Albuquerque – Travelers will not see any relief in their wallet this year with average combined lodging and restaurant costs up 3.7 percent over last year, according to AAA’s Annual Vacation Costs survey.
AAA’s survey shows that a family of two adults and two children can expect to pay an average $269 per day for food and lodging. Lodging rates will average $152 a night, up nearly 7.9 percent from last year. Meals will cost $118, down 1.3 percent from 2006.
For the first time ever, AAA also assessed average daily travel costs for top U.S. cities. The most economical choices include Albuquerque, N.M, with a day of food and lodging costing $165, Wichita, Kan., $169, and Mesa, Ariz., $180. Honolulu ranked highest, with food and lodging for a family of four costs $584 per day. New York and Miami Beach followed with $524 and $409 per day respectively.
The most expensive state for vacationers remains Hawaii where the daily cost of food and lodging for a family of four will average $650 per day. Other destinations with a high average daily cost include the District of Columbia at $611; Rhode Island, $345; New York, $326; and New Jersey, $324.
Travelers looking for bargains can head to: North Dakota, with an average daily cost of $187; Nebraska, $199; Iowa, $201; Kansas, $201; and South Dakota, $204.
Rising gas prices coupled with the increase in vacation costs makes it important for travelers to maximize their vacation dollars. AAA.com helps consumers save money by planning ahead. Travelers can locate AAA Approved and Diamond rated lodgings and restaurants along their travel route and find the cheapest place to buy gas along the way. Travelers can use AAA’s Fuel Cost Calculator (www.fuelcostcalculator.com
) to determine ahead of time how much money they can expect to pay for fuel during their trip.
AAA has been tracking vacation costs since 1950 when the average daily cost of meals and lodgings for a family of four was $13.
AAA’s meal and lodging costs are based on prices from more than 60,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated® lodgings and restaurants listed in AAA’s widely distributed TourBook® guides. Annually, members request some 20 million copies of the printed TourBook guides and view some 24 million TourBook listings on AAA.com.
AAA Travel provides cruises, escorted tours, independent tour packages, travel insurance, hotels, car rentals, rail and other travel products. AAA Travel’s services are available to everyone and are also available on the Internet at www.aaa.com/travel .
AAA New Mexico, LLC, a member of the AAA federation of motor clubs provides members with roadside assistance, insurance and financial products, a full-service travel agency, auto-related services, traffic safety programs and legislative advocacy. Information about these products and services is available on AAA New Mexico’s web site at www.aaa.com.