A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Austin vs. San Diego for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Austin or San Diego?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Austin or San Diego, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Austin

Located in the Texas Hill Country, Austin is the capital city of the state. It is a relatively small city with a compact downtown area and many sprawling suburbs stretching out along the interstate. Austin prides itself on its eclectic culture and alternative vibe which is epitomized by the city's unofficial slogan "Keep Austin Weird." The University of Texas at Austin is also located downtown. The school's large student population helps give the city a youthful feel with a lively nightlife and no shortage of activities on weekends. The city is also the self proclaimed live music capital of the country. As such, it has many music venues and bars, most of which are clustered around the 6th Street area downtown. There are also many free outdoor concerts, particularly during the summer months.

San Diego

For many visitors and locals alike, San Diego is a paradise. Located in southern California, not far from Los Angeles, it has the perfect climate, wonderful beaches, and a culturally rich environment. It's surrounded by beautiful landscape and has a strong focus on wildlife conservation and eco-friendly living. Home to about 1.3 million residents, it is California's second largest city. It also has many universities, a large tech industry, and a thriving economy. Despite its size, many people perceive San Diego as a slower, more relaxed city with a pleasant vibe away from the chaos of a large city.

Which city is cheaper, San Diego or Austin?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Austin is $114, while the average daily cost in San Diego is $161. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Austin and San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Austin is about $90 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

For a normal double-occupancy room in San Diego, $182 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Diego, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $91, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Austin $45
    San Diego $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Austin $90
    San Diego $182

Food

The average traveler spends about $28 per day in Austin for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The price of a meal in San Diego can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $36 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Austin $28
    San Diego $36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Austin

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Austin.

  • Austin Food Tour by Bus with Live Band On Board: $93
  • Austin Beer and Food Tour by Bike: $97
  • Private Secret Food Tour of Downtown Austin: $103
  • East Austin Urban Farms & Brewery Food Tour by Bike: $106
  • Wood Fired Dinner Series at the Austin Winery: $159
  • Secret Food Tour of Downtown Austin w/ Private Tour Option: $221
  • Secret Food Tour: $288

Typical Food prices in San Diego

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • San Diego North Park Food Tour: $49
  • Liberty Station Food Tour: $49
  • Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico: $89
  • Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego: $96
  • Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef: $100
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $111
  • Dinner Cruise: $117
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego: $129
  • Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Austin is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $38 per person, per day, on local transportation in Austin.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in San Diego than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $19 on transportation in San Diego on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Austin $38
    San Diego $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Austin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Austin:

  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $187
  • Private Austin Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $128
  • Private Austin Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $114
  • Transfer from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Austin: $109
  • Austin City to Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) - Departure Private Transfer: $93
  • Austin-Bergstrom Airport (AUS) to Austin City - Arrival Private Transfer: $93
  • Private Airport and Hotel Transfer Services in Austin: $86
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport One Way Transfer: $69
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Austin Bergstrom Airport AUS: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer to Austin Bergstrom Airport AUS: $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

Also for San Diego, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego City by Business Car: $71
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego by Executive SUV: $85
  • Arrival and Departure Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70
  • Departure Private Transfer San Diego to San Diego Airport SAN in Business Car: $63
  • Private Airport Transfer San Deigo Arrival And Departure: $67
  • Private Airport Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70
  • Private Airport Transfer: San Diego International Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $46
  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Diego to San Diego Int. Airport (SAN): $35
  • Private Arrival Transfer from SAN San Diego Airport to San Diego City: $49
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Diego Airport SAN: $48
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Diego to SAN San Diego Airport: $46
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $48

Is it cheaper to fly into Austin or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego and Austin change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Austin typically cost an average of $22 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Sightseeing expenses in San Diego, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $38 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Austin $22
    San Diego $38
Typical Entertainment prices in Austin

Here are a few typical costs in Austin for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Austin Duck Tour
    $31

Tours and Activities in Austin

Here are a few actual costs in Austin for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 48-Hour Austin Hop-On Hop-Off Blue Line City Tour: $45
  • Austin Biker Gang E-Bike Adventure: $62
  • Austin Capital Photo Tour: $21
  • Austin City Landmarks and Taco Tour by Bike: $97
  • Austin Digital Private Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $11
  • Austin E-Bike Tour: $69
  • Austin Electric Bike Tour: Let it Ride: $71
  • Austin Electric Minibike Adventure Tour: $77
  • Austin Famous Ghost and Bat Segway Tour: $59
  • Austin Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $81
  • Austin Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $33
  • Austin Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $30

Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.

  • La Jolla: Explore California's Riviera on a self-guided audio tour: $5.40
  • San Diego Zoo Hunt: Roar with Rex Adventure at the San Diego Zoo: $12
  • San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter Historic True Crime Tour: $16
  • San Diego Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • San Diego Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • San Diego Gaslamp District Ghost Tour: $24
  • San Diego Harbor Cruise: $28
  • Harbor Cruise: $28
  • Tijuana Walking Tour from San Diego: $28
  • Off the grid Christian tour.: $28
  • Old Town Scavenger Hunt, Walking Tour: $29

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Austin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $23 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In San Diego, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $17.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Austin $23
    San Diego $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Austin

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Austin:

  • Austin Bar Hunt: Sixth Street Spree: Austin Bar Crawl: $12
  • More than a Pub Crawl: $24
  • Haunted Austin Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Tours through East Austin via Motorized Pedicab: $40
  • Austin Pedicab Brewery Tour with Beer Flights Included Option: $46
  • The Brew Bus: Austin Brewery Tour with Live Band: $81
  • Half-Day Craft Beer and Brewery Tour: $82
  • Private Texas Hill Country Half-Day Wine Tour from Austin: $140
  • Texas Hill Country Wine Tour by Limousine: $175
  • Customizable Austin Distillery and Brewery Tour: $206
  • Half-Day Brewery and Craft Beer Tour in Austin with Tastings: $240

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting: $15
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $85
  • San Diego Micro Brewery Tour: $91
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $95
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $101
  • Private San Diego Brewery Tour: $107
  • All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck: $189
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.: $249
  • Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego: $475


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Austin and San Diego, we can see that San Diego is more expensive. And not only is Austin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Austin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Austin and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in San Diego would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Diego than you might in Austin.

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Austin vs. San Diego Travel Comparison

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