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  1. #1
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    Default Cost of a holiday to the United States

    Sorry if this is the wrong place for this post, but my question is $ related so I thought it best fit here.

    We're planning our first overseas holiday to the east coast of USA next year. We're currently saving like crazy, only it dawned on me recently that given I've never travelled OS before I really have no idea how much I should be aiming for to have saved.

    Would anyone have a very ball park figure for how much a family of four (2 kids under 6) might need for a holiday in the USA? At this stage we're thinking of between 2-3 weeks, we'll need flights, car hire, accommodation, meals, spending money etc. the rough plan would include, L.A. (Disney, Hollywood, universal etc), San Diego, San Francisco, possibly Yosemite and maybe las vagas, however not sure how worthwhile that would be with kids.

    I came up with the idea that we would need $25,000. However, I based that on nothing, just sounded like a good number lol. Can anyone help me, does this sound like it won't be enough or too much?

  2. #2
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    Hi @shy! DH and I have been on 3 trips (of varying lengths) to the USA and recently went in June with our toddler.

    Costs vary dramatically for a trip like depending on what you want to do, what hotels you want to stay at etc, but I can give you rough figures from our recent trips.

    Flights have cost us between $1300-$2400 return (per person) depending on when we've booked, whether we booked internal flights too, and which airline You can regularly get sale fares for around $1200 from east coast Australia to LA. Internal flights can get expensive. I've found it cheaper in the past to book all our flights on the one ticket.

    Car hire can be expensive depending on whether you want to road trip around or just use it between certain destinations. Our last trip we hired a people mover van and it cost us about $1400 for two weeks (we drove from LA to Vegas to San Diego and back up to LA). I'm sure you could possibly find cheaper. Fuel is a lot cheaper over there too.

    Accommodation costs vary greatly! This last trip we used AirBNB and highly recommend it, especially if you are wanting to spend more than a couple of days in one destination.

    Tourist attractions (disney etc) are what will eat up a fair chunk of your budget. Disney, universal etc cost $100 per person upwards (slightly cheaper for kids I think). Food is cheap when you don't stick to the tourist traps, and it will be tastier too. Also food will be cheaper if you stay somewhere with a kitchen and want to prepare some of your own meals.

    Don't forget to include travel insurance in your budget (cost us $400 for the 3 of us including pregnancy cover for me for 3 weeks). The exchange rate at the moment is pretty poor, so take that into consideration when budgeting (it could get better or worse).

    Feel free to PM me if you would like some more specifics!

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    Hi shy, we were a family of 4, with a 3 year old and 2 year old to the USA over Xmas, 2 years ago. The Aus dollar was much better!

    We were gone for 3 weeks and travelled to Colarado, Vegas, and L.A (Disneyland, SeaWorld San diego etc)

    We spent $22,000 all up, including all spending money, and that was buying and doing everything we wanted, we didn't want to be tight on holiday.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by 3bubbys; 21-07-2015 at 09:58.

  5. #4
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    We recently received a quote for a similar trip next year and it was about $24k. So it sounds like you are in the ballpark with your target!

    Don't forget to factor in extras such as passports and insurance.

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    I think your $25k sounds reasonable, unless of course you're planning to shop at Louis Vuitton and spend half your loot at the casinos in Las Vegas!


    Sounds like an awesome trip.

    Be savvy, shop around for car hire (we use auto Europe whenever and wherever we use car hire), that sort of stuff.

    Have fun!

  7. #6
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    I looked at flights for sydney to la to vancouver back to buffalo then home again. For 4 i was looking at $12000 so i think $25k is a good ballpark figure

  8. #7
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    Thanks so much for everyone's response. I had completely forgot to factor in the exchange rate so perhaps I need to aim for a bit more in case that gets worse. It seems like a crazy amount of money to spend in three weeks, but it has been a dream of mine for years, and I can't wait to share it with my kids.

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    I don't have kids (yet! hopefully soon) but have traveled all over the world on various budgets.

    My first trip to the US we did LA, Anaheim, Las Vegas, and NYC. We were gone for 2.5 weeks and spent around $15k. We didn't scrimp on anything and I shopped a reasonable amount.

    Second trip we did NYC and a stopover in LA. We were gone 2.5 weeks and I think we spent around $20-22k. The exchange rate was on par but I bought a LOT of shoes/clothes/bags. Most of that money was probably on shopping.

    A few years ago we went backpacking around Europe and were gone for just over three months. We had $20k to spend and came home with 2k.

    Long story short, whatever your budget you can make a holiday work. You might just not be able to go to every single place you want. Don't forget you can always go back! With the kids so young, maybe just a few stops would be best. Then take them back in another 5-6 years and do the stuff you missed out on this time.

    We booked our US trips ourselves, but booked Europe through a travel agent. You can pay the travel agent almost like a layby which might help with budgeting and saving.

    I love holidays!


 

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