AAA releases 2008 Vacation Costs Survey & Recommends Travelers Budget $244 Per Day
According to the 2008 edition of AAA's Annual Vacation Costs Survey the recommended travel budget
for two adults traveling together in North America is $244 per day for lodging and meals.
"Vacation spending depends on personal preferences and means," said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Tourism Information Development. "While you can expect higher lodging rates in metropolitan areas and during peak travel seasons, travelers can save by making advance reservations and taking advantage of discounts."
According to the survey the average cost for lodging in North America is $164 per night, double occupancy, based on the most recent published rates for AAA Approved(R) accommodations listed in the AAA TourBook(R) guides. For two adults traveling and dining together AAA travel experts recommend budgeting $80 a day for meals, not including tips or beverages. These costs are based on dining at full-service restaurants. If traveling by car, AAA recommends visiting to estimate fuel costs and using the AAA TripTik(R) Travel Planner to plan the
best route.
The most expensive city for vacationers is Honolulu, where the average published prices for meals and lodging for two adults total $673 per day, followed by New York City at $606; Miami-Miami Beach, $370; San Diego, $361and Las Vegas at $358. The most economical choices include Tulsa, Okla.,with an estimated daily food and lodging cost of $179, followed by Albuquerque, N.M, $179; Wichita, Kan., $194; Oklahoma City, Okla., $194; and Fresno, Calif., $207.
Actual lodging rates will vary according to factors including region, season and discounts available. Visit or speak to your AAA travel agent to book lodging and determine exact costs. If traveling with additional people AAA advises contacting the property in advance for an extra-person charge. However, if traveling with children within an age limit set by management -- usually up to 14 -- there may not be an extra charge.
Meal costs can be reduced by eating the main meal at midday to take advantage of lower lunch prices at restaurants. Many restaurants also offer children's menus and "early bird" dinner specials at reduced prices.
AAA helps consumers maximize their vacation dollars by planning ahead. AAA members who visit to book a hotel room are more likely to find a better rate there than on other leading Web sites, according to a recent survey. In a review of several online travel booking sites, offered AAA members the best publicly-available
rate on partner hotels 69 percent of the time.
AAA has been tracking vacation costs since 1950 when the average daily cost for meals and lodging was $13. The 2008 Vacation Costs Survey cannot be directly compared to 2007 estimates due to a change in available data and calculations.
AAA's meal and lodging costs are based on published prices from more than 60,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated(R) lodgings and restaurants listed in AAA's widely distributed TourBook guides.
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at
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