The 10 Most and Least Expensive Vacation Destinations in the U.S. in 2024

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine.

Travel holds the power to open our minds, broaden our perspectives, and enrich our souls in ways that few other experiences can match. Yet, for many, dream destinations often get relegated to bucket lists, seemingly out of reach due to limited time and budget. 

That’s why we’ve curated a list of the most and least expensive vacation destinations in the U.S. so that you can plan an enriching trip that fits your financial means.

We’ve analyzed over 100 popular holiday destinations in the U.S. and collected data based on four main travel cost criteria: meals, transportation, accommodations, and attraction fees to find the most and least expensive vacation destinations

Not stopping at just the per-person cost, we went further to provide a comprehensive cost for a 7-day trip and even broke down the total for a family of four, ensuring you make the best travel decisions in 2024.

Aspen, Colorado, ranked the top spot for luxury, with a week’s stay costing $5,329.72 per person and $13,691.61 for a family of four, showcasing the ultimate in lavish travel.

For those seeking splendid experiences at a more moderate expense (under $180/day), this list introduces Outer Banks in North Carolina and Charleston in West Virginia as the two least expensive yet highly rewarding destinations.

Let’s review the top picks of the most and least expensive U.S. destinations with price tags to seize the moments of your future travel experiences.

Key Findings

  • Aspen, Colorado tops the list as the most expensive vacation spot, with a total daily cost of $761.39 per person, leading to a whopping $5,329.72 for a 7-day trip per person.
  • Park City, Utah, ranks as the second most expensive destination, with individual daily costs at $710 and a 7-day family trip costing $12,632.1.
  • Maui, Hawaii (3rd), has the highest accommodation costs at $534.11 per night, while New York City (8th), has the highest meal expenses at $142.5.
  • New York featured 2 times in the top 10 most expensive locations, with the daily cost of Montauk at ($613.77) and New York City at ($511.34).
  • The Outer Banks, North Carolina, emerges as the least expensive destination, offering a full day’s experience at just $177, making a 7-day family vacation possible for around $3,247.9.
  • Georgia distinguishes itself by featuring two of the least expensive destinations, Helen and Tybee Island, showcasing its diverse vacation offerings.
  • Charleston, West Virginia, is the most economical choice for a family of four at $418.042 daily, amounting to a total of $2926.3 for a 7-day family trip.
  • For under $200 a day, destinations like Charleston, Helen, Tybee Island, Gatlinburg, and the Outer Banks are popular choices to visit without the high cost.

Top 10 Most and Least Expensive Vacation Destinations in the U.S.  (Infographic)

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10 Most Expensive Vacation Destinations in the U.S.

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1. Aspen, Colorado

Topping our list, Aspen celebrates as the ultimate luxury destination. Whether a winter wonderland for skiers or a summer sanctuary for hikers, it boasts a daily cost of $761.39 per person. 

Here, indulgence is in every detail, from gourmet meals at $100.5 per day to opulent accommodations at $494.56 per night and attractions that are simply unparalleled. Aspen’s breathtaking scenery comes with a premium price tag – a week-long journey for one can soar beyond $5,329, and for a family of four, the skies are the limit at $13,691. Even with modest transportation costs at $7, the city’s unmatched offerings ensure its status as the epitome of luxury travel.

2. Park City, Utah

Securing the second spot, Park City stands as a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, striking a fine balance between its dining options and the luxurious costs of lodging and activities. 

The daily meal cost at $93.75, and accommodation at $471.00 per night spotlight its appeal to those looking for premium experiences. A week in this adventurer’s paradise costs an individual $4,971, and a family of four can expect an adventure worth $12,632. Park City invites you to the great outdoors with a price tag that underscores its status as a top-tier destination.

3. Maui, Hawaii

Maui, ranking third, epitomizes tropical luxury with a daily expenditure of $681.74 per person. It boasts the highest meal and accommodation rates among the top destinations, with meals at $112.5 and nightly stays at $534.11. 

However, its moderate transportation and attraction costs, at an affordable $26.63 for attractions, help balance the overall expenses for visitors. The island’s enchanting beaches and verdant landscapes justify the lavish spending, leading to a week-long solo expense of $4,762 or $10,782 for family escapades, making it a luxurious yet accessible paradise.

4. Montauk, New York

Montauk stands out for its coastal charm, ranking fourth with a daily cost of $613.77 per person. The catch here is the blend of higher meal and stay rates with more gentle prices for sightseeing and getting around. A retreat for an individual can round up to $4,324 for a week, which is the combination of a higher meal expense at $135 and accommodation costs at $464.22.

Montauk’s appeal as a luxurious beach retreat, contrasted with more affordable attractions at $7.67, showcases the value of serene relaxation over pricey activities.

5. Santa Monica, California

Fifth place goes to Santa Monica, where the beach meets urban luxury at a daily rate of $592.05 per person. It mixes pricier dining and sleeping spots with bargain attractions and travel costs, setting the stage for a dream California holiday. Expect to shell out $4,148 for a week-long solo journey, or $9,539 for a family escapade. It’s the quintessential Cali dream, with a twist in the tale of expenses.

The city’s moderate attraction costs at $27.33 are offset by meal expenses of $114.375 and accommodation prices at $446.67, reflecting the cost of enjoying California’s iconic coastlines alongside the convenience of Los Angeles.

6. Key West, Florida 

Here, laid-back vibes meet manageable costs at the sixth most expensive destination, Key West. It’s a cocktail of affordable meals at $103.5 and stays at $421.67, lightly spiked with low attraction and transit fees. 

A solo traveler can drift through a week for $3,757, while a family of four can dive into the bliss for $8,399. Key West is the treasure at the end of the rainbow for budget-conscious beach lovers.

7. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, charms its way to seventh, offering a taste of the South’s historic elegance at a daily expense of $535.68 per person. Meals at $120 and lodging at $387.44 per night paint Charleston as a destination where history and modern comfort meet, complemented by affordable attraction costs at $24.74, making it a budget-friendly option for explorers of urban culture.

A week in this genteel city asks for $3,750 from the solo wanderer, or $8,735 from a family, proving that charm has its price.

8. New York City, New York 

The city that never sleeps surprises at eighth, with a daily cost of $511.34 per person. Defying its pricey reputation with a twist,  New York City’s diverse attractions at $40.33 are matched by the highest meal prices at $142.5 and more modest accommodation rates at $323.11. 

The Big Apple serves up the second most expensive meals but keeps a lid on lodging and travel costs. This urban adventure costs a solo explorer $3,582 for the week, while a family can conquer the city for $8,808. It’s the stage for an epic saga, where every street corner has a story, at a price that’s slightly more within reach.

9. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

At the ninth most expensive U.S. vacation spot, Martha’s Vineyard costs $496.65 daily,  offering an exclusive slice of New England life without entirely breaking the bank. 

With moderate expenses across the board, a week’s holiday tallies up to $3,495 for one or $8,130 for a family of four.  Its quieter attractions at $20.00, combined with meal expenses of $106.875 and accommodations at $364.38, make this retreat a perfect getaway destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

10. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Landing at the tenth spot, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, offers a blend of rugged wilderness and upscale retreats with a daily cost of $490 per person. While it stands out with meal costs at $123 and an average accommodation rate of $302.67 per night, its balanced transportation and attraction fees, at $10 and $54 respectively, make it a premium yet attainable destination. 

Jackson Hole’s majestic mountains and abundant wildlife present a compelling allure for those seeking adventure with a touch of luxury, culminating in a week-long journey costing $3,427.67 for solo travelers or $8,612.3 for a family of four, inviting you to experience the grandeur of the Wild West in style.

10 Least Expensive Vacation Destinations in the U.S.

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1. Outer Banks, North Carolina

We ranked Outer Banks as the least expensive destination, where the allure of the Atlantic meets affordability. With the lowest accommodation costs at $91.44, combined with meals at $60 and attractions adding up to $11.27, the daily cost per person stands at a mere $177. 

A week-long stay here amounts to $1,237.024 per person, making it an irresistible offer for a family of four at just $3,247.9, proving that paradise doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

2. Charleston, West Virginia

This gem in West Virginia, nestled in the heart of Appalachia, secures the second spot with its rich tapestry of history and nature. Here, daily expenses average $177 per person, buoyed by meals at $49.125 and lodging at $121.33. 

The total for a 7-day retreat is $1,242.208 per person, offering a family of four the chance to explore Charleston’s charm for $2,926.3, showcasing that adventure and affordability can indeed go hand in hand.

3. Helen, Georgia

Helen transports you to a Bavarian village in the heart of the South, ranking third. With an average daily cost of $185 per person, including $63 for meals and $110 for lodging, a week-long stay is priced at $1,297.333 per person. 

For families, the enchanting allure of Helen can be enjoyed for $3,208.3, offering a slice of Europe without the hefty price tag.

4. Tybee Island, Georgia

A week’s vacation tallies up to $1,304.994 per person at Tybee Island, emerging as the fourth haven for budget-conscious travelers, where the gentle waves offer a serene escape. 

Daily costs are pegged at $186 per person, with meal expenses at $45 and accommodations at $118.44. Allowing a family of four to bask in the coastal beauty for $3,246.8, proves that beach getaways need not break the bank.

5. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Nestled at the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg,  ranks fifth, offering a blend of natural beauty and attractions at $193 per day per person. 

With meals costing just $46.5 and accommodation at $115, a week-long escapade amounts to $1,349.810 per person. Families looking for adventure can do so for $3,463.7, making it a gateway to experiences that are as rich as they are affordable.

6. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona claimed the sixth rank, with an average daily cost of $198 per person. It’s known for its red rock vistas and vibrant arts scene, where average meals can cost $60 and lodging  $131.33, culminating in a week’s expense of $1,383.667 per person. 

For a family of four, Sedona’s spiritual allure comes at a price of $3,276, blending natural majesty with financial ease.

7. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

For scenic beach seekers, our seventh destination, Cape Cod in Massachusetts, is an ideal choice. Daily expenses here average $207 per person, thanks to meals at $63 and accommodations at $114.44. 

A week in this New England paradise costs $1,447.444 per person, and for a family of four, it’s a gateway to coastal charm for $3,746.6, proving that timeless memories don’t have to cost a fortune.

8. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Yet another sleepless city, Oklahoma, shines in the eighth spot, where the vibrant cityscape meets affordability. Daily costs stand at $209 per person, incorporating meals at $73.125 and lodging at $118.11. 

A week’s journey through this bustling city amounts to $1,463.486 per person, with a family of four able to soak in the urban energy for $3,688.5, showcasing the city’s blend of culture and cost-effectiveness.

9. Bend, Oregon

You can explore Bend’s natural beauty at the cost of a week-long adventure of $1,499.167 per person, totaling up to $3,762.5 for a family of four. This is proof that nature’s wonders are within reach for those who seek them. 

Capturing the ninth place with its outdoor adventures from skiing to hiking, the daily expense averages $214 per person, with meals at $94.5 and accommodation at $112.33.

10. Monument Valley, Utah

This vacation destination rounds out our list, where the desert landscapes offer a breathtaking backdrop. For a family of four, the majestic beauty of Monument Valley is accessible for $3,818.9, ensuring that even the most stunning of America’s landscapes can be enjoyed without lavish spending. 

With the daily cost at $218 per person, including meals at $60 and accommodations at $134.11, a week in this iconic location is $1,529.111 per person. 


Our study adopted a data-driven approach to identify the U.S.’s costliest vacation destinations, ensuring precision and relevance through direct data collection and analysis.

Data Collection:

  • Attraction Compilation: Utilized Google Search and BARD for over 100 U.S. attractions.
  • Criteria Selection: Daily Meal, Public Transportation, Accommodation, and Attraction Costs.
  • Cost Data: Averaged meal and transportation costs from Numbeo; extracted accommodation prices from; calculated average attraction costs based on Google’s top recommendations.

Data Analysis:

  • Cost Analysis: Averaged costs per criterion to determine each destination’s affordability.
  • Ranking Methodology: Ranked destinations by total average daily cost.
  • Comparative Evaluation: Balanced cost analysis with the appeal and diversity of attractions.

This streamlined approach concisely ranked the most and least expensive U.S. vacation spots, blending travel costs with tourist appeal.