Report: The Average Cost To Travel to 5 Popular Cities Right Now

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Americans are traveling more again, according to the latest data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Its statistics show that, while Americans aren’t flying as much as they were before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, air travel in September 2021 was more than double the rate of September 2020.

If you’re thinking about traveling, this may be an opportune time to take a cross-country trip to visit some faraway place in the United States.

Looking To Travel? These Cities Are the Best Deals

You may need to hunt a bit more to find deals right now, as hotel and airfare costs are going up.

Travel-booking site Priceline has a new list out of the top U.S. cities to visit right now based on an analysis of hotel, flight and bundle bookings. In looking at travel data for 20 cities, Priceline has determined which destinations give you the most bang for your buck.

Priceline analyzed hotel, flight and package bookings through its service — as well as trips already taken — in 2021 and compared them to the same periods in 2019.

Let’s look at the average airfare and hotel rates for the selected cities, then we’ll move into pricing trends. I’ll also share an invaluable travel tip from Team Clark on how to save money.

Here are airfare and hotel costs in Priceline’s top five cities on its travel list. I calculated the amount for a five-night stay to help you see the total potential cost.

Round-Trip Airfare
Average Hotel Rate
Per Day
Total Cost of a
Five-Night Stay
Chicago $282 $205$1,307
Los Angeles $303 $190$1,253
New York City$314$188$1,254
San Francisco$367 $184$1,287
Washington $310 $144$1,030

Now let’s take a look at where travel prices are trending down, then we’ll look at where they’re on the rise. The following data is based on a comparison of travel booked through Priceline this year versus the same period in 2019.

Where Are Travel Prices Going Down?

According to Priceline, average hotel rates are dropping in these select few cities:

  • San Francisco (-21%)
  • New York City (-14%)
  • Seattle (-11%) 

When it comes to airfare, average roundtrip prices are decreasing for these major cities:

  • Miami (-26%)
  • Los Angeles (-16%)
  • Phoenix (-15%)

If you choose to bundle your travel, package deals to Phoenix (-17%), San Francisco (-18%) and Seattle (-14%) have dropped the most, according to the report.

Where Are Travel Prices Going Up?

The average price of a hotel room is rising in most major U.S. cities, according to Priceline. As an example, here is where travel hotel rates are rising the most:

  • Miami: 63%
  • Tampa: 35%
  • Phoenix: 25%
  • Orlando: 24%
  • Houston: 23%

How Can You Save on Travel Right Now?

If you’re interested in booking travel soon, one of the best ways to save money is to use Google Flights to comparison shop. You can find rates for airfare and hotels on the site.

“Google Flights should be the first website to visit to search domestic and international airfares before you jump over to a specific airline to book a flight,” Team Clark travel expert Clara Bosonetto says. “With its many filters, it’s the best site to use when you must fly on a specific airline, must have a nonstop flight, you have a multiple city trip (flying into one city and out of another) or you want to book one-way travel.”

Read our full guide to using Google Flights here.

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