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The average cost of a vacation: transportation, food, entertainment and more

Americans are ready for a vacation. According to an AAA Travel survey, 55% of adults in the United States plan to get at least one night’s getaway before the end of 2022.

It’s smart to plan, save money, and budget for a vacation, especially since some places still have COVID-19 restrictions and the cost of fuel, food and almost everything. rest is increasing.

Vacation costs vary greatly depending on destination, accommodation, activities and other factors. The average cost of a week’s vacation in the United States for one person is $ 1,558. Here are some average costs to help you budget for your vacation.

Key statistics on the cost of vacations

  • The average cost of a week’s vacation in the United States for one person is $ 1,558.
  • The average cost of a week’s vacation in the United States for two people is $ 3,116.
  • The average cost per night for a double occupancy hotel room in the United States is $ 204.
  • The average cost of food per person per day in the United States is $ 45.

Average cost of vacation

Transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment are the biggest expenses of a vacation budget. Let’s take a closer look at each of these categories.

Transport costs

Getting to and from your vacation destination can be the biggest chunk of your vacation budget, so start with transportation costs when planning your trip. In addition to plane tickets, if you are flying, consider other transportation costs. Thinking of renting a car? If so, you need to figure out how much you plan to spend on gasoline, tolls, and parking fees.

If you plan to take public trains and buses, or use carpooling services like Uber and Lyft, factor those costs into your total transportation budget. If you leave a car at the airport, don’t forget to add that as well.

Average cost of transport
Round-trip domestic flight Single, married, separate deposit
Round-trip international flight $ 262
Rental car $ 734
Gas $ 58 per day
Airport parking $ 3.39 per gallon
Intracity public transport $ 39 per day
Carpooling services $ 25.50 per trip

Airline ticket prices fell 19% in 2020 due to COVID-19, but prices are rising due to increased demand and rising fuel prices. The majority of Americans plan to take their first post-pandemic trip to visit family and friends.

Hotel and other accommodation costs

Hotel prices vary widely depending on location and demand. A beachfront hotel room in South Florida, for example, will cost more in the winter than in the summer, when deals can be found. If your budget is not generous and you are fine with less comfort, hostels or an RV park can save you money.

Average cost of accommodation, per night
Single hotel room $ 133.11
Double occupancy hotel room $ 204
Airbnb $ 161
Youth hostels $ 20 to $ 35 for a bed in a dormitory;
$ 40- $ 60 for double room
VR $ 30 to $ 60 for a base to medium RV park

Food and entertainment expenses

Spending on food and entertainment can lighten your wallet if you don’t prepare a full vacation budget. They tend to be among the last costs that travelers consider when planning a trip.

Average cost of food and entertainment
Restaurants $ 60 per day, per adult
Sport events $ 140.50 to $ 195.50 for an adult to attend an NFL game
Museums $ 6 per person
Concert tickets $ 96 per person
National parks $ 30 per vehicle

Average cost of holidays according to the number of people

Budgeting for a family vacation can be trickier than budgeting for a solo trip, especially if young children are coming with you. You probably won’t eat in fancy restaurants and museums while walking with the kids, but you will likely need to budget for a larger hotel room and bookings for activities they will enjoy. Remember to research group rates and discounts, if eligible.

Average cost of vacations per generation

The AAA’s latest Travel Trends report shows that baby boomers spend the most on vacations, probably because 53% of them are retired. Millennials spend the least, but are more likely than other generations to use technology to book their plans in advance.

Average cost of vacations per generation
Baby boomers $ 7,800
Gen X-ers $ 6,191
Millennials $ 4,464

Additionally, millennials are the most likely to take on debt for travel, according to a VRBO poll, with baby boomers the least likely to take on vacation debt.

Holidays vs stays

A “stay” is a stay without travel. You stay at home, but take day trips. No packing, no hotel check-in and check-out, no car rental, no air travel. A vacation can be less stressful, and certainly less expensive, than a travel vacation. Besides the money you save, a stay has other advantages. Here are some of the advantages of taking a stay over a vacation:

  • It is best suited for young children who are not ready to travel.
  • If you’ve just moved to a new city, a stay gives you a chance to explore.
  • You might be afraid to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • You can enjoy the comfort of your own bed and its surroundings while away from work.
  • It allows you to do projects around the house as you wish.
  • It’s perfect for dating couples who aren’t up for overnight trips together.
  • You can boost your local economy by visiting attractions and restaurants.

Vacation Budgeting Tips

Planning a vacation on a budget requires forethought and creativity, but the time and effort invested could not only save you money, but also make your vacation smoother.

  • Figure out how much you can spend on the vacation and write a budget.
  • Avoid taking vacations during peak season (for example, don’t go skiing in Colorado in January or February).
  • Look for cheap flights and book in advance.
  • If you are traveling abroad, find places that offer the best exchange rates.
  • Consider using a prepaid debit card to control your daily spending or a good travel rewards credit card to get cash back on certain purchases.
  • Plan meals. Choose to dine there instead of going to a restaurant for each meal.
  • Find affordable housing and book in advance. You may be able to save with an Airbnb rather than staying in a hotel.
  • Make a list of what you need to pack so that you don’t have to buy things you need but have forgotten.
  • Keep destinations to a minimum. You can spend a lot of money to visit several events and attractions.

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