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, etc.

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 staycation for one person costs $1,573 on average.
  • The average price of a round-trip international flight is $786.
  • А round-trip domestic flight costs $261 on average.
  • The average hotel price in the USA is $103.25 per night.
  • Travellers spend $293 on average for entertainment on international trips.
  • A Disney vacation for a family of four costs $4,641.
  • A vacation in Europe costs $3,960 on average.

Are you saving for your next vacation already?

And how much are Americans saving in 2021?

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 domestic one-week vacation for one person costs $1,573 on average.

(Source: Budget Your Trip)

This is the average vacation cost for one person for one week. It spans a wide range of staycations, from a short and frugal road trip to a plane journey.

If one person spends around $1,573, then the average vacation cost for a family of 4 would be close to $6,500.

Needless to say, the cost of plane tickets for all family members is steeper than the cost of a rented car. A camping trip will also cut down the expenses significantly compared to staying in a resort or a hotel.

The time you choose to travel also affects the price. Peak seasons are associated with higher costs for pretty much everything — flight tickets, accommodation, entertainment.

The average cost of a vacation for each generation also varies. A 2018 study reveals that gen Xers are more likely to overspend on vacation than baby boomers and millennials. Indeed, most statistics show those in the 41-56 age bracket spend the most on leisure trips.

As you can see, there are a lot of variables. So, take these average vacation costs with a grain of salt.

2. $20,000 is the baseline cost for a trip around the world for one person for one year.

(Source: AirTreks)

Is a round-the-world trip your lifelong dream?

For many, such a journey sounds out of reach. But in today’s modern era traveling around the world is more affordable than ever.

The general consensus from seasoned travelers is that a year on the road costs between $20,000 and $30,000. For mid-range to luxury accommodation choices, the cost would go from $40,000 to $50,000.

Isn’t that impossible, is it? You just need to stop dreaming and start planning! A vacation cost estimator can help you avoid exceeding your preset budget during the long journey.

3. The average price of a round-trip domestic flight is $261.

(Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics)

The average US domestic airfare for the fourth quarter of 2020 represents a 6.3% increase from the previous three-month period.

The 2020 inflation-adjusted annual fare was $292 — the lowest since the Bureau of Transportation Statistics began collecting records in 1995. The figure was down 18.6% from the previous low of $359 in 2019.

Separate data from Statista shows that for low-cost airlines, the 2020 average domestic ticket price was just $98. So these carriers offer a good option for those with a tight annual vacation budget.

Air traffic plummeted by 95% in the first months of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. With travel restrictions lifted, as much as 78% of people indicate plans to travel in 2021.

And as flight demand increases, so will prices. Let’s see what experts forecast!

4. Domestic airfare prices are expected to rise 4%-5% every month until summer 2021.

(Source: Hopper)

Prices for domestic travel are expected to gradually return to 2019 levels. The strongest increase of around 6% is set for late spring/summer.

So, if you’re planning on traveling in 2021, it may be good to research how much to budget for a vacation and book as soon as possible. In fact, according to estimates, the best time to buy a domestic ticket is around 70 days in advance.

5. The average price of a round-trip international flight is $786.

(Source: Hopper)

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

How much you wait before buying also plays a role in the final price. When it comes to international flights, the best time to book varies based on region. According to CheapAir, you should buy your Europe plane tickets 160 days before departure. For a trip to Asia, you’ll want to book your flight 120 days in advance. And for the Caribbean, the sweet spot is 207 days prior to takeoff.

Yeah, you read that right.

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

6. The cheapest international flight destination is The Dominican Republic.

(Source: SmartTraveler)

You can get to the Dominican Republic’s transparent waters and endless beaches by plane for as low as $77.

This tropical paradise used to be a popular vacation destination, but safety concerns have pushed many visitors away in recent years. Tragically, since 2018, at least 36 US tourists died in the Dominican Republic. These incidents made headlines and triggered investigations. The US State Department currently rates the Caribbean country as a “Level 2” destination, meaning visitors must “exercise increased caution”.

The slew of deaths has caused an 80% plunge in tourist numbers. The weaker demand has affected flight prices, making the Dominican Republic one of the most affordable destinations. But as you can see, how much to spend on your vacation is not the only consideration to make. Weigh the risks and always go thoroughly prepared.

Other exotic places that make it to the list of cheapest international destinations are the Maldives ($218), South Africa ($260), Helsinki ($208), Athens ($149), Buenos Aires ($270), Tel Aviv ($414), and Brisbane ($321).

7. The most expensive international flight costs $64,000.

(Source: Airport Spotting)

Ok, we’re talking about luxury here.

A one-way ticket from New York to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways Residence could break the vacation cost calculator.

Do you wonder what you get for this fortune? Well, you travel in a three-room apartment, including a private bathroom with a shower, lounge and a bedroom with a double bed. A personal butler will be at your disposal, while you can also enjoy a selected list of fine wines and middle-eastern dishes.

The flight on the Airbus A380 is pricey, but at least a ticket provides travel for two people sharing a suite.

8. Train tickets cost an average of $122.

(Source: Wanderu)

Families that can’t allocate a significant portion of their budget on vacation spending can look into domestic trips via trains or buses. Naturally, prices vary by route, carrier, and date. The average bus ticket costs between $20 and $50.

And while intercity train and bus tickets are considerably cheap, only 6% of travellers used these modes of transport in 2018. The majority of people travel domestically via planes, personal cars or rented cars.

9. The average hotel price in the US is $103.25 per night.

(Source: Statista)

The 2020 average cost reflects a decrease of over 21% on the previous year.

It’s no secret that 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. 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. But that isn’t always a viable option.

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

10. The average cost of food per day while traveling with your family is $132.

(Source: Credit Donkey)

The average cost of food for a four-member family while vacationing is around $130 per day. However, bear in mind that this amount doesn’t include alcohol, tips or even snacks. So you can 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 the journey. If you value delicious food more than luxurious hotel rooms, you can look for more affordable accommodation to have more spending money for food and entertainment.

11. 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 to visit many 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!

12. The average cost of a Disney vacation is $4,641 for a family of four.

(Source: Money We Have)

If you plan to take your family on a four-day trip to Disney World, be prepared to shell out a small fortune. The 2020 estimated amount is close to $5,000.

Let’s break down the vacation expenses. As you will be flying domestically, the average round-trip ticket is estimated to be $300, depending on the source. That said, it wouldn’t be hard to find a flight in the $200 range if you’re flying from the east coast. If we round the number up you will probably spend around $1,200 on four plane tickets.

If you’re staying at one of the Disney World hotels on-site, you can expect to pay up to $300 a night. But there are many hotels in the $100-$150 a night range near the theme park.

Tickets for the attractions will cost around $1,600. Then you need to take into account food, 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.

13. A week-long Hawaii vacation costs $1,882 on average.

(Source: Budget Your Trip)

As this is the estimated cost for one person, a couple can expect to spend close to $3,765 for a week in Hawaii.

Round-trip plane tickets between most US cities and Honolulu cost between $500 and $800 for economy class. The accommodation costs can vary anywhere between $50 to $500. Renting an Airbnb can lower your trip cost, whereas a luxury hotel can exceed $500. According to data from travelers, the average price for one person for accommodation in Hawaii is $165, while a standard double-occupancy hotel room costs $330 per night.

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. On average, travelers spend $29 per day on local transportation in Hawaii.

You also need to consider setting around $60 for food aside. But that’s only if you stick to fast food or street offerings. Meal prices in sit-down restaurants in Hawaii are higher.

Those were the basic necessities.

Now.

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 $31 per person 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.

14. 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.

Accommodation 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 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 accommodation and transportation costs, you can add the food costs, various tickets and passes, ATM and currency conversion fees, and get a rough estimate that 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?

ABOUT AUTHOR

After I got my degree in translation and interpreting, I started working in a typical office. To get away from my nine-to-five job, I ventured into freelance writing. One thing led to another, and I ended up creating content for SpendMeNot. I have been involved with this site ever since its launch — first as a writer and now as a content strategist. When not busy with publication planning, I like blogging. I just hate writing bios so that’s all from me, folks.

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