If you’re taking the family out for a summer vacation this year, you may want to pack a thicker wallet. TripAdvisor’s 2013 TripIndex survey shows the price of a four-star hotel rose 18 percent compared to last summer. Indeed, prices in family-friendly Orlando are up a whopping 33 percent, while four-star hotels in Denver, Honolulu, Los Angeles and Seattle will all cost at least 25 percent more than last year.
For its annual cost comparison survey, TripAdvisor reviewed the combined price of an evening out for two -- including overnight stay, taxi fare, two-course meal with wine and cocktails -- at popular cities both in the U.S. and abroad. Put together, Honolulu leapt several spots to the top of the pack this year to earn the dubious honor of most-expensive domestic destination, with a total cost of $504.94. Perpetually expensive New York came in just below at $504.25, while Boston ($473.59), San Francisco ($471.89) and Chicago ($448.45) rounded out the top five.
Oslo -- where dinner for two costs $276.72 and a nightcap puts you back another $45.40 -- easily topped the list of most-expensive international cities for a night away at $581.08, with Zurich ($523.41), Stockholm ($521.68), Paris ($511.40) and Sydney ($460.21) not far behind.
International travelers may want to instead consider a trip to Sofia, Bulgaria, the best bargain on the world list at $158.42, or roughly a fourth of the price of a stay in Oslo. Other budget destinations on the international list included Hanoi ($176.14), Warsaw ($187.45), Sharm el Sheikh ($191.34) and Budapest ($193.44). Asian destinations, as a whole, worked out to be the best budget choice for travelers this summer, with an average cost of about $203.79 for a night away, well below the TripIndex world average of $321.70.
Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor, recommended the American South to anyone looking for a cheap domestic trip. “Although hotel prices are on the rise this summer, travelers looking for deals can find exceptional value for accommodations in popular American destinations such as Las Vegas, Miami and New Orleans.”
Following a four-year trend, Southern cities averaged about $60 less per night than their northern and western counterparts, with Miami ($318.62), Dallas ($328.55), Atlanta ($331.14) and New Orleans ($348.66) all seen as relative bargains.
A night out in Las Vegas, meanwhile, will cost just $272.94 thanks to some of the cheapest four-star hotel prices on the list. You could rest your head for three nights in a four-star Las Vegas hotel for the same price as one night in Honolulu.
Follow me on Twitter @MarkJohansonIBT
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...