What Is the Average Cost of a Vacation?

We all love traveling. 

If we have the money, of course.

What is the average cost of a vacation

Costs vary greatly depending on a lot of different factors. 

Transportation, lodgings, restaurants. 

So, how much does a vacation cost

In order to get a general idea of the costs associated with the average trip, we have compiled a list of some pretty fascinating stats for you: 

Average Vacation Cost (Editor’s Choice):

  • A vacation for one person costs $1,145 on average.
  • The average price of a round-trip international flight is $1,368.
  • The average price of a round-trip domestic flight is $354.
  • The average hotel price in the USA is $125.55 per night.
  • Travellers spend $293 on average for entertainment on international trips.
  • A Disney vacation for a family of four costs $6,716.
  • A vacation in Europe costs $3,960 on average.

Are you saving for your next vacation already? 

And how much are Americans saving in 2020? 

You will be surprised!

Now, let’s dive into the ocean of stats: 

How Much Does the Average Vacation Cost?

From plane tickets to hotel stays, let’s see how much you should expect to pay on your next trip:

1. A vacation for one person costs $1,145 on average. 

(Source: CreditDonkey)

The amount varies depending on different factors: the duration of your trip, whether you are traveling at peak season or low season, etc. However, most statistics show that the average vacation cost for one person is around $1,200.

The average cost of a vacation is for each generation also varies. The amount millennials spent is around $1,373, which is two times less than gen Xers who spent $2,628 on average. According to the survey, baby boomers are someone in the middle, with an average of $1,865.

If one person spends a minimum of $1,145 on average per vacation, then the average vacation cost for a family of 4 would be $4,580. 

However, there are a lot of variables. 

A camping trip will cut down the costs significantly compared to staying in a resort or a hotel. Traveling domestically also tends to be cheaper than international travel.  The cost of plane tickets for all family members is steeper than the cost of a rented car. So, take these average vacation costs with a grain of salt. 

2. The average price of a round-trip international flight is $1,368. 

(Source: US Passport Service Guide)

Transportation costs are said to constitute around 44% of the average budget for a vacation.

The most expensive part of international travel are flight tickets. According to the US Passport Service Guide, the average price for a round-trip international flight is $1,368.

However, the amount allocated to plane tickets from your budget for vacation depends on when you buy the tickets and which day of the week you are leaving. Weekend tickets are more expensive than weekday tickets. 

How much you wait before buying also plays a role in the final price. When it comes to international flights, the sooner the better. According to CheapAir, you should buy your Europe flight tickets 160 days before departure. 

Yeah, you read that right. 

No procrastinating allowed if you want to cut down your travel costs

3. The average price of a round-trip domestic flight is $354.

(Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics)

Unsurprisingly, domestic flights cost significantly less compared to international flights. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2018 the average round-trip ticket for domestic flights was $354.This represents a 1.8% decrease in prices compared to the year before.

So, if your annual vacation budget is not big enough for a trip to Europe, you can always spend some quality time on a domestic trip. 

And a quick tip on cutting down to cost even further: the best time to buy a domestic ticket is around 70 days in advance. 

4. Vacationing households spend  $521 on average on trains between cities. 

(Source: Value Penguin)

Families that can’t allocate a significant portion of their budget on vacation spending can look into domestic trips via trains or buses. 

City to city tickets are fairly cheap, though only 6% of travellers used this mode of transport. The majority of people travel domestically via planes, personal cars or rented cars. 

5. The average hotel price in the USA is $125.55 per night. 

(Source: Statista)

Besides transportation, another factor that can greatly influence the average vacation cost is accommodation. If you are planning on staying at a hotel, you can expect to pay the steepest price. And be prepared to shell out a small fortune if you wish to visit the Big Apple. 

In New York hotel prices averaged at $262 in 2018. As for Las Vegas, you can expect to pay $127 per night on average for a hotel stay. 

To cut down your vacation expenses, you can look for alternative lodging. Booking an Airbnb or a hostel or even couchsurfing will surely save money.

In fact, according to the 2018 Business Travel Spend Report done by Rocketrip, business travelers saved $110 on average per night by booking an Airbnb. By compromising luxury and dropping a hotel star class they can save $54 on average. The least expensive accommodation is staying with friends and family, however that isn’t always a viable option.

So, in order to find out how much to budget for vacation, you need to first decide on the mode of transportation and accommodation. These will be your highest expenses. 

6. The average cost of food per day while traveling is $132.

(Source: Credit Donkey)

The average cost of food for a four-member family while vacationing is around $130 dollars per day. However, bear in mind that this amount doesn’t include alcohol, tips or even snacks. So you can definitely expect to spend more. 

To lower down the costs, you can look for accommodation that provides a meal or go grocery shopping for the duration of your trip. You can definitely have vacation meals on a budget if you aren’t set on eating out for each meal.

Yet, for the majority of travelers experiencing local cuisines is one of the best parts of traveling. If you value delicious food more than luxurious hotel rooms, you can look for more affordable accommodation so as to have more spending money for food and entertainment. 

7. Travelers spend $293 on average for entertainment on international trips. 

(Source: Value Penguin)

How much should a vacation cost after all of the basics have been covered? Well, on average travelers spend around $300 on international trips and $52 on domestic trips for entertainment. This includes tickets for sporting events or museum passes. 

If you plan on visiting a lot of museums and attractions you can research whether you can buy city passes, which will allow you to cut down these vacation costs. Or, if you want to be more spontaneous and not feel like you are vacationing on a schedule you can skip planning to visit attractions entirely.

Sightseeing will cost you no money, though. You never know where you will end up by just walking around! 

8. The average cost of a Disney vacation is $6,716 for a family of four. 

(Source: Money We Have)

If you plan to take your family on a week-long trip to Disney World be prepared to shell out a small fortune. The estimated amount you will spend is close to $7,000 with all expenses included. 

Let’s break down the vacation expenses. As you will be flying domestically, the average round-trip ticket is estimated to be $450 or $350, depending on the source. If we round the number up you will probably spend around $1,800 on plane tickets alone.

Accommodation for seven nights will be around $1,000 and the tickets will cost around $1,600. Then you need to take into account food, other attraction tickets, car rentals, parking and any additional expenses you may have. So, if you are on a low budget then Disney World shouldn’t be your next vacation destination and if it is, start saving now. 

9. The average cost of a Hawaii vacation is $1,899 for a week-long trip.

(Source: Just a Pack) 

A week-long trip in Hawaii for one person has an estimated cost of $1,899. A couple going there can expect to spend close to $4,000.

The flight costs can range between $460 to $875. If you are departing from the West Coast, the tickets are the cheapest and if you are departing from the East Coast you will pay around $900 per person. 

The accommodation costs can vary anywhere between $50 to $500 dollars. Renting an Airbnb can lower your trip cost, whereas a luxury hotel can exceed $500.

If you decide to rent a car, you will probably spend around $50. The parking fees range between $20 and $45. And you will also need to account for gas prices.

You need to also consider setting a minimum of $50 for food aside. So, that’s a minimum of $100 for two persons, but only if you stick to low-cost foods.  If you will be eating out your food budget should be around $200.

Those were the basic necessities. 


Let’s say you go to Hawaii. 

How much does the average trip to Hawaii cost once you take into account extra activities? If you add up the costs of island tours, sunset cruises and water day park passes you are looking at an extra $100 per day. 

You can save some money by visiting during the low season, doing some free activities and not splurging a lot on food and luxury hotels. 

10. The average cost of a European vacation is $3,960.

(Source: Money We Have)

The amount you will spend on a vacation in Europe varies greatly. 

Are you a backpacker who’s spending the night in a hostel? Or are you staying in a luxurious hotel and dining in high-end restaurants?

On average your two-week vacation will cost you close to $4,000. Though we have to mention that backpackers will make do with significantly less. So, let’s break down the average cost of a vacation in Europe.

A round-trip flight ticket will cost $650 on average. Prices are highest at peak season and vice versa. You should also expect to spend around $400 on local transportation.

Accomodation costs $150 on average, so that’s close to $2,000 for 13 nights. However, you can spend the night in a hostel or rent an Airbnb for a fraction of that amount. If you book a bed in a hostel you will pay a maximum of $50. So, booking cheaper accommodation is the best way to lower the average cost of a vacation in Europe.

You won’t need more than $1,000 for food, attractions, and other expenses. You don’t need tickets for some European attractions and for those that you do, you won’t need to spend much. Food will cost you around $50 on average per day if you only dine in restaurants in the evenings. Fast food and street food is great if you are traveling on a budget. 

Now, let’s sum up: How much does the average person spend on vacation in Europe? While the amount estimated is around $4,000, you can do your own calculations depending on which type of accommodation you prefer. Once you have summed up the costs of accommodation and transportation, you can add the food costs, various tickets and passes, ATM and currency conversion fees and you will get a rough estimate which may or may not be in the same ballpark mentioned here. 

How Much Do Vacations Cost?

While the average cost seems pricier for some people, it is important to note that not every trip costs a fortune. There are a lot of ways in which you can cut down your costs. For starters, you can track flight prices to get the best deal possible. Traveling during the low season and weekdays is in general cheaper than traveling in peak season and during weekends. 

Another tip on how to budget a vacation is to look for more affordable accommodation. Three-star hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs are significantly cheaper than luxury hotels and resorts. 

Lastly, eating out and a lot of other activities are optional. You can still have a great time sightseeing and visiting attractions which do not require you to pay an entrance fee.

Of course, the average cost of family vacation is higher than the average cost of single people. Hotels are more suitable for children, whereas hostels are popular among young people. Families also tend to rent cars more, rather than use public transportation. 

All things considered, the amount you will spend depends on your preferences and budget. Though finally, the average cost of a vacation is around $1,200 per person. 

Okay. End of calculations, we promise!

In the end, we do all love traveling. And now, thanks to our stats and tips you know how to both travel and save money!

What’s your next destination?

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