United States prices
The United States is so enormous that it's impossible to generalize about anything in the country from a travel perspective. Still, prices of things like food and drinks will be quite similar everywhere, and many chain restaurants can be found in every city with nearly identical prices.
Generally speaking, New York City is the most expensive city in the United States, at least for hotels and most entertainment, but even there you can find really good deals on quality local foods if you know where to go. At the very least, the price guidelines we have for each city here should allow you to make a general budget pretty quickly, and see where some things in some cities are much better deals than in others.
This article was first written in 2010 and updated in December, 2016.
United States travel prices
Boston costs– A popular travel destination on the east coast, Boston offers visitors lots of different historic attractions mixed in with a modern cityscape. Though Boston is also considered one of the Untied States most expensive cities to visit, you can still find some great bargains if you take the time to look. If you're looking to visit a few attractions during your visit, you'll want to take a look at the Boston CityPass to see if it's right for you.
Chicago costs – You may know of Chicago as the Windy City, but it is much more than that. In Chicago you'll find lots of great accommodation options as well as various different art galleries and theaters to attend. The trick to save money in this city is to book a room outside of the central downtown area, where prices are at their highest. Also, many of the attractions are either cheap or free, giving you lots of budget friendly options.
Honolulu costs – A very popular city located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Honolulu rests on Hawaii's Oahu and is an extremely popular island destination. Here you'll find beautiful beaches alongside resorts and famous restaurants, but these aren't cheap. That's why it's best to stay off of the beach and look for some of the cheaper prices a little more inland. You can also use the Go Oahu Card, which is designed to save you time and money on some of the island's most prized attractions.
Las Vegas costs – As long as you stay away from mass amounts of gambling, you'll find that your money can go a long way in this town. In fact, there are lots of great free attractions throughout the city, making it a great destination for tight budgets. Just remember that if you're looking to attend a show or two, especially one of the more famous ones, you'll find that prices are generally higher.
Los Angeles costs – Los Angeles is a rather large city, with lots to do and see, though some of the attractions and activities are pretty spread apart from the next. Along with this, you'll find that prices do vary depending on where you're located in the city, so it's best to plan beforehand. If you plan to only do one theme park visit however, you should find that your budget will stay in place. However, if you're looking for another way to save money, take a look at the Go Los Angeles Card for some savings.
Miami Beach costs – When most think of Florida, they think of Miami or Miami Beach, and for good reason. Here you'll find a plethora of nightlife along with great trendy little shops and restaurants offering plates of every culture. The key for saving money here is to avoid the restaurants on the main road and to venture to another one close by. Some attractions are very expensive, while others aren't so it's important to do a little planning beforehand.
New Orleans costs – A southern city filled to the top with pride and charm, New Orleans is one of the South's most visited cities. Here you'll find lots of different and unique restaurants serving some of the city's best dishes alongside local shops filled with trinkets of all kinds. Though the city is located in the Untied States, you'll find a strong French influence here, making the city that more exciting. As long as you plan your visit outside of Mardi Gras, you'll find plenty of great budget friendly attractions.
New York City costs – Generally speaking, New York City is a very expensive city to not only live in, but to visit as well. This means that you'll have to try a little harder to find bargains here than you would in other cities across the Untied States. But if you decide to stay away from the Times Square area and look into getting the New York Pass, you may find that you leave the city with a few dollars left in your wallet.
San Francisco costs – If you take the time to avoid the main tourist hubs, you'll find that the city can actually be budget friendly. Just keep in mind that a lot of the hotels are relatively expensive, but there are a few that are lower priced. There are also some really expensive attractions within the city as well, but luckily there are enough cheaper attractions that are a great visit as well, making it so that you do have choices.
Washington DC costs – Within this must see city, you'll find that there is a rather large variation in prices. Hotels in Washington DC are known for being expensive while on the other hand attractions and museums are either really cheap or even free. Because of this, you'll find that even though in one aspect of your vacation you're paying a lot, in other aspects you're hardly paying a thing. This helps to balance everything out, making your trip more affordable.