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Average Family Vacation Budget?

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
68 posts
8 reviews
9 helpful votes
Average Family Vacation Budget?

I'm curious what other people spend on an annual family vacation. Of course the amount will vary greatly by family, but I'm interested in what different families consider a reasonable amount to budget. Please include the number of people vacationing with you - we're a family of 6.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Family Travel
Level Contributor
9,773 posts
197 reviews
187 helpful votes
1. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

Varies as to where we're travelling & time of year. Anything from $1000pw seaside holiday rental not far from home to $30k + for 4 weeks in Europe (I wasn't brave enough to tally up the total for that holiday!) - family of 4

Level Contributor
6,147 posts
18 reviews
71 helpful votes
2. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

Again, there is SO much variability, your question is impossible to answer. I have done super CHEAP holidays (backpacking/camping) when money was tight to $$$$ when we splurged on an African Safari. Like Mikey36, I am not sure I really want to know the final amount :-0

The most important thing to travel! Remember that it is not the money you spend, but the memories you create and bonds you build!

2 posts
3. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

Totally depends.The average cost would be completely dependent on whether the family is camping, staying in a hotel.Colorado is a playground for the family all year long. The mountains aren’t only for skiing, but are an ideal summer getaway as well. Family vacations on a budget can be achieved by traveling during the off-season. Head to Colorado in the spring, or after the summer crowds have gone home, and secure a deal on the perfect vacation rental.Look through vacation booklets and brochures. Study the places that you and your family would like to go. Plan for low cost hotel

West Chester, Ohio
Level Contributor
1 post
33 reviews
24 helpful votes
4. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

As others have mentioned, the range is significant. That being said, I would say that $3,000 for a Fri - Sun (9 night trip) is a pretty good average. Broken down roughly by:

Lodging (9 nights) $1,400

Dining/Food $ 700

Entertainment $ 500

Gas (~2000 miles) $ 300

Misc $ 100

Obviously, air travel adds to the cost, but that's so dependent on destination it's tough to project. One tip - if you budget $3,000, plan for $3,500 because you can go over budget in a hurry!

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
68 posts
8 reviews
9 helpful votes
5. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

Thanks nv040212! I appreciate the breakdown.

Blue Springs...
Level Contributor
27 posts
8 reviews
15 helpful votes
6. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

I would say you can make you vaca as much $$ as you would like but we always set aside $1500. That is for a week. We have 2 kids (4 &7) so a total of 4 people. I always google the area we are going in and find free things for kids. We stay at hotels that have free breakfast and stock our fridge with snacks and lunchmeat. Works out great for us and we dont break the bank.

Belvidere, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,232 posts
113 reviews
272 helpful votes
7. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

We are a family of 6 as well. When my kids were younger and we drove to our destinations (Florida, Colorado, South Carolina) , rented condos, and ate meals in the condos we could get buy with $4000 or less for a week. When we travel to all inclusives in Mexico and Punta Cana we spend around $8500 for a week. On the 7 day cruises we have taken we have spent between $6000-8000.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
3,030 posts
2 reviews
6 helpful votes
8. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

I typically figure $1,000 per person for a week-so our family of 5 is a 5k vacation for the week. That's if I'm actually planning a destination vacation and not just a week visiting grandma :)

For us that includes gas food lodging and entertainment. Have we vacationed on less, absolutely! I'm frugal by nature. That said...the reason I'm frugal most of the year, is so that I DO have a vacation fund-always! My kids grew up knowing, I was not interested in buying the latest and greatest tennis shoes or designer clothes and electronics for them-and when their friends bragged, they were to remember, that although they didn't own an ipod, they'd been to 14 states and 2 foreign countries..lol. All about perspective isn't it??

Have we spent more...yes indeed. It's all about destinations. Hawaii is more expensive than San Diego. Disneyland in California we could drive to, but Disney World in Florida includes the cost of round trip airfare for us. So on average, my intent is to land in the 5k budget for the week.

West Yorkshire...
Destination Expert
for Family Travel
Level Contributor
2,275 posts
208 reviews
101 helpful votes
9. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

Our holidays vary - and we do have a few trips a way throughout the year.

Last year's summer trip to France (5 peeps) driving, and hiring a villa, and some budget hotels and a short stay in Paris- cost well over £6000.

We also like a winter trip to the Canaries (usually 3 peeps) and that can be over £2000.

We don't spend crazily, but if we want to do/buy something then we do.

i don't think I want to add it all up really :)

Many years ago I spent 6 weeks in India ( before kids!) and after airfare I probably only spent £200 in total. However that was very basic living - no toilet, running water !

Had a good time though

western WA
Level Contributor
8,997 posts
13 reviews
25 helpful votes
10. Re: Average Family Vacation Budget?

I'm glad to know I am not the only one who does not add it all up sometimes!

I tend to take road trips, and stay at inexpensive hotels (unless they are provided by someone's business trip...), or else I do Priceline bidding. I'd use $100 a night for lodging. We would probably camp several nights, so a more expensive place averages in.

We eat breakfast from supplies on hand. Mostly from home, but we'd buy fruit and yogurt on the way. Lunch and dinner about $30 a day per person, rounded up. So I'd allot $200 a day for all of us.

Attractions? I don't mind spending on these if they are recommended. I'm much more likely to spend on the experiences we share together than on the room or food which for us is quickly forgotten. We might buy theater tickets, park passes, museum entry, hop on hop off bus fare (depending on if we've been there before). This could easily be $50 per person on a single day, but on average more like $25 per person for the entire trip, or $125 a day.

Airfares and rental cars really drain the budget. For airfares, I use expedia mainly and do a lot of obsessive checking and rechecking dates and nearby airports. We usually get domestic tickets for around $300 apiece. We use carryon only to avoid the luggage charge, no matter how lovely it would be not to haul that bag.

We have had good luck reserving subcompact cars and getting free upgrades to midsize, but that is just a matter of chance. I am still looking for deals on rental cars when I have a regular visit to one of the relatives. I haven't tried priceline for airfare lately, or rental cars ever. Gas is expensive, but we don't tend to drive long distances every day.

So my family budget is more like $600 a day.

It would be less if we camped every night, or stay in a home exchange. On a camping vacation we'd have less cost in attractions (but still not zero). We would have lower food costs, but not that much since we'd likely buy nice local fish to cook, etc.

We also might visit family, thus dropping the lodging and food dollar cost. But you do PAY for that experience one way or another!

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