjoys or thinks is worthwhile, it should be part of the budget, after loans and debts are paid off or down almost next to nothing.  “Expensive” is a relative term.  Vacations seem a little sunnier, the snow a little deeper, the mountains a little taller and the hikes more refreshing when one doesn’t have a nagging feeling of a ”better” way to spend their dollars to pay down debt. I moved overseas to practice to specifically give my children a chance to enjoy more of the world. I was always a big believer in Mark Twain’s saying “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” There is a lot of value in life experience outside the classroom.  I have been able to expose them to so much on a fraction of the budget due to our location. In the long run, don’t know if it will make a difference in their lives, but at least they have had opportunity and exposure and we’ll see what sticks.

    Click to expand…

    Interesting.  You’re an American physician and you practice overseas?  Which country?  Was it difficult to get credentialed?

    #194459 Reply
    DocRambo DocRambo 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 11
    Joined: 01/17/2019

    I work with the Department of Defense. Credentials work just like anywhere else in the US. Same credentialing system as if I worked with them in the states. We live in central Europe.

    #194475 Reply

Reply To: Define expensive vacation

In case of a glitch or error, please save your text elsewhere, clear browser cache, close browser, open browser and refresh the page.

Notifications Mark all as read  |  Clear