Monday 1 October 2007

Saving for a European Vacation

We would like to take an extended overseas holiday late next year - perhaps 6 weeks driving around Germany, England, Wales and Ireland staying at B&Bs or motels. We would like to arrive home before DS2 turns two next September, as this would allow him to get the cheaper "infants" airfare. DS1 will be 8 yo next year, so he should benefit from the experience and be able to remember the highlights (especially with the help of digital photos and video!). I'm just not sure whether to go for 6 weeks or just for 3-4 weeks (we can always go again in a few years time when DS2 is old enough to benefit as well). Also, With young kids six weeks away from home may end up too stressful for all of us. I've invited my parents to come along, as we can share the car hire costs and they can help with supervising the kids (and mum can provide some translation in Germany - mein Deutch ist sehr schelcht).

I've done a rough budget for the trip and figure I need to save $750 each fortnight into an ING online savings account to have enough funds put aside for a six week trip ready by next August. I'm not including this account in my monthly net worth updates as it will all be gone again once we've been on vacation, so it would just be a short term "blip". My rough budget for the holiday is:

Airfares - Aus/Europe return
2 adults: $4,000.00
1 child: $1,500.00
1 infant: $ 500.00
Car hire (7 seater van)
40 days @ $70/day = $2,800.00
40 x 100 km ~ 400L @ $2.00/L $ 800.00
40 x 2 rooms x $50/night = $4,000.00
Entry Fees
Heritage passes etc. $1,000.00
Food & Beverages (mostly self-cater in motels)
40 x 4 x $25/day $4,000.00
TOTAL $18,600.00
+ miscellaneous 10% $1,860.00
Holiday budget $20,500.00
Savings Plan $750 x 28 = $21,000.00

I'll need to get more accurate figures later this year when we make a final decision on our itinerary and start making bookings. As everything except the airfares is proportional to the length of the holiday, a three week vacation would be roughly half the cost of doing a six-week "grand tour". If we do decide on the shorter holiday I'll leave the balance of the funds sitting in the ING account and use it to fund our next European vacation in a couple of years.

I also have to check into the need for travel insurance - I think we might be able to emergency hospital treatment in the UK under the NHS (under an agreement between the Australian and UK governments). And in any case my parents would have the biggest risk of needing medical care while travelling, and I don't think they can get affordable coverage as they are both in their 70's.

Copyright Enough Wealth 2007

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