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Old 08-20-2012, 03:02 AM
Location: The Old Dominion
774 posts, read 1,424,301 times
Reputation: 1172


Originally Posted by SunsetBeachFL View Post
Miles, points, perks, etc...
Yep. I haven't flown coach overseas since 2003 and I never pay full fare or anything close.

See Million Mile Secrets or The Points Guy or any of several other sites for tips.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:01 PM
Location: In the sticks, SC
1,642 posts, read 4,524,903 times
Reputation: 1080
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
You have to prioritize for travel, assuming you have that luxury.
Like many have said and I agree...prioritize. I think most people would be surprised at the frivolous things we spend our money on. There are cheaper versions of just about everything.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:59 AM
Location: Central Indiana/Indy metro area
1,501 posts, read 2,327,221 times
Reputation: 1430
Originally Posted by strawberrykiki View Post
How do you guys manage it? Do you save for awhile, try to find the cheapest deals when you go somewhere, something else? I have a decent job yet with the cost of living and everything else I worry I'm never going to be able to afford to go the places I really want to go.
It is all about priorities and control. You are from Denver, CO. I know a lot of people compare Denver to Indy in terms of size and such. However, a few articles over the years have talked about a lot of Indy folks moving to Denver due to the outdoor activities and such. One thing I've noticed is that lots of people fall into the trap of "must have" spending. They must have the hot urban neighborhood, where condos go anywhere from $200K+ even in this horrible economy. Even here in Indy, urban living folks usually buy way overpriced homes in neighborhoods that are blocks away from crime ridden, blighted areas. Not really sure why, but they do.

Those who want suburban living usually look to our north side, and again, home prices there are the highest in the metro area. However, it is the "hot" "must have" area for most people. So I think what happens is that you have folks who have spent a lot on just basic living and that takes a huge part of the paycheck. Then you factor in folks who go out and dump hundreds on the latest tech gadgets, full cable TV packages, luxury accessory package on their vehicles, tickets to pro-sports stuff, going out and drinking every single weekend, etc.. People are just throwing away thousands upon thousands on stuff and weekly (if not daily) "fun", so it makes sense some folks aren't going to be able to afford to travel the way they wish.

Personally, for me it is just me and my wife (early to mid 30s) with no kids. Historically we have never made all that much, no where near six-figures. It has only been recently that wife got a nice raise that will put us closer to that six-figure range. However, we have worked hard at living frugal. We don't have to constantly be "doing" stuff to enjoy life. We eat in most nights. Wife's new car was only $14K with a trade-in and that was a mid-range model. I'm driving her old car, which is over 10 years old with 100K+ miles. Our current jobs will allow us to travel three weeks a year since her vacation is now at a use or lose point. Also, while living frugal, we minimized vacations in some years, opting for a few day trips around our state (festivals, historic sights, parks). We are now to a point where we could travel with ease, but even with that, I don't opt for luxury hotels or rooms. A basic $100ish/night room is fine with us.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:16 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,628 posts, read 39,998,659 times
Reputation: 23780
Originally Posted by indy_317 View Post
It is all about priorities and control. ...Personally, for me it is just me and my wife (early to mid 30s) with no kids. .... A basic $100ish/night room is fine with us.
Always traveled, much international as family (home schooled) single income, NEVER over $50k GROSS till kids were gone NEVER double income. Getting International jobs REALLY helped keep the costs down BUT we spent a LOT to travel while on assignment.

LOW income and NEVER slighted on travel. We had a BLAST - VW van, or First Class in Westin (free points)

I will still take a $10 guest home over my favorite Hotel (unless with Rm Service). I LIKE locals and LEARNING from them. Our kids learned a LOT.

I still and always hope to travel about 50% of time. (even did so while WORKING ). It can be tough running a farm / land, and missing a BEAUTIFUL view at home (resort living)... BUT Travel is important (for now) I'm about 13,000 miles from home at the moment, been gone 29 days, visa expires tomorrow... better RUN !
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:29 AM
Location: Brooklyn, NY
106 posts, read 318,415 times
Reputation: 75
I travel once a year internationally and have always stayed at a youth hostel. On my last trip I was staying in a mixed dorm and payed around 10-15$ per night. The breakfasts are usually crap but good enough for a quick energy boost in the morning.

As for airfares, I've gotten quite lucky. I haven't spent any more than $800 on any of my round trip plane tickets. Each year I side aside $1500 - 2000 for travel alone. It's getting trickier to save now on top of traveling since I've had a mortgage the past 2 years but so far there hasn't been any problems. At least I don't have any school loans to worry about and bogging down my ability to save or travel.

If you do it right and choose your destinations wisely (internationally speaking) and accommodations, you can get your money's worth in the country of your choice. Especially more-so if the dollar is worth more there.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:21 PM
5,096 posts, read 8,073,518 times
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Originally Posted by strawberrykiki View Post
Thanks for all your suggestions! I just need to be better about saving for trips and making it a priority.
Planning Ahead is Helpful
Since you originally mentioned international destinations, that can cover a lot of unknown territory. It helps to sort through and write up a lift of what destinations interest you the most, what do you want to do while you're there, and how much time you want to spend there. These can be helpful as guidelines that can be subject to change. Don't expect plans to be too rigid. Allow yourself some flexibility in case you find something different of interest that may not have been included in your original plan. The idea is to initially establish the trip as a goal for something you want to do.

Once you have a general idea about those, you can then start planning in advance for it. That includes setting aside enough money for transportation, accommodations, food, and spending money. Keep in mind that some destinations are more expensive than others. On the other hand, some destinations can be easily affordable for a tighter budget. Once you have an idea about the location you want to travel to, do some research to get a little bit of a feel for the place. That kind of information can be helpful to determine what kind of budget is affordable for you and how much you'll want to save up to spend on it. Chances are the destination will still turn out to be somewhat different than you may envision, but it does give a head start.

Plan to travel as light as possible. The less baggage you have, the easier it is to get around. No need to take a couple of check-in bags and a carry-on.

If you think traveling to an international destination is something you'd like to do, then you'll also need to allow plenty of advance time to get a passpost (if you don't have one) and check requirements (with the appropriate consulate located in the US) with regard to tourist visas. You can find most consulates or embassies online. Check on the visa requirements, but don't apply for it until you're sure of when you want to go and when you plan to exit the country. Some may suggest applying at least 4-8 weeks ahead of time.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:12 PM
15,554 posts, read 13,546,109 times
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Originally Posted by strawberrykiki View Post
I have so many places on my travel list but it seems I never have the money to really travel. I've been to a lot of places in the US, Mexico, and Canda, but those international destinations are really expensive. How do you guys manage it? Do you save for awhile, try to find the cheapest deals when you go somewhere, something else? I have a decent job yet with the cost of living and everything else I worry I'm never going to be able to afford to go the places I really want to go.

In my experience, people are tend to focus on material things more than something like travel. If it came between going on a trip, or buying a material object, people will buy the material object. When I was in the military, even with that pay I traveled a lot, while others instead bought wheels for their car, new furniture sets for their apartment, etc. Another thing I see people blow money on is eating out; I eat out for entertainment, many eat out just because they need food.

Put a budget together, you might be amazed on how much money you spend on what tends to be useless junk.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:25 AM
26,590 posts, read 54,620,883 times
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I travel a lot with my job and use the points and miles I earn for personal travel. We also choose a destination and determine the budget (or sometimes the other way around) and figure out how much we'll need to save between "now" and 60 days before we leave. We divide it by the number of months and put that much into our travel savings each month.

We just finished an expensive three weeks in Europe, next year is a couple weeks in Europe but hotels are covered by points and airfare will be purchased as coach and upgraded with either upgrade certs or miles. A Tube pass, maybe a taxi once or twice, a handful of admissions. Breakfast will be complimentary at our hotels as will evening appetizers and desserts, so we'll plan on a big meal for lunch and maybe a small snack now and then. All in all I expect the trip to cost under $3K for two weeks--over half of that will be consumed by air fare.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:46 PM
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,783,617 times
Reputation: 2307
Never traveled much at all while a working stiff, most discretionary cash went into college/dowry money and retirement savings. Fortuitously,remarried just before retirement to a similarly situated lass (paid off house, no debts) and sold her place at the peak in 2006. Banked the cash in the travel kitty - we're quite happily spending the kids inheritance, with gusto! .

International travel is immensely educational (as well as a ton of fun) - its incredible how one's insular viewpoints as a typical American change (for some of us) when you actually interact with citizens from across the planet.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:32 AM
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
20,695 posts, read 19,530,461 times
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Well my parents pay. But there are alot of people who i'm convinced are maxing out credit cards. There are classmates of mine who have went on 3 holidays in the past summer and their parents have very small houses and jobs. They can't all afford to go on holidays.

This summer I sadly haven't went anywhere but we are planning to goto the Mediterranean in october and the Us hopefully next summer.

At least we will be paying for those with our own money.

Some people also stay with relatives and then all they have to pay for is the flights. But for me i'd rather save a few years to get the luxury.
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