Sometimes it feels like you have to do a reverse mortgage on your house (does anyone really know what that is, btw?) just to take a vacation! Maybe that’s why many Americans don’t take all of their allotted vacation time they get from work. Seriously, though. Vacations are expensive. And if you don’t do your research, planning, and saving beforehand, it could be devastating to your credit score.
How much is the average vacation?
It varies year-to-year, but the number always hovers around $1,000 per person. According to American Express, for example, last year Americans spent an average of $941 per person. But for the purposes of this article, I’m going to use $1,000 p/p.
And that’s probably fairly accurate. Hipmunk recently put together a nice little infographic on the price a family of four can be expected to pay for a getaway to Disneyland and/or Disneyworld, with the average being anywher between $3,227 and $4,954.
Breaking down where each dollar goes
The cost of an airline ticket is the big one here. Beyond that, you need to consider your mode of transportation once you get to your destination. Will you be renting a car? Will you be Ubering it most of the time? Is Public transportation an option? All those add up under the transportation category. In all you can expect to spend nearly half of the $1,000 on transportation.
The next big expenditure is lodging. Hotel stays set you back, on average, $150 a night. An easy way to save is using sites like Airbnb (it’s also a good way to make a little extra cash). There are also several other apps/sites that can easily save you thousands each and every vacation.
Food and beverage
This’ll vary quite a bit depending on where you go, but you can expect to spend over $30 per day per person.
Can’t forget about these! They also vary widely. A cost of a ticket for a musical on Broadway will most certainly be more expensive than a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Last, but certainly not least, taxes are a big one. And I can all but guarantee you’re spending a lot more on taxes wherever you go than you realize. Take Chicago for example, where a hotel stay includes a 16.4% tax. Renting a car while in Chicago? There’s a 23% tax on that. Almost seems unrealistic, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s true. And you can’t forget about the airline taxes. You’ll end up paying roughly 20% in federal taxes and fees for a $240 airline ticket. Meaning it’ll cost you $300 out-of-pocket.
Yeah, that is a lot of money going straight to taxes.
Yes, a vacation can set you back a dime or two. But don’t let that keep you from taking ‘em! Not only are vacations good for your health, but planning vacations also make you feel good.
If you’ve got a budget for your upcoming vacation, it’s important to include everything in that budget, including taxes and fees. And by doing that, you’ll be able to have a little fun in the sun without having to worry about getting burnt on the budget.
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