jayk238 wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:25 pm
what is an appropriate vacation budget? How do you determine this?
What is your vacation budget per year? What percentage of your income is it? How many in your family?
You're asking a diverse group of folks a question that depends on income. The sum total of every out-of-state vacation I've ever taken is probably in the ballpark of $16,000.
Expensive vacations for me tend to equal roughly 2-3 weeks net pay and be a week long. Those are few and far between (significantly less than annually), for two adults and recently also one toddler. I guess on average, we spend 3-5% of gross income on all vacations, but the short road trips and camping that make up most of our vacations don't get specifically budgeted. They're just part of a general discretionary allowance in our budget.
I don't just use those figures arbitrarily though or have a blanket amount to spend each year, and I simply don't have the luxury of setting a goal for a certain number of trips a year. If a reason/desire for a trip comes up, I start by making sure it can be done without affecting higher priority goals (eg - fixed expenses, retirement and then non-retirement savings, charitable giving), and then set a target budget.
If a planned vacation is not penciling out well that way, but is really important to me, I figure out what other compromises to make, and my preference is to take that out of other luxury spending plans for the short term rather than my savings goals. Since one of my most important pre-retirement goals of buying a house is in the past, there is flexibility in my non-retirement savings goal, but there's also hobbies, home improvement projects, eating out, etc. to compromise on.