NEW YORK (Reuters) - Travelers looking to get the most for their money on summer vacations may want to avoid Honolulu and Oslo, Norway, which are the most expensive cities according to a survey released on Tuesday, and head instead to Las Vegas or Sofia in Bulgaria.
Travel website TripAdvisor.com compared the cost in cities around the world for an average overnight stay for two people, cocktails, dinner and wine and a taxi ride, and found that cities in the U.S. South, Eastern Europe and Asia had the best summer deals.
Miami, Dallas, Atlanta and Portland, Oregon also scored high marks for affordability and summer bargains, as did Hanoi, Warsaw, Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt and Budapest.
At the other end of the scale, high hotel costs and pricey cocktails made New York City the second-most expensive U.S. summer destination, and fourth internationally, followed by Boston, San Francisco and Chicago. Zurich, Stockholm and Paris were among the priciest foreign cities.
“Big name cities do not have to mean big travels budgets,” said Brooke Ferencsik, TripAdvisor.com’s director of communications.
“If you really are eager to get to Europe, you can find affordable deals. A great affordable escape is Sofia, Bulgaria, which ranked No. 1, overall and where the average hotel price is less than $100 a night,” he said in an interview.
Other affordable international destinations include Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Tunis, Cape Town and Riyadh, which rounded out the top 10.
In the United States New Orleans was sixth in affordability, followed by Houston, Minneapolis, Denver and Philadelphia.
Honolulu, where a room for two in a four-star hotel costs an average of $389.36, compared to $135.94 in Las Vegas, saw a 33 percent rise in room rates since last year, helping it secure the title of priciest U.S. city for a summer getaway.
“Savvy travelers know how to analyze a trip and break it down for their budgets by recognizing that accommodation is the biggest ticket item,” said Ferencsik.
Although hotels make up the biggest portion of a travel budget, restaurant tabs and taxi fares can also add up quickly.
While Oslo had more affordable room rates at $220.99 than other cities, the $276.72 bill for dinner for two and expensive drinks and taxis secured its place as the most-expensive foreign city.
London had the steepest taxi fares, with a 2-mile trip to a destination and back again costing a total of $41.47, which TripAdvisor.com said was nearly 20 times more than a similar ride in Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia.
And in Taipei, people can dine out twice for $44.86 in a mid-range restaurant for the same price as two rounds of martinis at a top-rated hotel bar in Seoul, the survey found.
TripAdvisor calculated the costs in local currencies between March and April and converted them into dollars on April 19.
Reporting by Patricia Reaney; editing by Chris Michaud and Cynthia Osterman