Obama Vacation Costs To Exceed $85 Million With Final Hawaii Trip For First Family

United States President Barack Obama, his wife and his daughters have spent the past few weeks golfing, eating, playing games and even attempting a time-sensitive escape room challenge in Hawaii on their yearly holiday trip.

But the eight years of big fun has come at a big cost — of roughly $85 million, McClatchy D.C. reported Wednesday.

The news wire cited research from Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that regularly publishes information gleaned from federal public records, that showed the Obamas' 2015 holiday in the Aloha State cost more than $4.8 million in flight, car, security and hotel expenses. If this year's holiday costs the same, the first family's total personal travel expenses during Obama's tenure could climb to nearly $90 million.

In general, presidents usually spend their own money on personal trips while in office, the Washington Post reported. But while the commander-in-chief pays for his family's food and hotel costs by himself, taxpayer dollars cover the costs of the staff and security as well as the use of Air Force One. 

"The American people have every right to be appalled that Barack Obama wastes their precious tax dollars on an endless stream of golf vacations, political fundraisers and exorbitant vacations," Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a March news release about the Obamas' 2015 Honolulu vacation. "The Obama travel issue is about abuse of office, abuse of the taxpayer and contempt for the rule of law."

Finances aside, Obama, who also sojourns to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts annually, has taken fewer vacation days than his predecessor, former President George W. Bush. As of this fall, Obama had taken 28 trips lasting 217 days, while Bush took 88 trips totaling 533 days, according to PolitiFact.

However, as former first lady Nancy Regan once noted, U.S. presidents typically don't get to unplug from reality like civilians do on holiday. "Presidents don't get vacations," she said in the 1980s. "They just get a change of scenery."

 

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