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Seattle most expensive US city for a summer escape; head south for savings, according to TripAdvisor TripIndex

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Annual Study Shows Southeast Asia the Least Expensive Region Overseas

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, has announced the results of its annual TripIndex™ Cities cost-comparison study, revealing that Dallas is the most affordable U.S. city for a summer trip, while Hanoi, Vietnam is the least expensive international destination. The findings also show Seattle as the priciest U.S. city this summer, while Cancun is the most expensive internationally.

The TripIndex helps travelers identify the destinations that offer the best value by comparing the cost of a three-night trip during the summer in nearly 60 key tourist cities around the U.S. and world, taking into account typical travel costs for two. For each day, the Index factors a four-star hotel stay, an organized tour or activity at local attractions, a round-trip taxi ride, as well as lunch and dinner. The study was conducted ahead of the summer travel period by TripAdvisor with Ipsos, an independent research firm.

“The South is the most affordable U.S. region for a summer city escape, with a three-day trip estimated at about $1,300. That’s $450 less than what travelers would pay for a similar trip to Western cities, according to the TripIndex,” commented Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “But even in the most expensive destinations, savvy travelers can snag a bargain stay by comparison shopping on TripAdvisor, which could save them up to 30 percent on their hotels.”

Western U.S. Cities Costliest

The West is home to 7 of the top 10 most expensive cities on the U.S. TripIndex, including #1 Seattle ($2,080), #2 Honolulu ($2,046), #4 San Francisco ($1,909) and #6 Los Angeles ($1,850).

Seattle’s top ranking is largely driven by its pricey hotel rates—average nightly rates for a 4 or 4.5 star hotel in the Emerald City this summer are $438, which is nearly 50 percent more than the U.S .TripIndex average. Tip for Saving: The Silver Cloud Hotel – Seattle Stadium features a rooftop pool with views of Elliot Bay, and is bookable on TripAdvisor this summer for an average of $284 per night—$150 less than the Seattle average.

Surprisingly, New York City ($1,909) ranked as only the fifth costliest U.S. city during summer. Tip for Saving: When booking in advance, travelers can often get special deals on activities. For example, recommended admittance to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is $25, but a “Skip the Line” ticket can be purchased for the same cost.

Cancun is the costliest international destination for a three-day break ($2,019), with the most expensive international hotel rates ($373) and activity cost ($167). Tip for Saving: Book a stay at the highly-rated The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa for $296 per night and shave about $230 off the average trip cost.

Americans Can Head South to Save

More than half of the least expensive U.S. destinations during summer are in the South, including the top three: Dallas ($1,171) New Orleans ($1,248) and Miami ($1,262). Tip for Saving: Stay at the Intercontinental Dallas, bookable on TripAdvisor this summer for $154 per night, and save an additional $130 off projected costs for a three-day trip.
Travelers will find the least expensive U.S. hotel rates in Las Vegas ($157 per night), but also the most expensive attractions ($149 on average). Tip for Saving: Take a stroll through The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio at no cost and enjoy mesmerizing floral displays and live musical performances.
The most affordable food can be found in New Orleans, where lunch and dinner for two will cost around $86. Tip for Saving: Schedule a Food Walking Tour for $55 to sample famous French Quarter fare while learning about the local culture and history.

Bargain Stays in Southeast Asia

Four of the 10 most affordable cities worldwide are in Southeast Asia: #1 Hanoi ($732) #4 Bangkok ($822), #7 Kuala Lumpur ($914) and #9 Manila ($925).

Southeast Asia destinations are 28%, or approximately $320, less than expensive than Dallas, the most affordable U.S. city in the TripIndex. Tip for Saving: The TripIndex prices out on-the-ground costs, but travelers should also factor in flight fare when planning their budgets. Travelers can compare flight costs and book on TripAdvisor and also sign up for Air Watch alerts to get emails when prices drop.

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