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The surprising math of a dream vacation (with examples)

Ramit Sethi

One of the greatest things I learned in college was in a class I almost failed.

I took an introductory programming class — CS106A — and walked in feeling like a huge stud. I knew I was going to crush this class, especially compared to the English majors who were taking it because they were required to.


Except…no. I worked for 40 hours a week on this class. I went to office hours. I tried my hardest…

…and walked out of that class with a D.

A D!!! Nobody gets a D at Stanford. Grade inflation…I love you.

Looking back, I learned 2 things:

  1. I am not a good programmer
  2. I learned how to break huge problems down into their component parts

#2, breaking big problems down, was actually an incredible lesson that made the entire class worth it. Like most people, I never received formal training on how to think logically and break problems down. You know who gets this training?

Lawyers and engineers. Two of the weirdest fucking people on earth.

Anyway, today I want to show you how to apply that to taking a dream vacation. Unlike delusional people who say “Yeah, I really want to take an awesome vacation…some day…”

A few years ago, I decided to stop talking about traveling and actually START traveling. Since then, I’ve been able to take some great vacations.

To be honest, it actually took me about 2 years to figure out how to take a really long vacation to Southeast Asia and still have my business keep running (in fact, I automatically earned money while I traveled). But I finally did it.

This was the pool in my hotel room in Thailand.

So I want to show you the lesson I learned that finally let me stop talking about taking vacations…and actually start traveling.

By the way, my goal is for you to be able to travel some place awesome within the next 12 months. (Really, you could do it this year, even this summer, with the right system.)

NOTE: This isn’t just about vacations. You can apply this to ANY goal — a new car, moving to a new city, redoing your wardrobe. It’s up to you.

The key is breaking it down from a huge, overwhelming goal into something you can control.

What’s your dream vacation?
THINK BIG. If you tell me your dream is to stay at a Best Western in New Jersey, I am going to unsubscribe you from my email list.

When you’re brainstorming, think big. You can always cut down later. But for now, think big.

After you come up with something — “I want to go to Paris!”, get specific.

When I used to say, “Yeah! I want to travel,” I never did. There was no specificity, no urgency. It was a dream easily deferred.

Pick a date so you can start breaking it down. Notice how reluctant we are to set dates and specifics because, gasp, what if we fail? I would rather have you try and fail than never try at all.

How much will it cost? Really map it out. This doesn’t have to be exact, but you should know if you want a $4,000 trip to the beach or a $20,000 trip around the world.

Here’s an example.

Are IWT readers this good looking? Thoughts?

BAD IWT READER: “I want to go to Paris some day”

GOOD IWT READER: “By December, I want to go Paris for a week with my significant other. I also need to find a significant other, but that’s another story”

  • Flight for 2: $1,600
  • Hotel: $2,000
  • Food: $1,400
  • Fun money: $1,000

(If you’re not sure where to find these numbers try here and here. Just approximate and add 20% if you’re not sure.)

Total: $6,000


Ok, this is where my training in breaking down big problems comes in handy. That’s a big number, but if you break it down, it’s absolutely achievable.

Let’s break it down even further and I’ll show you what I mean.

$6,000 = $500 x 12

One of the principles I realized when I earned my first dollar as a consultant was, if I can make $1, that means I can make $10…and if I can make $10, I can make $100. And on and on.

So — if you can earn $500 once, you can do it 12 times. And you’ve paid for your dream romantic getaway to Paris.

Let’s keep breaking it down.

How long would it take to earn $500? Let’s do the math.

You have a lot of options. You could:

  • Save all your change in a jar by the washing machine. At .50/day, it will only take you 2.7 years to earn $500. Which means your Paris trip is a mere 33 years away. Love you, frugalistas
  • Cut out your morning latte 5 days/week. If you remember to put that money aside, you’ll have $780/year and have a Paris getaway in a little less than 8 years. Except you won’t be reading my emails any more since you’ll have moved to a shanty town in South Dakota and ceased the usage of electricity. Nice knowing you
  • Take $100 out of each of your paychecks. At biweekly pay, you’ll have enough in just over 2 years. This is reasonable and it adds up way faster than you think — especially when it’s automatic. (Btw, when people say, “I’ve already cut to the bone…there’s nothing more I can cut” these are the very same people who have never automated their savings. They don’t know what they’re talking about.)

We’re going to break it down further, because there’s another, even quicker option that doesn’t require cutting back. You can use the skills you already have to earn money on the side. And you don’t need that much time.

Look: To earn $500 you could…

  • Work 10 hours and charge $50/hr
  • Work 5 hours and charge $100/hr

In other words, with just 5-10 hours of work per month — that’s only 1½ – 2½ hours per week — you’ll have your Paris trip in a year or less.

You can also think about it in terms of clients.

$6,000 =

20 one-time clients paying a $300 project
Even better: 6 one-time clients for a $1,000 project
Best: 2 recurring clients for 6 months at $500/month

Notice how much easier this is. 6 clients? I can do that. (Notice that voice in the back of your head: “But where would I find these clients? What would they buy from me? Why would anyone pay $50/hour??” You can use the same principle of breaking down the problem to answer every one of those. I’ll show you how.)

Let’s take an even easier example. Not everybody needs to go on a $6,000 Paris vacation, Jesus.

I went on a food tour in Vegas

How much would it cost to take a long weekend in Las Vegas?

  • Flight for 2 from NYC to Las Vegas: $900
  • Hotel for 3 nights: $900
  • Food: $500
  • Fun money: $500

Total: $2,800

You can earn a guilt-free weekend in Vegas with your best friend — your treat — working 5 hours per week in less than 3 months.

That is pretty cool. In fact, you could take this trip over Labor Day weekend THIS YEAR.

5 hours x $50/hr = $250/week
$2,800 = 11 weeks

Or, you’ll need just 3 clients with a $1,000/project (and you’ll have a little extra fun money).

If you have no idea how you could make $50/hr or $1,000 per project, don’t worry. Wednesday I’m going to break down exactly how to find an idea and what to charge.

The key things we learned today are:

  • You can break huge goals into small, discrete actions that become a lot easier to achieve
  • It doesn’t matter if the goal is a $6,000 Paris vacation, a weekend in Vegas, or even those new shoes or coat you’ve been eyeing. A Rich Life is guilt-free. I’ll show you how to earn it
  • I am really bad at programming

Now, I’m curious what your goal actually is. Forget about the money right now — just assume you’ll be able to earn it (I’ll show you how).

For today, what’s the dream? If it’s a vacation, where do you want to go / where do you want to stay? If it’s clothes or a new suit, which brand? If it’s helping your parents pay off their mortgage, how much and how would it feel to write them that check?

Using the framework above, do you think you could take it within a year?

Leave me a comment below with the destination and details and this week, I’ll show you how you can make it happen.

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  1. avatar

    Destination; Mexico (tropical)
    Amount needed: approx $3500

  2. avatar

    My dream vacation is to spend 10 days in Florida at Disney and Universal Studios this Christmas to celebrate my and my daughter’s birthdays. By the way my daughter is 17 and I have never taken her on a real vacation. I have already started saving. So far $1200 is in that account. $5500 more to go.

  3. avatar

    I want to travel around Chile and other South American areas. I have a family and that would mean at least $8000 for a week travel and that would be a budget one. Waiting for Wednesday…

  4. avatar

    Take my girlfriend with me on a weeklong trip around Europe in late summer of this year (August).

  5. avatar

    My goal is to secure a less stressful, reasonably enjoyable job without a huge pay cut in the next 6 months. That involves leaving my attorney job, convincing someone that I, in fact, do NOT have to be an attorney (and that I’m okay with that), and convincing them that my legal education and training are valuable skills in a completely different environment. My current part time salary (30 hours/wk) is $70k, no benefits.

  6. avatar

    I want my partner and I to be able to take a 2/3 month trip to Thailand and New Zealand. Would estimate approximately £8000

  7. avatar

    Ramit, I almost take offense to your comment about the only people learning how to break down problems are lawyers and engineers, ‘two of the weirdest fucking people on earth’. Since I am an attorney, and an intellectual property attorney at that, I will agree with you that your comment is more true than false. Just keep in mind some attorneys might be down with your style more than you think…

    In any case, I told my wife a couple of days ago that by this time next year, I intend to take her and my daughter to Nice, France and Positano, Italy. Part of the reason is that my wife and I went to France and Italy for our honeymoon, and I really want to take her back. The other part is that I love to travel, and this is a great goal for me to plan for, although I consider it more of a reward.

    I’ll work out the numbers and details and get back to you later today.

  8. avatar
    Nathan Englert

    Week-long honeymoon in Mexico this year in October.
    Week-long trip to Germany next year in June.

  9. avatar

    We already booked the flights for our honeymoon in Costa Rica this December, but I would love to throw in some upgrades and surprises to make it extra special!
    $2,500 would really cushion us and allow us to not have to nickel and dime the whole trip!
    Thank you!

  10. avatar

    My goal is to become debt free by December 2016. I also want to take a family vacation to San Diego in December 2015. For this trip I will need $4,000. To be debt free, $27,342.

  11. avatar

    Laura, I wish you the best of luck. And I was beginning to think I was the only attorney in this program! 😉

    You should have no problem using your legal skills to find a job in a different industry, it that is what you are seeking. That is one of the nice things about a legal education – it is easily transferable. I am confident that you will find the job of your dreams. Heck, you are already more than 50% of the way there…

  12. avatar

    I want to move and split my time between the U.S. and Belize two years from today.

  13. avatar

    Three week trip to China and Japan for myself and my family, next summer. We’ve done most of the math on this already:
    Airline tickets, approx $2000 each ($8000)
    Touring through China with guides, includes breakfasts and dinners and most activities ($12000)
    Additional China expense (additional meals, souvenirs, etc.) $2000
    Japan hotel (3 nights at nice-isn hotel) $1000
    Food/activity/etc. in Japan $2000

    $25000 for the four of us.

  14. avatar

    My dream vacation is to go to Ireland for our 10 year anniversary (May 2016). Just my husband and I. Traveling for 2 weeks, staying in B&B’s, hopping from castle to castle while we create our own Castle Tour. Perhaps we’d enjoy a Guinness or two while entertaining our ears with the local live music. We would catch some of the must do’s, like kissing the Blarney stone (do they even clean it in between other’s kisses?!?!), and heading to the Cliff’s of Moher, all the while capturing every moment with our amateur photography skills. While I haven’t figured out pricing, I’m going to have to imagine flight, car rental, B&B’s, food and Guinness for two, with a little spending money to boot….I’m going to say around $6000.

  15. avatar

    japan. 2 weeks. 14K USD

  16. avatar

    Cabo San Lucas
    I want to go this summer.

  17. avatar

    Week long dive vacation to Belize for my boy friend and me. $4500 to do it right next winter.

  18. avatar

    Two week trip to St Louis – with family (My sister, my wife’s brother, and all of our kids – 10 kids between the 3 of us)

    Target time is 2016 June
    – Rental cars [not flying with babies .. driving 10 hours is much preferred at this point of the journey] $800
    – Hotels $2000
    – Food/Activity/Fun Money $1000

    $4,000 x3 families = $12,000 for all of us

    ($330/month x 12 months for my family OR $1,000/month x 12 months to treat everyone)

  19. avatar

    Bahamas: $5k.

  20. avatar

    I am also an attorney but love my job. I would just love to find a way to make some more money on the side. I’m just starting out in my career so I’m on the low-end of the totem pole.

    My goal is to take my wife to Fiji for a week and leave the kids behind!

  21. avatar


  22. avatar

    A woman after my own heart . Good luck!

  23. avatar

    Next year I would like to spend an entire month in Albania with my husband. I reckon that would cost about £3,000, or an extra c.£63 per week.

  24. avatar

    Travel the world with my girlfriend while working. I want to stay in some cities like Lima, Stockholm, Vienna, Tokyo, Barcelona (and many others) for periods of 3 months each time.

  25. avatar
    Kayla Reid

    I want to pay for my trip with my husband, to Las Vegas (Jul 30-Aug 3), in cash!

    Flight for 2: $900
    Planet Hollywood: $800
    Food for 2: ~$1,000
    Fun things: ~$1,000

  26. avatar

    I’ll stand out here by saying I’d love to go to the USA as I’m here in gloomy ol’ Blighty.

    Disneyworld for my son’s 4th Birthday next April with husband for a week. All bells and whistles, no scrimping on food or experiences really big time blow out.


    Show me how Ramit…show me how.

  27. avatar
    Jesse Gernigin

    I have a two deal desire
    1)Through Hike the Appalachian Trail:
    Time-6 months
    2)Iceland Airwaves in November
    Time-6 days
    Cost-Package that includes passes to event, plane and hotel $1800
    Fun money-$1000

  28. avatar

    My goal is to become a digital nomad and I would like to spend 1 month exploring New Zealand!

  29. avatar
    Suzanne ofeldt

    i want to take a 2 month trip around South America with my husband and go to museums, take art classes, go horse back riding, take epic photos, and find adventure wherever we go. Estimated $12000

  30. avatar

    I’m a big dreamer. After my India&Southeast Asian trip of 3 months (less than USD 6,000 in total) I decided to move to the place I dreamed of living since I was a kid (USD 1,200 total per month to live the dream, it’s like working while being in vacation), and now I’m aiming for a sailboat of around USD 200,000 (I can get financing and pay it like I would do for a house) and sail off the Mediterranean. It’s not exactly a vacation ‘per se’ since I want to live in it as well, and chill around Ibiza, Greece, Monaco, France, Spain, Turkey, etc. whilst working at the same time (setting up an automated work on the side would also be fantastic).
    Probably not this year yet -gotta enjoy the present dream- but I’ll get there.

  31. avatar
    sharon rineer

    disney and bahamas probably need 8 grand?????

  32. avatar
    Patrick Daley

    My plan: Hitch-hike across the United States. From Florida to San Francisco, California.

    Time alloted: July 10th – August 22nd (43 days)

    I am actually doing this. I have been planning since January. I’ll be documenting my journey on my website Once I reach California, I will be flying to Hawaii to work on an organic farm.

    Food: $600

    Travel: $13 – I had frequent flyer miles to pay for the flight. This was the cost of insurance for the flight. My travel across the country will be completely free with the use of a cardboard sign and my thumb.

    Shelter: $0 – I will be tent camping most nights, other nights I will be staying on strangers’ couches using

    Fun money: $300 – I will be pretty frugal on this trip, reserving most of my funds for food and staying focused on reaching my destination safely.

    Total Cost: $913

    With a little imagination, keeping an open mind to discomfort, and planning I will be able to complete my dream of hitch-hiking across the United States.

  33. avatar

    You said think big…. there is a villa for rent in Southern Italy. It can accommodate 18 people and has the most stunning views of the Val D’Orcia. I want to rent it for 2 weeks next year and then invite friends to join our family there. I will act as concierge and tour guide because I want everyone to share my love of Italy. Day trips to Florence and Siena, wine tours, days lounging by the pool, under the Tuscan sun.

  34. avatar

    Credit card debt free (after 4 rough years health-wise) and a family trip to Scotland and Ireland. $12,000 would do it.

  35. avatar

    I forgot the gory details. I will need 17,000 per week times two weeks, plus $7500 for our family of 5 to fly to Italy plus $3000 in fun money for a total of $34,500.

  36. avatar

    Education for both kids in August. Approximately $8,000

  37. avatar

    Goal : leave on a trip around the world with wife and 5yr old child, film it, and make alot of money doing it during this ‘off’ year !

    going to paris for one week is so selling yourself short – life is for living.

    see our project mature here

    see our vietnam teaser here :
    from our recent test / pilot trip

    thanks !

  38. avatar

    Yoga+Surf+Free diving in South East Asia for a month in June 2016 for 3000$!

    I would love that vacations.

  39. avatar

    Pay off $5k in credit card debt by 12/15
    After that $5k to visit Giraffe Manor by 10/16

  40. avatar
    victoria m.

    Went to Japan last year, going to Peru and Washington State this year. Spain or Argentina next year?

  41. avatar
    Sue Dyer

    Two weeks in Europe – England, France, Italy – with my husband for our 20th anniversary in 13 months. $10K should do it,

  42. avatar
    victoria m.

    oh yeah.. and I did it by breaking it all down exactly like you explain in your email. I oftentimes wonder if I should be a travel consultant or agent… I’m too good at planning travel

  43. avatar
    Manuel Vargas

    My goal is make a 2 weeks backpack trip to Europe in may-jun 2016.
    Paris, London and Rome.
    Since I want it to be and adventure and not hotel/fancy/luxurious I estimate a cost of $4000

  44. avatar

    I dream big. My dream is to quit my job in 2017 and travel the world. I would like to have my zero to launch class completed and my online business up and running. I would like to have approx $20K to start off with. I have $4k so far, with an automatic savings plan set up of $1600/month going into savings. I can’t wait for 2017!!

  45. avatar
    Shea P

    A new car by Aug/ Sept 2015
    Approx. $1500

  46. avatar

    My dream is to spend 3 months wandering around the USA.

  47. avatar
    Ashley F

    10-day trip with my husband to South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Want to bungee jump over Victoria Falls – it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was 12.


    Flights – $3,000
    Lodging – $1,500
    Activities – $2,000
    Food – $1,000

    Total = $7,500

    I have a lot of airline miles, so the flights may actually not cost that much (or anything at all!), but I’d probably still set aside a portion of that as a slush fund for the trip.

    I currently make about $2000 on the side each month, so if I started saving that instead of spending it, we’d be able to go in just over 3 months! Crazy to think of it like that.

  48. avatar

    I have a goal of taking my family to the philippines in june of 2016 for 2 weeks. Flight – $8000
    Entertainment expenses, food, souveneirs $2000

  49. avatar

    Visit my father who lives in the Amazon Jungle for 10 days in Dec/2015, aprox. $7,000.

  50. avatar

    Family travel is a priority for us, so we budget for it and save money in an earmarked account for that purpose. We just got back from Canada and that was great. Lower budget since we drove, and it was in the off-season, but it did the trick.

    We have a December trip to Disney World coming up. I used the Southwest Visa 50k point bonus plus other SW points we had to pay for 4/5 of our flights. Other credit card rewards (cash) will help justify the pricetag of staying at a deluxe resort.

    We went to WDW last year and know more of what to expect. That place is no joke. You have to plan the crap out of it (unless you go in like, September or mid January, and even then you need to make certain restaurant reservations 180 days in advance) and save up more than you think.

    We haven’t decided what our travel will look like in 2016 just yet, but I’m already starting to put money aside for that trip.

  51. avatar

    My dream is to take my whole (15 member) family on a 7 day cruise. If pricing same somewhat the same, I could do it for about $25,000.

  52. avatar

    I want to go to Hawaii for a week with some friends. Cost: $2,556 (tickets, rental car, AirBnB, Food, Fun Money, etc.)

  53. avatar

    If you are actually going Christmas week you really should have your hotel reservations yesterday. Offsite will be a cheaper option, or stay in one of the value resorts and see which promos you can use. Reserve your room now though, it just requires a $200 deposit.

    If you are doing Universal too, strongly consider staying at their resort for that leg of the stay so you can have front-of-the-line access. It will be busier than busy.

    If you can go before Christmas week, crowds will be more manageable and prices will be a little lower.

    Would recommend the Touring Plans site, app and book.

    You have a fun trip in the works, but this is no joke. You have to plan waaaay ahead, especially if you want to have a good time during the busiest time of the year (Christmas-New Year is THE busiest there — wall to wall people.)

  54. avatar

    I want to take my husband and 2 children to Hawaii for vacation in Summer of 2017.

  55. avatar

    I want to take an 8 week town-hunting trip on the east coast with my husband. We have worked and traveled abroad our whole adult lives, and now approaching mid-30s want to find a North American home-base in a friendly, community-driven town. My estimates are ~12 000$ staying in b&b style accom or with fam & friends on certain stops. (I’d love to check out TX too…!)

  56. avatar

    7 day Italian Alps cycling tour: Playing the part of a pro-cyclist for a week. Ride hard (about 100 miles a day), and play hard. Ending the day with a stay at 5 star hotels, local cuisine, and fine wine, oh and you also get a great massage so you do it all over again the next day. You ride the latest and greatest Italian carbon road bike, decked out in freshly washed spandex (yes, I said spandex) daily, and cooks create a hearty breakfast before you hit the road. While you’re suffering on the bike, you’re not too far from a “team car” to hand you snacks, extra bottles of water, or fix your flat.

    This will be my 40th birthday gift to myself…

    – Cycling tour package: ~$6,000
    – Air faire: ~$2,000
    – Spending money: ~$1,000
    – Memories: PRICELESS!

  57. avatar
    W Lee

    The dream vacation consists in qualification for $900,000 mortgage 30 years fixed rate, principal and interest payments only, no prepayment penalties.

  58. avatar

    Oh and we have a separate investment account for around 11-12 years from now, when we plan to take our family to various parts of Europe and maybe more. That sucker is going to take a lot of money, so starting small now with automatic monthly contributions ought to get us there painlessly.

  59. avatar

    600 euro to swim with dolphins and whales and stay for 2 weeks. the place is mati and it is in mindanao. i will reach that through cutting down the number of my bankaccounts and cancelling the internet for my wive.

  60. avatar

    The dream vacation is to go to the United Kingdom and Ireland with my husband for four weeks. I’d like to spend a week in each country, seeing the sights, taking in shows and museums, traveling around the country side, and sampling the local cuisine.

    Goal date: May or June 2017

    Tickets: $2,000 (Chicago to Dublin)
    Lodging: $4,500
    Food/Beverage: $3,000
    Sight Seeing: $300
    Other Travel: $250
    Gifts: $500

    Total: $12,500

    A more realistic goal would be to go two weeks, which would be about $6,500, but you said shoot for the stars.

  61. avatar

    Awesome article as always.

    I dream of going to Israel for two weeks this coming October.

    Flight for 3 $4,000
    Accommodations $1,000
    Fun money $1000

    Total $6,000

    Please advise me how to make it happen.

  62. avatar

    I want to become financially independent from my husband in the next year. I am a stay at home mom who isn’t needed to stay home any more. I haven’t worked outside my home in over 15 years, and I don’t have any marketable skills (that I know of!). Ultimately I would like to get a divorce but I want to be able to stand on my own two feet first. Then I want to go to Jamaica with my daughter!

  63. avatar

    Goal : 5-6k By the end of July

    My immediate goal is to purchase a decent medium sized car, white, great working air conditioner ( I’m a Miami native ) also to get affordable car insurance. I want to be able to take my daughter to school and other places ( it’s been a trying past couple of years ) The car will be for my mobile massage business that I can’t really book appointments for unless I use Uber to get to my clients.

    My December goal is to take a trip to Greece for my birthday. I particularly want to visit the islands of Santorini, just me, sea food, surrounded by the beautiful water

  64. avatar

    Next year I’d love to be able to go to Disneyland Florida for a week, all in, staying on site. Approximate cost is £6,000. Looking forward to seeing how to make this happen!

  65. avatar

    Japan! I want to go there but I am going to Europe (Starting from Spain) next year around March with $5k. And Enjoy Peru! (I am Peruving) 🙂

  66. avatar

    I’d love to spend 2 weeks in Bora Bora in one of those fancy villas over water…

    All in, it would be the best part of £6000. On my current salary, minus my personal trainer and dream car payments that I’ve already made money available for, this would take a couple of years to achieve unfortunately. My health and the day to day take priority but maybe I’ll have the savings by 2017.

    Thanks for the great content.

  67. avatar

    Got sick and getting sicker so mostly interested in $50 to $100 an hour or $1000 projects so I can make a living again. But I’d love to do that from Costa Rica where I can heal by the ocean!

  68. avatar
    Giavanni Washington

    After just 8 months in Spanish Immersion preschool, my son has developed enough proficiency to qualify as a native Spanish speaker, which earned him entrance into a highly coveted Spanish immersion elementary school. In order to support his transition, and let’s be honest, give him a leg up,
    I am going to spend a month in Costa Rica this summer with him, his preschool buddy and her mother. I’d also love to cover their expenses. And I’d like to fly my husband down for 1 or 2 weeks. Goal: July 2015

    I’d like for us to do a homestay and attend spanish immersion school at CPI (2 weeks in Heredia or Monteverde and 2 weeks at the beach location).

    So breaking down the big challenge:
    Plane tickets – 5 tickets @ $600 = $3000
    4 weeks of Spanish Immersion School for 4 people @ $1420 = $5680
    4 weeks of Homestay for 4 people @ $180/week = $2880
    Food for 4 people for 4 weeks (2 meals provided through homestay): $500
    Fun Money: $2000

    TOTAL: $14,060

    Wow. So that was clarifying, if a bit stressful. I’ve been talking about this trip, with specifics, for about 2 months. ,The added bonus of “think big” – for me wanting to pay for my friends – tacked on an extra $6K or $7K. And the time frame just adds pressure. And I think this is doable. Just need one client who pays in full at $15000…or more.

    Motivation, this is. Pure motivation!
    Thanks Ramit!

  69. avatar

    My goal is to pay my college loans off. I am nearly 90,000 in debt. I am unable to make any payments without a residual income so interest is digging my grave. I am the only one to graduate college. So paying off this debt has been crippling to my dream to travel. No one in my family has ever traveled and I refuse to be caged like them. I don’t come from a wealthy background so it’s hard for me to think of a dream vacation. I haven’t traveled much in the U.S. I love music, food, and the ocean so maybe island hop or travel through Italy.

    Cost: 1,810.00 (tickets to italy)
    1,000.00 (fun money)
    500.00 (unexpected things)
    Total : 3,310.00

    Date: June 2016

  70. avatar
    Sydney Bristow

    In the middle of booking our dream vacation right now!

    2 weeks in Australia starting July 6th.

    Total cost is about $6000 split between 2 people. Would have been $10,000 if we hadn’t been collecting as many airline miles and hotel points as possible over the past year or 2. I’m paid hourly so I worked overtime to save up. Getting to work at 6:30am means I can leave at a somewhat normal time each night.

    Trip highlights will include 3 nights at an incredible private beach house up near the Great Barrier Reef, a private driver to show us around for 2 days and see as many waterfalls as possible, a day on a sailboat and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, seeing a performance at the Sydney Opera House, and going to an Australian Rules Football match.

    This is our honeymoon. Our original plan was Hawaii but we decided to go big, broke down the financial goals, and travel hacked the things we could. Dream vacation starts in 7 weeks!

  71. avatar

    LOL lawyers and engineers are the weirdest people on earth? My husband (IT) and I (Lawyer by training) must make a really weird couple.
    Dream vacation: I want to go back to Florence, Italy for our 10 wedding anniversary on a mini anniversary honeymoon (our anniversary is January 26, so it would be for the last week of January 2016).
    Cost (luxury travel): euros 11516.20
    Travel (flight to Rome + train to Firenze): 1500
    Hotel :euros 9116.2(Dreaming is free, so…)
    Food: 500
    Entertainment (museums, opera, etc): 400
    cooking class: 220 Euros

  72. avatar
    Matt Smith

    Going to buy our first house in May 2016, a quaint terrace in South
    Wales (UK) will cost £110,000. The deposit for this property will be £33,00 which over 12 months means I WILL earn £2,750 per month. This is going to be achieved by performing 6 consulting gigs at £500 each.

    Roll on Next Year!!!

  73. avatar
    Lori Q

    My goal is a Year in the World, from my 60th birthday in 2024, to my 61st birthday a year later.

    I am building a list of the places I’ve wanted to go, but haven’t have time: A month in an Asian health spa; a couple of months wandering in Asia; a couple of months of car touring in rural France; visiting the Alhambra; cruising Micronesia on the Aranui 3; an eco-resort in Patagonia; the list goes on. I put the anticipated expenses into an Excel workbook. The cost for a year of wandering, for me and my husband, will be about $100k.

    Since the start date is 9.5 years away, I have time to sock away the pile of cash we’ll need. I work for a technology company that offers an employee stock purchase plan with a discount, so $500/month is going into stock. Also, since I travel for business and get per diems, I try to be careful with my meals & incidentals, which allows me to put away about $100 per traveling week into an interest-bearing savings account. Both of these are automated. Finally, I have a savings goal of 1 million airline points and 1 million hotel points. This is about 100k points per year for each, and is achievable as long as I keep doing the same type of work.

    Adding clients to my schedule doesn’t work for me because (a) I’m prohibited from consulting outside of my company, and (b) I don’t have time for the distraction. (I’ve run a small, easy, homegrown business on the side before, and I know for a fact that it does not make me happy.) However, having a big goal in the not-inconceivable future has helped me relax and focus on near-term activities, like doing good work for my company, and using my per diems wisely.

  74. avatar

    My dream vacation is to visit the USA this year in September/October. To see my friends in the East Coast and Midwest and for the first time, to visit the West Coast. It will cost me about $3000.

  75. avatar

    Hi Manuel, I did this a few years ago, and was able to spend ~6 weeks on about $4k ($1k for a flight from Chicago, $3k for food/hostels/trains/etc.). If you can spend the extra time there, I think you might be surprised how long you can go if you’re doing hostels (or couchsurfing). Good luck! : )

  76. avatar

    Beaches – Turks and Caicos, all inclusive, December 2016, 1 week
    Flight, hotel and food for 2 $5,500
    Fun money $1,000
    Total $6,500

  77. avatar

    Week Long Trip to Vanuatu, Bora Bora, and Fiji. Kava Ceremony, beaches, simple paradise.. 7500

  78. avatar

    I always try to break up all of my goals into bite size pieces, not just the financial ones. But it is crazy that your first example is a trip to Paris, because my sister and I are planning a sister trip there, we want to shop and bring in 2016. My goal is to save $4000 for this trip. I will be using my side hustle money to fund this trip.

  79. avatar

    Denied! Sounds like a call in to the Suzie Orman show.

  80. avatar

    Destination: Israel for one year.
    Cost: 18,000.
    How I’m paying for it: finishing my trade course (floristry) and then working for a year or less

  81. avatar

    I want to travel to Chiang mai for two months with my son in January for my birthday. I want to be able to homeschool him while I’m there and not work. I estimate that this will cost me $11,000 including an emergency savings.

  82. avatar

    My Ultimate Dream Vacation is to go on an Outer Space trip. Ideally I would love to visit the Moon and other planets in our Solar System, but that’s not available right now, not for any amount of money. Although Virgin Galactic offers Space travel tickets at $250,000. As an Aspiring Artist (and a Creative Thinker) I know this is not a problem, only an Opportunity. Just like you I love to test things and see what comes up, but as of now I was not able to find anything that worked for me. I know it’s just a matter of time and I will (with your help I hope) figure this out. Thank you for being awesome!

  83. avatar

    TX is awesome. Definitely check out Austin and Texas Hill Country. I live in San Antonio. Go Houston Rockets!

  84. avatar

    I’m going to one of the Islands in the Caribbean in October of this year. The total cost of trip is $35k. If I can find another person to go with me, then the cost is $17.5k

  85. avatar

    Caribbean sailing trip where we hire a crew to do the sailing and cooking and we swim off the boat in tropical waters, feast on fresh seafood, and enjoy a beer or two.

  86. avatar

    My goal is to be able to set a date for my upcoming wedding, pay my half of my upcoming wedding and rehearsal dinner expenses, and have a honeymoon. We haven’t set a date because we don’t know what our budget will be or how quickly we can get our act together. However, I anticipate:

    Rehearsal dinner: $5000
    Wedding: $25000
    Honeymoon: $3000
    Total: $33000
    My half: $16500

    If I make it my goal to raise my half in a year’s time, that means I need to save $1375 a month. If I get 6 clients to pay $240 a month ($60 a week), I will reach my goal. If I get 5 clients to pay $300 a month ($75 a week), I will exceed my goal!

  87. avatar

    My dream vacation is to go to South America in February 2016. I want to live in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a month, Brazil for a month, and Ecuador for a month as well. I estimate that the whole thing (including prep/gear) will cost $8-10k depending on my thrift. BUT I’m extremely lucky to be able to spend several weeks staying with friends at no cost! I recommend this to anyone planning an extended solo getaway – make foreign friends!!

  88. avatar
    Monica Galvan

    LONDON! A two week vacation to London and yes, within a year.

  89. avatar

    All I want to do is pay off this debt of 18,000 so that I may go on a trip to the Bahamas and relax in the sun for one week. If I work .75 hours per day i will achieve that goal by May 2017.

  90. avatar

    i want to take a 1-month vacation to Thailand and Bali next November (best season)with my boyfriend. 5000$ would be an awesome budget to really experience the area to its fullest. It’s 1200$ for the plane tickets. We would be left with 3800$ for hotels, travel inside the country and to Bali, and personal expenses.

  91. avatar

    My dream vacation is Europe for 1 month with my man – spending time in France and Italy and with enough spending money that we can enjoy the trip and not have to worry too much.

  92. avatar

    I’m not even to the point of thinking about a grand vacation. I need a family vehicle. I would like to buy a $10,000 Suburban by Christmas time 2015.

  93. avatar

    Trekking in Greenland
    CHF 10000

  94. avatar

    My dream destination would be visiting Ol Doinyo Lengai (a volcano) in Tanzania followed by floating down the nile seeing ancient egyptian sites and how they evolved.

    My dream accomplishment is to pay off my student loans and 2 credit cards in the next 2 years.

  95. avatar

    My hubby has finally agreed to participate in a long awaited for dream of mine. August 2016 for our wedding anniversary I will be taking him on a champagne sunset hot air balloon ride over the Sedona red rocks. This will be followed by a stay at one of the Sedona spa resorts. Estimated cost $1000.
    Hot air balloon ride for 2: $500-700
    Resort stay: $300
    Hot air ballon rides are expensive and even more so if you want it to be a private tour which is what I am after.

  96. avatar

    gah, I forgot to list prices and timelines.

    the dream destination would be $7,000. I could do this in 1 year.

    the dream financial accomplishment (which i have more motivation for at the moment) would be $30,000, and i think i could accomplish the credit cards this year, and the student loans with another year after that.

  97. avatar
    Gordon Magennis

    My dream is to buy a house which is after coming on the market it is 275,000 over the next 6 months. And we have just found out we are expecting our first child.

  98. avatar

    We already booked the airfare to go to Puerto Rico for three weeks this September. So now, meeting our savings goals just means the difference between staying in a sketchy hotel or luxury AirBnB places and resorts.

  99. avatar

    I just want to be not homeless come this winter and be able to be close to my kids. Divorce cleaned me out. I’m working my butt off but not getting ahead. For me, a vacation at this point is about a fantastic idea as going to Mars some day. I just want to have enough money to eat well and have a roof over my head.

  100. avatar

    I graduated from college in New York City a year ago this week.

    I am $5,000 (and a full-time gig) away from my goal to move back before December 1 of this year.

  101. avatar
    Afiqah Ayauf

    Destination: Europe – Greenland/Iceland for one week with my future significant other (that’s another story)

    Airplane fare: $1500
    The whole package estimation: $4000 per person x 2

    Total: Close to $10,000 (I am considering to make the trip cost much less, but at this point, i am not going to spend too much time on this price. it’s okay to overestimate. Its always okay to save more)

    So I am hoping to achieve this in two years. So that means:

    I must have to make more than $10,000 per year for the next two years.

    In order to earn $10,000, I would have to earn an extra $835 per month for a year or $418 per month for two years. OK. If I could work 10 hours and charge $90 per hour or 20 hours and charge $50. Or 5 hours for $167 per hour. Or I could have clients … although that would have to wait until I get my PR probably …

    And then I could have a 100 clients paying for a $100 dollar project each
    or i could have 10 clients paying for $1000.00 project each or I could have four 6-month recurring clients paying about $419.99 per month. And that would be more than awesome …

    On a not so distant future note …

    I would like to travel to Colorado to ski or snowboard for the first time. That should not cost me more than $750 altogether. (Snowboard and gear = $200+, accommodations = $300+, food = $ 200+, and travel = $150)

    I would like to do that next March. That’s 10 months away from now. That’s socking away $75.00 per month or three projects at $250 dollars each.

    Thanks Ramit, for the tool of thinking kaching!!! I really appreciate this email and opportunity.

  102. avatar

    I would love to travel to Us Withy family
    Certainly visit New York and California
    That would probably mean
    4000 for airplane
    4000 for hotel
    4000 for living
    12.000 plus extras

  103. avatar

    To fix my personal life ,help my mum and then in august or september travel to bahamas just to relax for few days !

  104. avatar

    My goal is to travel to Fiji next April and get married to the love of my life on a beautiful remote island. We’ve been planning it for nearly a year and money has always been the issue – but, we’ve got a plan and we’re going to make it happen. Bring on next April!

  105. avatar

    To pay off debt completely which is around $60000, I wish to to this in two years, I earn $50000 a year so it’s a real big challenge for me, plus there’s a baby on the way and she’s due in SeptembSeptember. I want to buy the necessary nursery items by the time she arrives, that another $5000 by September

  106. avatar

    I’d love to be able to go on a holiday for the first time in 13 years. I want to take my fiancee to Venice, to ride on a gondola, then to visit Rome and see the museums.

    Having never left the UK, I have too many broad ideas for what I want to experience on a holiday!

  107. avatar

    Live in Ecuador for at least 12 months, so that I can get married and bring my wife back to the United States and then travel freely between Ecuador, US, and other countries.

    Rent, food, utilities etc, travel, student loans, CC debt, etc for 12 months Approx $20,000 using 4HWW Dreamline Calculator.

    VISA application fees etc $1800 (plus 9-12 months for processing)

  108. avatar
    Sarah M

    My dream vacation is to take a full week-long retreat. The one I have my eye on, to Tuscany in September/October, would cost £4000 including flights.

    That means I’d like to go in 2016, as they run this retreat once a year.

  109. avatar

    My dream is not a vacation – it’s to build my business enough to leave my corporate job. This means that I need to save 6 months of expenses, and pay off some debt – all total, about $50k. My goal is to do this by Thanksgiving 2016, so I can enjoy the holidays on my own schedule.

  110. avatar
    Sharon Loh

    Have my dream wedding by 2016 without any financial worries in Malaysia and Singapore

  111. avatar

    I’m moving to New Orleans in less than 3 months. I’ve calculated that I need a bare minimum of $5k to cover the cost, and I’m riiiiight on the edge of making/not making that goal.

    But I’d like to have a lofty 7k. And I’m very interested in destroying that goal. Doing it with a few new clients would be pretty magical.

  112. avatar

    My dream vacation is to explore Costa Rica with my husband in March/April 2016.
    Round Trip Flights: $1646
    5 Nights at the Westin Playa Conchal: $3070
    Rainforest Canopy Zip Line Tour: $160
    Rainforest Hike/Tour: $110
    Greens Fees: $380
    Total = $5366

  113. avatar

    My goal is not so much a vacation for a week or a month, but a lifestyle. I’d like to be able to have the option of walking away from my job (although I love my job) and live my life not bound by the 9to5 routine. I live in Singapore at the moment, have a great life, and want to kick-it up to a much bigger level of growth, freedom, and contribution.

  114. avatar

    Dubai for 5 days this Christmas!

    I need $2000, Ramit!

  115. avatar

    See Ta prohm before it crumbles. Target date April – May 2016.

  116. avatar

    My goal vacation is to travel to MD and visit family there. I haven’t seen them in years. The total is roughly $2500.

  117. avatar

    I just took a 30 day dream vacation to Europe last fall and am saving for the next big one to Croatia. Hopefully skipping the hostels next time! Cost: 5k-ish

  118. avatar
    J Rose

    Travel: Japan, Dec.4-7 this year. I got an estimate for flight expenses, which is around $470 (!!!) for ANA. Visa application depends on the agency, but I’m rounding it to $120. Hotel is $130 a night, so $390. Spending money will be $2000. Grand total of $2980. Wow.

    Parent’s debt: I’m not sure anymore, because there’s so many. I’ll probably need $7000+ to cover them.


    Since this is almost $10000, I’m going to target this amount.
    My goal is to earn at least $200/week
    $200 x 50 weeks = $10000

    That’s less than a year.

    Wow. This exercise made a lot of things clear for me. Thank you so much. It made my goals more achievable.

    PS: I agree wholeheartedly that you suck at programming.

  119. avatar

    Ramit – Can you also show to the segment of the population who work on a fixed salary basis? I am an IT Consultant (you can figure out I am an Asian) and I don’t have the luxury to just “make more clients” or submit 10 hrs/day (instead of 8 hrs/day) to my payroll timesheet. I earn a “fixed” income with no ability to charge overtime. Also, I am an immigrant so that leaves out a chance to start a new business on my current work policy.

    What I have done right now is this:

    1. Figured out how many dollars would I need for my vacation.
    2. Created a sub-saving goal in my bank account
    3. Transfer $20-$30 (function of time) per paycheck to that goal.

    But, I guess this strategy is like common sense. Not sure if any “new” math could build this up further.

    BTW, I love your posts.

  120. avatar
    mountain states Health alliance Norton va

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  121. avatar

    Destination: 20 countries across 6 continents (modern cities, historical locations, ancient temples, beautiful nature, and at least one paradise-like beach!)
    When: starting July
    Cost: $9,000 ($50/day average over 6 months. No need to pay for plane tickets since I’m flush w/ frequent flyer miles)

  122. avatar
    Diego Araya

    Hi Ramit.
    New York with my Wife.
    10 days

  123. avatar

    My dream vacation is taking my hubby on 2 weeks in Cancun then 2 weeks in USA (Grand Canyon, LA) in September 2015
    Flights from Australia to Cancun via LA $6000
    Hotels $3,600
    Food and drink $2600
    Car hire $1200
    Sightseeing etc $3000
    Incidentals $1200
    Total $ 17,600

  124. avatar

    If you have an election related issue you’d
    like to see explored, please let me know. What do you believe
    have been the obstacles to reaching your healthy goals.
    I obviously can’t go to all those different campuses whenever
    I want to buy fan apparel, so I shop for my official NCAA football gear

  125. avatar
    Kix Marshall

    Here’s a link to a free worksheet on how to make it happen.
    Basically my whole website / blog is about how to make that happen:)

    Hope it helps!

  126. avatar
    Kix Marshall

    Ohh I like your post the best so far. Seems like you have a nice solid unstoppable reason to make it happen.
    I teach people how to achieve this.
    Here’s a link to a blog / free worksheet you can print off if it’ll help you get it closer to reality.
    Any questions, feel free to ask.

  127. avatar
    Kix Marshall

    $100K and 9.5years away!
    I’ve taken a year off to travel the planet many times and I think you may be putting your goals a weeeeeeee bit to far out of reach.
    It sounds like a “someday” goal.
    I might suggest doing one of each of those things for say a month each year. I promise you that the next year it will be easier and cheaper and the next year easier and cheaper and so on. By the 7th year you’ll know so many people around the world it will start to only cost you the price of plane tickets and food. I promise you this.
    If you have a serious desire to go to these places, start with one and do it for a month.
    I’m writing an e-book about how to make it happen and If your interested I’ll send it to you FREE when it’s done in a month.
    In the meantime here is a link to a worksheet on how to breakdown the goal!
    Happy travels!

  128. avatar
    Kix Marshall

    Here’s a free worksheet on how to break that down.

  129. avatar
    Kix Marshall

    It will cost you much less. Have you been to Thailand? I used to live their, it’s so cheap, you’ll actually be saving money VS staying at home.
    Here’s a free worksheet on how to break it down.

  130. avatar
    Kix Marshall

    Here this worksheet might help you.

  131. avatar

    Although I have student loans, that make me think they should be my priority, I want to do something for myself that I think I will enjoy (especially as a mom of a 2 year old boy):

    a yoga OR cooking retreat – $7500 with flights

    (I’ve always wanted to learn both and develop them as habits, and need the break!).

  132. avatar

    I’m not really interested in traveling. Please don’t unsubscribe me but it doesn’t interest me. My dream is to have my own property on 10+ acres that would be permaculture designed and produce so much food that I could sell or give away a ton and live simply doing it. With multiple income streams, of course.

  133. avatar

    Forgot to add:

    would like to do it in December 2015/Jan-Feb 2016

  134. avatar

    It has always been a dream of mine to go to Japan. When I go, I want to stay there for somewhere between 1-6 months. However, I don’t want to go until I’m married (I’m engaged currently) and have paid off some of my debt. Ideally, I’d like to go two or three years from now. By then, I’d like to be making at least most of my money through online means – particularly digital content creation.

  135. avatar

    I have always dreamt of having a month long vacation in Paris with that special someone. However, my goal is to purchase a home by Nov 2015 that is accessible for my Mom. In order to achieve this, I need a downpayment of 50k. Therefore, I need an additional 8k per month or 2k per week.
    1 client per day/$400 each (5 clients per week).
    After i have purchased my home, then I can implement the same process to purchase my dream vacation in Paris, and hell, if I don’t have a special someone at that time, then I will go by my damn self! LOL!

  136. avatar

    I don’t want to go anywhere right now, I want to pay off debt, because being debt free = freedom to travel and do what I want. That’s my goal.

  137. avatar

    A want a new macbook (bought via a shopping trip to Frankfurt)


    New Macbook $2.000
    Travelexpenses $50
    Food & Drinks $100
    Fun Money for a nice day in Frankfurt $150
    Total $2.300

    Looking forward to reading your new content 🙂

  138. avatar

    Ubud Bali, baybeeee, for a 3-6 month stint 🙂

  139. avatar

    Australia for my other half s 50th birthday
    Did Thailand for my 50th and Barbados last year and now have the big holidays bug
    estimates about £12-13000, not sure what the dollar exchange rate is at the moment!

  140. avatar

    Ramit, I’d love to know if you actually read the bajillion comments on your blog posts… Anyway, my dream is to take my husband and two daughters to the states to visit my all-time favourite and most amazing Aunt who lives in Maryland. We’d fly Sydney-New York, hang out there for a few days, fly to DC and hang out with the fam, and then do a little road trip up the coast before heading back to Australia. We’ve done the maths and it would cost us roughly AU$10k. Thanks for reading 😉 Alex

  141. avatar

    I want to go to Joel Robison’s Photography workshop in London on 4th and 5th July. I need to be able to pay the workshop fee, flight fees from South Africa, London Hotel Accommodation, local travelling costs, and food and fun costs. Then after the workshop, I want to fly to Paris and spend a week there with my husband. So probably looking at $12000 for everything

  142. avatar

    I’d like to go from Eastern Europe to Australia with my spouse for a couple of weeks next winter (when it’s summer for them). Flights would be around 4k eur hotel another 2k eur and 2k spending, because I’d want to visit all that it’s possible to visit. That’s 8k eur for both of us (rounding up).

  143. avatar

    I want to pay off our mortgage this year $125,000. And $40,000 of bankruptcy debt from our last medical experience.Then we can start talking vacations.

  144. avatar

    Great article, Ramit.

    My husband and I will take our honeymoon in Aug for one month. We will be traveling throughout Japan and Butan.

    It will cost about $8K a person. Japan is an expensive country, but we will be able to take some exclusive tours.

    Can’t wait.


  145. avatar

    I would love to go to Hawaii.

  146. avatar

    Im going on a two week african safari with my husband in november to see the last of the white rhinos.

  147. avatar

    The Four Seasons Private Jet Round-the-world journey planned in september 2016, the one focusing on”extraordinary adventures”.

    For 2 people, that would be 2x 137.000 dollars
    + flights from Paris to Austin where it starts (+1500 dollars I think)

    that’s a lot… but some people manage to join, so why not us?

  148. avatar
    Nathan Gosey

    My girl and I want to go to Tokyo (and surrounding area) for several weeks. We have been wanting to ever since Coppola put out ‘Lost in Translation’.

    Flight for 2 – $3000
    Hotel – $6000
    Misc – $4000
    Total – $13000

  149. avatar

    I want to take my kids to DisneyWorld.
    Oh wait…. I don’t have kids….

  150. avatar

    The dream trip I have been thinking about and circling around for the past three years, but too scared to commit to, is my journey to Peru. Iquitos. Shamanic tradition. Plant medicine. Ayahuasca. I require a passport and $6000 USD, and three weeks away from my current income source.
    Got the passport two weeks ago. step 1 done.
    TO DO… Step 2 put vacation request in for work. Step 3 create $6000 USD! Step 4…GO!

  151. avatar

    Urban Dance Camp, Lorrach, Germany – 10 days
    Flight – $1500
    Hotel – $800
    Fun – $1000

    Total – $3300

  152. avatar

    Dream trip – Back backing around Europe (via Interrailing) w/ my Fiancee and son

    Duration 4 weeks

    Accommodation/Travel – £2,590
    Fun Money – £2,000

    Total – £4,590

    My son is due to be born in less than 7 weeks so not sure what age I would want him to be before I did this, probably around 4.

  153. avatar

    I live on Vancouver Island. Why take a vacation, I’m living a dream! 🙂

  154. avatar

    dream vacations
    1. 1 month Drive from Cape Town through Botswana to Zambia – Camping along the way. $5000
    2. 2 months in either Italy/Spain or New Zealand in a Van with a wicked cooking set up. Base my destinations on food (vineyards, cheese, local delicacies). As well as take cooking lessons along the way. Write a recipe book after. $3000

    3. 1 Month in Mexico – Guadalajara, Mexico city, and then beach times on the west coast $3000

  155. avatar
    Jolene Courtney

    Summer trip – July 2015
    3 weeks touring Scotland & Ireland
    Approx. cost: $6000 CAD

  156. avatar
    Katie P.

    Grad school: Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at an in-state public university
    Approx. Cost:
    Tuition and Fees: $13,445 (in 2 installments: $7496 in August 2015 & $5949 in December 2015)
    Books and Supplies: $1000
    Transportation: $2400
    Living Expenses: $6000
    TOTAL: $22,845

  157. avatar

    It is interesting to break down any goal into smaller components. It is how my wife and I realized that we could move to Belize if we just saved a small amount of money each month. we lived there for only three months but we spent the entire time renting a house on the beach! The best part was that the house,though small was only $250 a month!

    For the entire three months that we were there we spent a grand total of a whopping $1,500 for our living expenses. Thanks for your insights into breaking down the numbers. I am new to this site after I met a person who has helped you with the site your site just kept popping up all over the place for me. I am not going to mention who it was that I met only because I don’t have her permission. 🙂

    Thanks for everything you do I am getting a lot of value.

  158. avatar

    Destination holiday: Crete-7 days

    -Fly -600 Euro
    -Hotel 4 two:2000 Euro
    -Food -1500 Euro
    -money for fun-2000Euro
    Total: 6100 Euro

    i will travel together with my sister and offer her this vacation
    because we deserve, finally!:-)

  159. avatar

    I took my first true vacation last year when I moved closer to where I’m from (before that I lived far away from family and used my vacation days to visit them.) I initially gave myself a budget of up to $10,000 but managed to keep it down to about $4,000 by finding a local well known Croatian company to book the tour with which made my airfare the most expensive part of the trip. I had a great experience and decided to commit to a “major” trip every other year. So this year is a non big trip year. I’m doing a shorter road trip to Maine this summer but it’s not a major time or money commitment.

    November 2016 I’m planning on 3 weeks in New Zealand. (with a shorter and cheaper option of Chile/Argentina still somewhat in the running).

  160. avatar

    I think you can get your airfare ticket cost down. (I’m assuming this is for one person) be willing to fly in the off season from a major city on flexible dates and you’re looking at a the high end being $1000. Or at least go early June (first week) that is still the shoulder time so things will be cheaper.

  161. avatar
    Chad Folse

    Dream trip right now is 10 days in Costa Rica with the family next summer.
    Estimated cost $6000

    Long term goal is motorhome trips across the US and Europe all summer long.
    Estimated cost is $25000 for a motorhome + $2000 / month.

  162. avatar

    Short term goal: Trip to London this August with my husband (before our oldest starts kindergarten — no we’re not taking the kids with us). We’ll be visiting my cousin and husband’s college roommate, so we’ll be staying with them, but we want to catch at least one EPL match, check out great restaurants, museums, plays … Say $8K.

    Long term goal: 6-month sabbatical with the kids through Asia and the Pacific. We have 8-10 years to plan for this (we want our kids to be old enough to be able to appreciate/remember the trip) but I’m not even sure how to start budgeting for that trip.

  163. avatar

    We’ve been invited to Hawaii AND Costa Rica next year. We want to do both! Hotel arrangements are covered, so all we’ve got to worry about is getting there, the food, and the fun. Covering 2 adults and a toddler, probably will run $8,000.

  164. avatar
    Craig D.

    My wife is 34 years old and has osteoarthritis in both her hips. At her age, the only real treatment is hip resurfacing that is much cheaper in India. The cost is approx $10,000 per hip, plus travel expenses and recooperation time at a resort in India. I am guessing $30,000 total bill. At the end of 2018, there is also a family reunion in New Zealand, and we would love to take our 3 kids there at that time. It would be amazing to be able to combine the New Zealand trip with the trip to India to fix my wife’s hips. I am estimating that will take $50,000.

    At least I have time on my side!

  165. avatar
    Craig D.

    I love your long term goal! My wife and I have a similar goal with our 3 children. Our oldest is turning 4 this summer, and we would like to take a sabbatical with our kids before they are teenagers… Let me know how you begin the process of budgeting!!

  166. avatar
    KD Dunbar

    A number of years ago, I went to Belize and did a “Barefoot Cruise”. It was a relatively small sailboat (12 guests, 2 crew), and we were in anchorages with nearby (sometimes right off the boat) dive sites. It was fabulous and much more affordable and enjoyable than doing the “hotel-dive boat” routine every day. I highly recommend it!

  167. avatar

    5 nights in Iceland in mid-February to see Northern Lights.

    Approx $5000 needed.

  168. avatar

    My goal is to make 50,000 annually to support my family. My husband is disabled. I have a degree in Information Tech, but not a good troubleshooter. I am an excellent negotiator, but have no formal training for it. I would also like to work for a bank, but my credit needs improvement.

    Thank you,

  169. avatar

    Laughing so hard about your comment about staying at the Best Western in NJ..ha!
    My dream is to travel with my family for 2 months in Italy, staying for one month each in 2 different locations and really getting to know the area. The approximate cost of the trip would $15000. This will be challenging within a year…

  170. avatar

    Want to finally be a self-sufficient artist by end of 2016.

    Will have to clear 2K per month to do that.

    Also have a daughter’s wedding coming up in 2016, would like to have 5K to put towards that.

  171. avatar

    I want to get married in Jamaicia next spring. It is really important for all of my family to be there. In order for that to happen, at a minimum my fiance and I would have to pay half of everyone’s airfare and resort expenses to make that happen. So we are looking at about $15,000.

    I want to make $1500 on the side for the next 10 months to cover that cost. My plan is:
    $600/month in paintings
    $600/month in YouTube videos
    $300/month in ebook sales

  172. avatar

    Since we’re dreaming (and planning) big:
    I want to stay a month in Los Angeles, close to Hollywood, and don’t care where I stay as long as it is safe. Oh, and I need cab money because I can’t drive. The idea is to be able to attend meetings/pitch tests (I’m a screenwriter) while getting gigs and working as a freelance writer (which I am) and making enough money to keep living there – making it my permanent location. I don’t mind staying in Santa Barbara or somewhere closer/further either. Problem?
    I live in Turkey (and am Turkish so I need a visa), so even without any traveling/accommodation expenses, I need an OK sum in the bank just to look cute (aka eligible) to the visa people, and they rarely love freelancers. I think I need at least 10-15K.

  173. avatar

    I knew enginnering did something to me,… I mean thinking of a systematic approach to mopping the floor, grocery shoping, and making coffee. am I weired?
    thanks Ramit Great Post 😉

  174. avatar

    I’d like to sail the Mediterranean in December. I want to fly to Europe, Spain or Italy, and sail to Turkey, Greece & Italy for 7-14 days. The cost for me would be $3-4k to truly enjoy the trip and all its amenities; eating in luxurious restaurants, getting massages on the beaches, buying gifts for me & my family…everything! With a significant other $6-8k!!!

  175. avatar

    July and August next year, 6-8 weeks in Europe with my daughter. It will be her first time abroad and I want to start sharing other cultures and ways of life with her. I am hopeful we can find a home exchange in England, France or Italy to help lower costs. Even at that my budget is 10K and I have some ideas of how to achieve that, and always appreciate more. The more options I have, the more ways to save the money, the more opportunities I have to explore when we are there. I am most considered about the loss/lowering of income during that time then the actual expense of the trip, so making up that money ahead of time is my primary concern. I have already started to research flights, considering both costs and trying to get a 7 year old through an international flight without both of us having complete melt downs:) Sometimes the cost of a better flight might be worth it.

  176. avatar

    As a Pacific resident, I would say, ‘choose another island!’
    Tonga? Vanuatu? Samoa? Rarotonga?

    Fiji is beholden to a dictator Frank Bainimarama (, and personally I would boycott any travel to Fiji. There has been political unrest there for years.

  177. avatar

    Purchase a $2500 MacBook Pro with the new Broadwell/Skylake processors when it is released. I have already implemented the automatic savings deductions and I will have enough saved by the target July/August release date.

  178. avatar

    I understand how the numbers break down and all the logic (not new to me), but I think the real issue here that no one is addressing is how to get X number of clients to satisfy your annual/monthly/weekly goals for an income stream. Automatic savings are great (I use this), but it doesn’t do much for acquiring new business or generating new channels of revenue (at a cost which would have enough return to provide income). Take the Paris trip: $6000, easily enough to see the breakdown at 12 x $500, or $1000 x 6. But where do those 6 or 12 clients come from? How much marketing investment is done to acquire each customer. Cost per customer is a critical metric to understand when running your company right? Individual prospecting takes a lot of time, paying for advertising is expensive, etc. Is there any particular technique or strategy you use for acquiring new business or for that fact retaining existing business and making sure they that they need another product/service?

  179. avatar

    I would like to go back home and visit my parents. They live in Cameroon, West Africa. I haven’t seen them since I left at age 13 and I am now 27! It is time. How can I use your method to do this in less than a year.

  180. avatar

    I want to take my girlfriend, who has never travelled internationally before, to Paris for her birthday in a year, for at least a week – even better for a month, since I can work from anywhere.

  181. avatar

    Washington, D.C. – 5 days at the Smithsonian Museums; 5 days touring the Washington area (i.e., Georgetown, etc.). However, with $50K in debts – I’d much rather have that $1000 a month to pay those off. I would love to sign up for the Earn 1K course, but with the debt, it just isn’t in the cards and I don’t have even the $100 per month to spare right now. I apply what I can glean from all my readings and do what I can to increase my income while reducing (reasonably) my outlay each month. I have managed to set aside $500 over the last six months, which I see as a good thing.

  182. avatar
    Chrisa Assis

    Being a Tango instructor and performer my goal is to go to Buenos Aires to train with up-scale professionals. If I stay there for two months I will be needing $9000. It isn’t really an expensive destination, excluding the tickets to fly there, but I will be taking private classes, and attending private practices.

  183. avatar

    About $7000 for a trip to Japan with my girlfriend next spring break. That or helping pay off my girlfriend’s car and take out half of our total debt which is about $50k over the course of a year and a half.

  184. avatar

    I would like a trip to Greece with my partner for one month to visit the village where my family is from.

    Airfare: $4,000
    Accommodation: $3,000
    Food and drink: $3,500
    Car hire/Transport: $1,500
    Sightseeing: $1,000
    Incidentals: $2,100
    Total: $15,100

  185. avatar
    Rodrigo Stockebrand

    Hey Emma, I’m from Chile and my family has a set of cabins in the Lake Region (in a small town called Lican Ray). So if you end up in the area, let me know and I’ll make sure the cabins are set aside for you guys for those days. No charge of course.

    Also, keep in mind the dollar is very strong in Latin America at the moment, so it’s cheaper to travel . Also, some great one month rentals in furnished apartments (~$1.500/month) in places like Buenos Aires and Bogota nowadays.

  186. avatar

    I would like to go Paris or Italy with my husband by December this year.
    Total budget for the trip $6000

    Recently, we completed one of our dream vacation in Oahu, Hawaii. Ramit, we were saving little by little for that since we read your IWTYTBR while living in North Dakota. Using your negotiation script my husband was able to negotiate 10k more annually plus added shares and sign in bonus. Now that we moved to us San Diego, we were able to go to our dream vacation for 4 nights and 5 days in under $2700.
    Any work bonus money we get, we keep it aside for travel. One of our goals is to start investing more in ourselves so need to save $$ $$$or earn more $$$$$ to get into one of your classes. You have helped us a lot, from our monthly budget to retirement planning meanwhile teaching to have fun all along. Thank you!

  187. avatar

    My goal is to pay 500.000 for a mortgage in less than a year. If anyone finds a LEGAL valid solution – please share

  188. avatar

    I want to take a six-week trip to Europe with my partner to visit breweries. Fall of 2016, I am going to take my Master Cicerone, and I believe that learning how the brewers in the UK, Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic brew in person is the best way to smash this very difficult exam. Plus, beer.

  189. avatar

    I want to take a roadtrip to the Grand Canyon this December. Approximate cost: $2000.

    After I graduate from grad school in May, I want to take an Alaskan cruise. Approximate cost: $5000.

  190. avatar

    This to inform the general public that easy loan is now been given out at 2% interest rate, only serious people are needed to sign up. contact email:

  191. avatar
    Michelle R Meddock

    I would love to take my kids on a vacation, anywhere and not have to worry about anything. Work from home and not from 8-5 and be available anytime my kids need me and be there for all there softball and baseball games and be on travel teams. how do I do that?

  192. avatar

    I’m from Ireland and my goal is to get a job in Minnesota in the Data/Business analytics sector (currently one of those wierdos in the engineering world).
    The visa I can use to get there sponsors me, so the potential company in the states doesnt have to worry about that.

    1) Need to find company willing to hire me for 12months at least. Aiming to be moving to Minnesota by the end of the summer 2016.
    2) Visa costs approx $5000 (currently saving $1000 a month), but want to have another 2-4k for some travel arpund the states before wprk starts again.
    3) Most interested in generating revenue outside of current job as I do not make enough

  193. avatar

    I would love to purchase my new mazda CX5 AWD in the next 2 months, have my credit good within the next 6 months, buy my new condo by Dec/16 in coquitlam area, have my debt of $31k payed off within 9 months & start heading to vacations every 3 months!!

  194. avatar

    I am planning a family trip to Costa Rica for Xmas. I need about 4,000.00. Found the spot sleeps 8, 100 meters from the most beautiful part of the ocean I have ever seen!!

  195. avatar

    Ditto for engineers! 🙂

  196. avatar

    One week family vacation to a resort in Bermuda next August – in 2017 (about $5,000 before applying any airfare discounts from MC elite program). I want to explore the island and do fun activities which I didn’t really get to do when I went as a 12 year old as a stop on a cruise.

  197. avatar

    Destination -Disney World in FL
    And Discovery Cove for a 10 day trip for our little family of 3.
    About $6000 with $1000 fun money totalling $7000 for December 2016.
    We have never taken a family vacation and a yearly trip to get away from life’s hustle and bustle is what we need.

  198. avatar

    I want to go to Japan for 10 days in February of 2017. I will need $6000 for the trip.

  199. avatar
    Danae Shick

    Good writing . For my two cents if others require a NY DTF FT-500 , my kids found a fillable document here

  200. avatar
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