What's your vacation budget?

I was thinking about going on a week-long vacation. However, the cost (to me) is outrageous:

Air ticket: 400-800+
Ground transportation: 10-30/day
Hotel: 30-60/day

The above alone is like $1k already, not including doing anything at the destination (show tickets, meals, tours, admission, etc.)

My question: Am I being too cheap? Is my budget unrealistic for a week-long vacation?

Note: air ticket is not optional.

Details are good in threads like this such as where you want to go to and from and what you want to do while you are there. If you are in the U.S. and want to travel within the lower 48 states, your airfare estimate is high for most routes even at $400 if you plan ahead and look around. You hotel room estimate is doable at $60 a night in an out of the way place in a not so great hotel but typically on the very low side for one person. I don’t don’t know what you mean by ground transport. Cabs are expensive even for a 10 minute trip. Shuttles are less so and mass transportation like a subway or a bus is cheap.

You need to do the imagination work for us before we can really help you.

It depends on the vacation. We are going away in a few weeks - total cost will be gas and a few hundred in food and a hostess gift.

A year ago we spent ten days in Germany with a tour company. Two adults, two kids - around $15k (and we got a deal). That was unusual though.

I’m not in the lower 48. The low end numbers are if my friend comes and splits the cost. If I do it all myself, the high number is the real number. Ground transport would be either a rental car or train/subway pass + cab.

You aren’t helping your own thread and I am not trying to be rude by saying that. There are a bunch of very experienced travelers on this board and I am no slacker myself in this regard. There are a bunch of ways to save money doing it but you have to provide your basic to and from travel location, approximate dates, and what you plan to do realistically.

People really will help you if you will be less cryptic. I can tell you how to get to lots of places and stay there for less than $1000 a week but they probably aren’t places you want to go. You can travel anywhere on a budget however and there are always good deals to be had if you know who to ask.

Basic English: What, when, where, why, and how?

I think you’re not understanding my question: is a $1k budget for a week-long vacation too low, assuming 400-800 just for a required plane ticket?

Dear god, have you never traveled before? I am not trying to be snarky or rude but you need to provide details. We really can help. There are ways to travel fairly cheaply. I could come up with some good vacations for $1000 a week total based on flexibility. Travel just means staying away from home and it can cost anything.

You can travel anywhere for the cost of a plane ticket and then stay in a youth hostile or go couch surfing for no more than you would spend at home and expect to be alive at the end of it even if it takes food from the kindness of strangers. I doubt that is the goal however.

I don’t understand your question and I doubt anyone else does either unless you give a destination. The costs for New York city aren’t remotely the same for staying somewhere in rural Mississippi.

Based on basic math, $200 left over after an $800 plane ticket is only $28 a day and not reasonable anywhere. For a $400 plane ticket, it is closer to $60 a day. That isn’t really reasonable either if you have to pay for everything yourself either. There are good ways to get a kick-ass week-long vacation for less than that however if you care to share what it is what you are trying to do.

We travel for our vacations by car; we usually pay around $2k for about ten days of being gone. That includes gas for our Corolla (the tank fills for about $35; we love hitting the US and filling it for $30 or less), hotel rooms every night, one or two meals per day in a restaurant (breakfast is cereal in our room, and lunch is often a sandwich from Safeway), and some souvenirs and gifts.

If you go to a Denny’s restaurant, you can pick up a coupon booklet for cheap hotels and meals (seriously cheap - like $30 per night for hotels). That’s one of our first stops when we hit the US.

I’m afraid I have to agree with Shagnasty. If we aren’t provided details of where you are going, the things you want to do, and the time of year, it is impossible for us to tell you whether your budget is realistic or not. Is this a week in a major city, Hawaii, or some exotic European destination where the dollar (or whatever money you use) has a terrible exchange rate with the local money?

If you continue to be cryptic with your ‘CIA mission vacation’ about the best I can tell you for your OP is ‘it depends’. Based on the hotel price, it sounds like you are doing a cheaper place and not the Four Seasons. So, pick a hotel close to public transportation and investigate your options beforehand to ensure you can get to the destinations you want from there. Buy food at a local market and make as many meals as you can in (and pack lunches/dinners when going out). And, look for discounts/advice on how to do attractions for the cheapest possible price online.

Good luck Superhal. This tape will self destruct in 10 seconds.

As far as my own vacation budget, I do a lot of cruises and my rule is that the base price of the cruise should be $100/person/day. That is, $700 for a 7 day cruise or less. I stay in the shittiest inside cabin in steerage on the nicest ship I can find going to the destinations I want to see. I try to spread the costs out over the year to make the cost less painful at the end, but ultimately, I definitely end up spending closer to $2,000 for a week based on the shore excursions, taxes and tips, souvenirs, etc.

As people have said, it depends: The location of the destination is vitally important. I’ve spent only $500 for a week; I’ve spent $3000 for a week.

Assuming you spend $800 on a plane ticket, you will need far more than $1000 for vacation - even if you were to stay with friends and get a place to sleep for free - you should still take them out to a nice dinner.

It is possible to look for deals and get the last minute “air and hotel all inclusive in Mexico” from my location (MSP) for three or four nights for around $500. But a week on special is going to be $1000 (or close) and you are still going to have some incidentals. Cruises also can often be had for cheap, but again, 3 or 4 nights - when you get into a week and add airfare, you are usually looking at $1000 per person.

If you drive, and particularly if you can drive and split airfare with friends, you can take out a major cost. Doesn’t sound like that’s possible for you. If you can stay with friends or camp, you can remove a major cost. (Although even camping can get expensive).

But if you are looking to fly into Vegas, stay for a week in a hotel, see some shows, eat dinner at somewhere other than the McDonald’s - yeah, you are short.

For the two of us who live in the lower 48, we generally count on paying:

$1000 for a vacation in the lower 48 (typically less than a week tho)
$3000 for a week in the Caribbean
$5000 for a week in Europe

You DO need to provide more details. Can you fly out of a major airport or do you need to fly from a smaller one and make connections? How many connections are you willing to make? Where on earth are you going that you think you can get a hotel for $30-$60/night?

If you want to stay cheap, there are plenty of ways to keep costs down, but they will lead to a less traditional vacation.

I stayed in the Philippines right on the beach for about $1000 a month. I traveled cheap in India on $1000 for three months.

But all this involves taking local transportation, staying in hostels, eating local food etc. it’s not a particularly comfortable way to travel, but you see a lot and it is cheap.

My vacation budget is limitless because my idea of a perfect vacation is to avoid:

Going there
Being There
Return from there.

It can be just about anything.

A vacation in Florida costs me maybe $3-400, but that’s airfare only. I stay with my parents and they feed me.

A week on the Vineyard can easily cost $1000. Transportation is only $65, plus bus passes, maybe $40. Hotel is $160, and that’s at the cheapest place I can find. (Some places are $400+/night.) Food and drink is not cheap, $40+ per day unless I’m willing to cook for myself.

When I went to San Francisco last year, airfare was about $350, hotel $90 per night (included complimentary fleabags), food and drink were nominal, maybe $60 total for 4 days. Yes, I went to San Francisco and ate crap food.

New York was moderate, $150/night for a hotel, $50 for transportation. Subway and cabs totalled less than $50, but I walked almost everywhere. I ate about as well as I did in SF.

The answer is, “it depends on where you’re going, when you’re going and what you’re doing there”.

30-60$ per night in Seville over Easter? Not in the next million years. In a camping near Cadiz? That would be expensive even in the high season. And I’m talking about two places which are about 1h away from each other by car.