Are you jonesing for a getaway but deterred by this cost? This may ring especially true for people with children. So what should you do if you want to scratch that travel itch without breaking the bank? Explore some of the beautiful and diverse cities right here in the United States! Read on for our picks for the most affordable travel destinations in the U.S. in 2017.
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To find the country's most affordable travel destinations for a family of four and for individual travelers, we considered four factors: average cost of round-trip airfare, average hotel rates, average daily car rental rates and the average cost of restaurant meals. Using data on these factors, we calculated the average cost of traveling to the 48 largest cities in the country for a three-day and three-night trip.
Cities that rank high on affordability for a family of four might not rank as high (or might even rank higher) for an individual because the four factors weigh differently for each type of traveler. If you're a family of four on a budget, expensive flight tickets would impact your total cost differently than if you are an individual who only has to buy one ticket. You can read more about our full methodology below.
The Sunshine State wins again – The most affordable travel destination is Orlando, Florida for the second year in a row. Two of this year's top three cities and three of the top 10 are in Florida. No state has more cities than Florida ranking in the top 10 or top 20.
The Northeast is still expensive – New York City was the most expensive travel destination of the 48 cities we studied. Boston, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia were all within the six most expensive cities.
This is SmartAsset's third annual study of the most affordable travel destinations in America. Read the 2016 version of this study here.
Eight of the 10 cities that ranked as the most affordable travel destinations for families of four also ranked as affordable for individual travelers: Orlando, Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Tucson, Reno, Jacksonville and Albuquerque.
Tampa, Florida ranks as the ninth-most affordable destination for individual travelers. It just barely missed the top 10 for families, coming in at 11th this year. You can get a nightly hotel room in Tamps for only $128.91, on average. You can also get a rental car for just $30 per day, fourth-lowest in our study. You'll want to use that car, too, because there is a lot to do around Tampa.
There is diverse local cuisine and a growing number of craft breweries. Individuals who want to hit the town at night won't be disappointed with Tampa's numerous bars and clubs. Of course, don't forget to dip your toes in the warm waters of the beautiful beaches.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City climbed three spots from 2016 to rank as the 10th-most affordable travel destination for individuals in 2017. One factor behind that rise is the eighth-lowest average nightly hotel rate in our study at $121.69. Restaurant meals average just $25, fifth-lowest in our study. But round-trip airfare is relatively high and since a family of four buys more flight tickets than an individual, Salt Lake City ranks slightly lower (13th) for a family of four this year.
Skiers can hit the slopes at one of Salt Lake City's beautiful ski resorts. The city offers the Super Pass, which could save you hundreds of dollars on equipment and passes at Salt Lake City's four major resorts. Art fans should head downtown for a number of galleries, music venues and classic movie theaters. Salt Lake City is home to a thriving performing arts scene. The Capitol Theater in particular hosts many traveling Broadway and off-Broadway performances. Families will enjoy attractions like the Hogle Zoo and the Natural History Museum of Utah.