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Old 02-03-2017, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,240 posts, read 4,132,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbythecat View Post
How? The rates I have seen have been about $700 for a car and driver...there are only 2 of us, so an extra fare for a "walk on". No cabin - we'd be camping on the deck. Or am I missing something? And - is there a cheaper way to get to Alaska? We'd like to go via water part of the way, but definitely *no* cruise ships.

Bellingham to Whittier for two people and a 16 foot long vehicle is $3132. That's summer rates and both under 65. If you're over 65, you get a little discount.
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,119,247 times
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I'm doing all of my traveling while I'm young. I am 32 and have been to 48 states. All I have left is Alaska, Hawaii and DC. So, I'll probably be done with all of them by the age of 34.
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 761,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
Bellingham to Whittier for two people and a 16 foot long vehicle is $3132. That's summer rates and both under 65. If you're over 65, you get a little discount.
Okay. I must have been doing something wrong when I tested the trip planner before. $3000+ it is...do you happen to know of a less expensive way to get up there via the water and with a car? I am not sure that $3000 will be out of our reach, but I am all about saving money when I can...I know that we could just plan a shorter time on the ferry - not go all the way to Whittier, for instance...
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,056 posts, read 2,571,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhandra View Post
Hi,

I am about 2 years away from retirement. Zero debts and have saved for many years. I find that I always worry about if I have enough to travel in the style and amount I do while working. I like to do several international trips per year and stay in nice hotels or resorts. Every time I go over the budgets for traveling it will be my biggest expense outside any unforeseen health costs. Just wondering if others worry about spending so much on travel when no longer working.

Thanks.
I totally get your dilemma. My job had me traveling a lot and work travel is more generous than personal travel, to some degree. If I had a meeting in mid-town Manhattan NY, the company would put me up in a nice hotel in the area at some exorbitant rate, certainly not a rate I want to pay while retired. And I racked up FF miles so could upgrade to biz class sometimes.

My wife and I budgeted about 13-14% for travel, which as you said, is close to our healthcare spending. In fact between taxes, healthcare and travel, that is half our retirement budget. We justified the high expense with the knowledge that it is going to taper off as we get into our 70's. One thing - when budgeting I planned on flying economy-plus. I am tall and need more leg room. I am not going to fly Seattle-Heathrow in a cramped seat.

I worry about it but not too much. It is easily dropped for a year or two if the stock market tanks. It is the biggest discretionary item in our budget.
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,657 posts, read 1,522,722 times
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I'm planning on spending $10-15K a year on travel in retirement - maybe one European trip, one less expensive international trip, and two domestic vacations to include visiting family. My employer provides reasonably priced health insurance in retirement but I would expect that much of my travel budget will be used in later years (e.g., after age 75) for health costs.

Since the OP seems to travel a lot for their work, they should be racking up the travel credit card points and airline/hotel rewards points in preparation for retirement. And they should be able to estimate their planned retirement travel budget with some accuracy. There are many travel and retirement forums that have all sorts of tips on how to save money or get the best deal. Choosing the right travel credit card can make a big difference, especially on international travel (e.g., smaller foreign transaction fees, better deals on upgrading to business class). If you are retired, you have more time to do the research.

I have read about retirees who spend $40K or more and/or 4 months a year traveling, but they are primarily interested in budget travel and wandering around Europe or Asia and not in staying at resorts or four star hotels. But I am sure the travel forums also address resort travel. I would find that much travel to be exhausting. After a couple of weeks, I want to go home and sleep in my own bed.
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:07 PM
 
280 posts, read 285,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post
I'm planning on spending $10-15K a year on travel in retirement - maybe one European trip, one less expensive international trip, and two domestic vacations to include visiting family. My employer provides reasonably priced health insurance in retirement but I would expect that much of my travel budget will be used in later years (e.g., after age 75) for health costs.

Since the OP seems to travel a lot for their work, they should be racking up the travel credit card points and airline/hotel rewards points in preparation for retirement. And they should be able to estimate their planned retirement travel budget with some accuracy. There are many travel and retirement forums that have all sorts of tips on how to save money or get the best deal. Choosing the right travel credit card can make a big difference, especially on international travel (e.g., smaller foreign transaction fees, better deals on upgrading to business class). If you are retired, you have more time to do the research.

I have read about retirees who spend $40K or more and/or 4 months a year traveling, but they are primarily interested in budget travel and wandering around Europe or Asia and not in staying at resorts or four star hotels. But I am sure the travel forums also address resort travel. I would find that much travel to be exhausting. After a couple of weeks, I want to go home and sleep in my own bed.
Be careful with depending on your employers reasonable healthcare in retirement. I just found out last month that my company provides healthcare for retirees but completely eliminated that option for new hires a few years ago. They have raised to costs to participants who were grandfathered in by a lot the past few years.

It's much better to plan to cover it yourself and have extra money if it is still there for you when the time comes.
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:21 PM
 
Location: -"`-._,-'"`-._, ☀ Sunny Florida ☀ ,-"`-._,-'"`-.
1,352 posts, read 730,687 times
Reputation: 1295
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
A cruise I would really like. In January or February we could go on a week long cruise or two every year.

I've heard you can get fantastic last second deals if the ship is ready to sale with empty rooms. Don't need to take much in the way of money because we've been there before and as the tourists head to the whatever there is to see we'd just as soon stay on a near empty ship by the pool. This would be my idea of one great vacation.

How do you make last minute trips anyway? Is this actually done or is it a myth? What kind of prices are you looking at?

Oh, and through the Panama Canal... I want to do it and always have.

I understand the gifts for grandchildren. I have a separate line item in my budget for that.
Finding last minute/second deals is, depending on port, about as rare as finding a unicorn. We've cruised quite a bit (17 cruises so far with number 18 in 2 weeks). We have a cruise booked already for 2018 for Panama Canal trip. We moved to Florida for the weather when we retired early (aka quit the rat race). We chose Florida for the east of cruising, we are well within a short drive of most of the Florida ports, easy and inexpensive without needing to fly, spend night before in hotel, etc. We've watched for last minute deals and haven't found much. Most of the last minute deals appear to currently be in CA ports.

Specific to the OP's question, currently about 15-20% of our budget is for travel, that's why we decided to retire young. All things being equal we will plan to spend more now knowing that at 55 it's a lot easier to travel and enjoy trips than it will be come 75. We expect that come 75 we'll have to leverage more spending for the less "fun" things. We plan for 2-3 weeks of cruises a year and also plan for trip to all inclusive resort once a year. Trips back to see family (Chicago and Vegas) is also included as well as short getaways. We travel collectively for 7-8 weeks a year currently.
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,240 posts, read 4,132,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
Bellingham to Whittier for two people and a 16 foot long vehicle is $3132. That's summer rates and both under 65. If you're over 65, you get a little discount.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbythecat View Post
Okay. I must have been doing something wrong when I tested the trip planner before. $3000+ it is...do you happen to know of a less expensive way to get up there via the water and with a car? I am not sure that $3000 will be out of our reach, but I am all about saving money when I can...I know that we could just plan a shorter time on the ferry - not go all the way to Whittier, for instance...
You could drive to Prince Rupert and go to Haines, but that's probably two different ferries, and you're still going to be doing a lot of driving.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,845,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exit82 View Post
Just to add to our (my) travel dilemma is where to live in the early years of our retirement- to accommodate traveling. It is a given that we need to get out of NJ- The property taxes alone (@8k per year) would pay for a VERY nice trip (or 2) every year- but My husband wants an acreage in a southern state and I'm asking him how the heck are we going to maintain a big place if we frequently travel?? So many decisions..........

That is quite a bit of a dilemma. I know that for certain. I have gone over that in my head and looked at options. I didn't find any good ones. However I can suggest a location for you to check out that could help with both your needs. Look at the Clemson GA area. It is a short (90 minute) drive to the airport. Atlanta has direct flights to most major cities and many connecting flights to smaller ones. COL is good and there is a very large lake there for hubby to play in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbythecat View Post
Okay. I must have been doing something wrong when I tested the trip planner before. $3000+ it is...do you happen to know of a less expensive way to get up there via the water and with a car? I am not sure that $3000 will be out of our reach, but I am all about saving money when I can...I know that we could just plan a shorter time on the ferry - not go all the way to Whittier, for instance...

You could take the ferry with out car and rent one for the return trip. I don't see any better options if you are wanting to come up on the glaciers from waterside other than taking a cruise ship. If you go that way you will have to rent a car. You could pre-position the car but that would require someone to bring it there. Too much of a logistic conundrum.

since I have not begun the travel portion I don't know what portion of my income will be dedicated to travel but since the plan has shifted from my original thoughts we can dedicate even more based on my calculations.

For one we plan on selling the house and not having cars. That in itself will save a ton of money (insurance and maintenance as well as taxes). Not having homeowner or automobile insurance is just one part of the plan. We plan on renting an apartment near a major airport at least early on. We have resources so not everyone can do this. We have support near one of the top 3 rated airports in the world with family in Seoul and Incheon South Korea. So we will lean on them for a bit while we get Asian travel out of the way. We will look at other options but we also have the idea that Ecuador might be a destination we would consider. COL there will allow us to put the same sort of travel plans with using say Guayaquil as an airport. Too long of a distance time wise to know for certain but that is an option we are looking at as future ideas.
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 761,170 times
Reputation: 1859
"You could take the ferry with out car and rent one for the return trip. I don't see any better options if you are wanting to come up on the glaciers from waterside other than taking a cruise ship. If you go that way you will have to rent a car. You could pre-position the car but that would require someone to bring it there. Too much of a logistic conundrum. "

We had talked about walking on the ferry and buying a new car in Alaska, but I am guessing the new car would cost too much in Alaska, even though we will probably be ready for a new car by then. We wouldn't save anything that way. Plus, we'll be car camping in Alaska and while driving back to Seattle - I can't imagine carrying 3-4 weeks worth of clothes and camping gear in our backpacks until we drove our new car off the lot! We'll just have to find a route that doesn't leave us broke, as Erik suggests.

We will definitely take the ferry up - we are not the types to enjoy a cruise. We're more the type to rough it. In fact, we've been chuckling at the descriptions of lodging options in Alaska - many of the listings tout rustic log cabins heated by cozy wood stoves, surrounded by wildlife, etc. That describes our home in the Washington foothills...so camping will be a break from our normal life, and it will save money on the lodging.

Last edited by Gabbythecat; 02-05-2017 at 10:06 AM..
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