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Old 04-20-2013, 01:51 PM   #16
bbak3030
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While I love Disney, we will easily spend $4,000 on our trip next March. We won't do that often.

We typically go to the beach every year. We love Destin, Fl and rent a big house with a private pool with my family. It usually runs about $600 per family for the whole week. We cook a lot of our own meals and eat out a few times. We enjoy the beach and pool. It's a frugal vacay, but we love it. It's nice and relaxing, which Disney is not.

Disney is definitely a splurge for us. We are actually going to Branson this summer with my in-laws. They own a timeshare so the villa is no charge. But with all of our food (MIL does not cook on vacation) and activities, I think this vacation will easily run us $2,000. And I'd rather be at the beach. Lol.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:58 PM   #17
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You weigh the experience you anticipate against the price.

Our trip to Washington DC was not terribly expensive, but the experience was amazing for the kids - that was a high value vacation.

We went to Hawaii, which was pretty expensive - and while it was worthwhile to do it once, I'm not likely to spend that much for that vacation a second time. It was a vacation that was worth the money we put into it once.

Europe is expensive, but again, its an incredible experience, I'd do that again (and my daughter and I are next summer - the boys don't want to go)

But a weekend at a waterpark - that isn't expensive, but to me its a really low value vacation.

Part of the way to look at things is through the concept of opportunity cost. You always give up something when you do something. Vacations involve two kinds of opportunity costs - time and money. Would you rather spend your free time doing something else? Would you rather spend your disposable money on something else?
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:24 PM   #18
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Thanks for the input. I definitely feel the urgency of my boys growing up and having limited time left to vacation as a family. However, time availability is a huge factor and traveling off season and looking for bargain dates is not an option. Also, my husband and boys are very picky, to the point where it stresses me out and I just want to give up. They really only want an all inclusive tropical (Cancun) vacation and airfare alone cannot be found for under $600 so that is $3600 off the bat for 6!! All in we are looking at $10,000+++ for a week....I guess that was my original dilemma...is it REALLY worth that kind of money?

So other options...I have looked at cruises, and the teaser price sounds great, but then you add in taxes and gratuities and port activities and airfare and drinks--wow the price is right up there again.

A Myrtle Beach type vacation was great when they were young--pools, waterparks, sand castles, eating in the condo, early to bed...now they would be bored to death.

Amusement parks? Everyone hates lines, and they are unavoidable since we have to travel in the summer.

History? They'd rather stay home.

UGH!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:27 PM   #19
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I think the price point is different for everyone. Some people are good with spending $15000 on a European vacation for 2. Some people spend less than $1000 to go to WDW for a family of 4.


I say that it is too much when you are putting yourself into serious debt to take a vacation. My vacation debt limit (the amount I am willing to eat for a period of 3 months or more after vacation) is $300. Anything more, I need to have it paid for up front.

Also, if you are going on vacation and putting off major things, like medical expenses, vehicle or home repairs, etc.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #20
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I think it is really personal, like most spending decisions. I think $40 is too much for a purse and spent a month thinking over whether to buy one at that price at WDW. Other people collect the Disney Dooneys without giving it a second thought. But I think nothing of dropping $5K+ on a vacation while someone else might balk at the thought of spending even half that. If I have extra the budget after the bills are paid and the savings are funded, travel is the first way I'll look to spend it. Others may place a higher value on other things.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:50 PM   #21
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This is a good question. My two cents worth are from a father of a 2 year old daughter and a 6 year old daughter. I can't tell you how much is too much but I can tell you that the look on my 2 year olds face when she rode the tea cups for the first time is something that I can't put a price tag on! I am going to say we spend about $5,000 a year on vacation time. The last four years have been at WDW ranging from 10 to 12 nights since its such a long drive. This is a lot of money, but at the same time, I made that money and my kids and wifes happiness makes me, so thats it for me in a nutshell!
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:50 PM   #22
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I get the idea that vacations are hard to place a value on as they are temporary, not a necessity, but are a part of life that if you are lucky to be able to afford add value to your experience on this planet.

However, I would never return from a vacation having any portion of it not paid for, if you can not afford to pay in full for a vacation, then you can not afford to take it. It is that simple. Vacations should be earned, not financed, but I know many will not agree as by using that rule many people would simply never get to take one.

I agree too that putting off other more important expenses should not be done to afford a vacation - such as medical bills, home maintanence etc.

However, if you can afford one, which the OP indicated they could, then the value is both in the emotional anticipation, the enjoying while there, the relaxation which is often required to return to high work demands, and the family experience of sharing 24/7 together outside of your normal day to day lives. If you can afford it then you can enjoy the value.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:59 PM   #23
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I like the idea expressed earlier with picking a destination from the bucket list, setting a budget and working backwards from there.

That's how we did Disney last year. Thanks to YES tickets and other tips from the Dis, we shaved a ton of $$$ off our cost. Of course rather than pocket the savings, we put it toward 3 extra days in The World

Still, for us the idea of being able to stretch our dollars further than originally planned was very satisfying. We've done the same on other trips - either extending the trip, or pocketing the savings.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrew View Post
Thanks for the input. I definitely feel the urgency of my boys growing up and having limited time left to vacation as a family. However, time availability is a huge factor and traveling off season and looking for bargain dates is not an option. Also, my husband and boys are very picky, to the point where it stresses me out and I just want to give up. They really only want an all inclusive tropical (Cancun) vacation and airfare alone cannot be found for under $600 so that is $3600 off the bat for 6!! All in we are looking at $10,000+++ for a week....I guess that was my original dilemma...is it REALLY worth that kind of money?

So other options...I have looked at cruises, and the teaser price sounds great, but then you add in taxes and gratuities and port activities and airfare and drinks--wow the price is right up there again.

A Myrtle Beach type vacation was great when they were young--pools, waterparks, sand castles, eating in the condo, early to bed...now they would be bored to death.

Amusement parks? Everyone hates lines, and they are unavoidable since we have to travel in the summer.

History? They'd rather stay home.

UGH!!!!!!!!
Yes it is worth it IF you want to go on a vacation with your family. You stated you had the money.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:38 PM   #25
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You may have done this already but at that point I would be asking "Why does it need to be Cancun? What specifically are you wanting to do that is only available there?" and see whether those desires can be met elsewhere.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:39 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
I think it is really personal, like most spending decisions. I think $40 is too much for a purse and spent a month thinking over whether to buy one at that price at WDW. Other people collect the Disney Dooneys without giving it a second thought. But I think nothing of dropping $5K+ on a vacation while someone else might balk at the thought of spending even half that. If I have extra the budget after the bills are paid and the savings are funded, travel is the first way I'll look to spend it. Others may place a higher value on other things.
I totally agree. It is very important to us, but we sacrifice in other areas to make it happen twice a year. I could care less about purses and our car is no frills.
Right now, Disney provides us the best value and the most fun but I have a great big list of other trips we want to take when my youngest is a little older and we have a little more to spend. I can't ever see it not being a priority for us.

ETA) No, a week at an all inclusive would not be worth 10,000 to me, but I can take two trips that my family loves for less than that.
If they really aren't willing to at least entertain other ideas I'd be reluctant to take them anywhere.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:48 PM   #27
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Disney vacations aren't cheap. They are the most expensive vacations we have ever taken. But they have been the best vacations we have ever taken.

When we take all 5 of us for 9 to 11 days it runs us around $7,000. When just DH and I go for 4 or 5 days it runs us around $2,000. We have gone 5 times in the last 18 months. 2 times with all 5 of us and 3 times with just DH and I. It adds up quick.

We don't have to save or borrow for our vacations either so it is nice to be able to afford the trips but when I added up how much we have spent in the last 18 months on Disney trips it makes me head spin. We could have bought a $20,000 car for what we have spent in vacations in less than 2 years. Not the we need a car. I am just comparing what could have been bought for the money we spent going to Disney. But it was worth it for us.

I think we are going to ease off from taking so many Disney vacations because I have my mind set on going to St Thomas and to Las Vegas. But at the time, it was "worth" it to us to spend that money and go.

Our trips cost so much more than a budget trip usually would cost because we go to a bunch of different parks, not just Disney. We have gone to Sea World, Busch Gardens, Universal, Island of Adventure, Discovery Cove, Cirque Du Soleil, BLue Man Group, etc. If you spend your whole vacation in Disney and not go to any other parks you can save a nice chunk of money that way.

We even stay in budget resorts, nothing fancy. But it still costs us out the wahzoo.

But we have made memories that last a lifetime. That is priceless.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:59 PM   #28
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I LIVE for vacations. I will sacrifice "things" for a trip any day.

I totally get what you are saying OP...I also have three kids...16, 15 and 12.
We have been very fortunate to travel A LOT. If there is a trip I want to take, I figure out how to pay for it. Most times, however, are pretty budget.

What I find now is the age the kids are at makes it hard to please everyone. So my new solution is.....bring a friend. We are holding off on super expensive trips for a while and have decided to let the kids bring a friend if we can.

We just got back yesterday from Cape Cod where my youngest brought a friend. It worked out great....even for The older two since the younger one wasn't bothering them.

Maybe Myrtle Beach, Outer Banks, Hilton Head, Destin, could work. Rent a killer house with private pool and invite a friend or two. Kids will love it at this age. You still fet a family vacation but even get sometime as adults only since the kids have someone to hang out with. Of course, it hasto be the "right" friend....easy going and low key.

Just an idea that I was never fond of, but am slowlycoming around to because of having teenagers.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:14 PM   #29
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If you are already stressing about it...

then do something different. IMO a vacation should be relaxing, stress free, and focused on making wonderful memories with your family. We started family vacations in east Tennessee until the kids were 8 and 10, then we alternated Tennessee with WDW until they hit their teens. We are able to do WDW annually utilizing the Values resorts, TIW dining discounts, low spending on "stuff", and sacrificing throughout the year (coffee at home, taking lunch to work everyday). Once DD and DS have kids, we'll forego WDW annually and go back to Dollywood for awhile. It's all about the family.Let's face it, WDW isn't going away in our lifetimesso no need to rush it.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:35 PM   #30
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We love family vacations. It definitely is high priority for us. However, we will not go into debt for a vacation. We have spent 10 thousand ish on a vacation but also as low as 3600. It just depends....
This year we are taking 4 vacations- all of different costs. We're going to WDW, Branson, Myrtle Beach and the Bahamas. Bahamas will be fairly expensive but Branson should be pretty cheap...
If you have the money I say go- YOLO
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