There’s no escaping the fact that international travel is expensive – it always has been, but in the post-pandemic world you have to be extra savvy to avoid paying over the odds.
For some, the solution to that may be to try taking a trip somewhere within their own country – something that millions of Americans do every year.
However, a domestic adventure can sometimes still rack up the cost.
If you do want to look after the pennies, then a recent ranking of the most expensive tourist destinations in the U.S. compiled by finance company GOBankingRates will definitely be of interest.
The study calculated which destinations are the most expensive by measuring metrics such as food and drink costs, the average nightly rate for the least expensive hotels in the area, and the average cost of air travel.
While there are some cities you might expect to find on a list like this, the end result may be a little surprising for some, here are the top eight:
1. Aspen, Colorado
This mountain town is famous for its skiing, but if hitting the slopes isn’t your thing, there is still plenty to do in Aspen, with luxury hotels and great restaurants.
2. Seattle, Washington
A popular hub in the northwest of the United States, Seattle is not only a vibrant place but also a gateway to some great weekend getaways out of the city.
3. Key West, Florida
Probably one of the most popular destinations in the Florida Keys, Key West features stunning beaches and a packed schedule of festivals and events.
4. San Diego, California
A great fall and winter destination thanks to its warmer climate, San Diego is ever-popular among American travelers, with a good range of off-path things to do too.
5. Boston, Massachusetts
One of the most historic cities in the U.S., Boston attracts many international tourists as well as those from within the country. It’s packed with big-name attractions and also wonderful hidden gems.
6. Charleston, South Carolina
Award-winning restaurants, quiet beaches, and more museums than you could possibly imagine – Charleston has a lot to offer the curious traveler.
7. Hilton Head, South Carolina
This beautiful island is a great way to sample some of the best beaches on the Atlantic coast and also some of the best golf courses too.
8. New York City, New York
The ‘Big Apple’ will always be an expensive place to go, but those who have been will always tell you it’s worth it – especially when you try some of its secret tours that can show you another side of the city.
How To Stay On Top Of Your Spending
There are plenty of easy ways to look after the pennies on a U.S. trip.
Something as simple as using public transport instead of taxis and Ubers can really save you money.
Often buses, trams, metros, and overland trains are much cheaper ways to get around, and with slightly slower paces, you may even get to see more of the place you’re exploring.
Another solid idea is to make a note of all the free things to do in the city you’re headed to. Think museums, parks, and historical attractions.
Another money-saving tip is to mix up the types of accommodation you use. In different cities, it might be hotels, hostels, or Airbnbs that come up cheapest.
Try to stay flexible and explore options you wouldn’t normally use to snag a great deal.
If the place you’re staying has a kitchen, then stock up on some food from a supermarket so you can make yourself lunch each day and save on eating out.
Lastly, make sure you plan ahead and have a budget. It also helps to make backup plans in case something doesn’t happen quite how you expected it to, so you don’t end up making a rash decision that could cost you more.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com