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

Should you visit Boston or San Diego?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Boston and San Diego. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Boston

Boston is one of the oldest and most historic cities in New England. It is also the capital of the state of Massachusetts and the largest city in the region. The city proper covers 48 square miles and has a population of more than 600,000. The Greater Boston area has 4.5 million people and is the tenth largest metropolitan area in the country.

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 Boston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Boston is $203, 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 Boston and San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $264 for a double occupancy room in Boston.

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
    Boston $132
    San Diego $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boston $264
    San Diego $182

Food

In Boston travelers spend around $40 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

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
    Boston $40
    San Diego $36

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boston

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

  • Boston North End Pizza Tour: $49
  • Historic Taverns and Pizza Tour: $49
  • Boston's North End "Little Italy" Pizza, Cannoli, and Freedom Trail Walking Tour: $49
  • Haunted Pizza Tour: $66
  • Italian Food Tour with Pizza, Meats, Cheese, & Bread: $69
  • Boston's North End Small-Group Walking Food Tour: $71
  • Fenway Neighborhood Food Tour (Boston): $79
  • Boston Buffet Dinner Cruise: $99
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Boston North End: $103
  • Spirit of Boston Sunset Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $105
  • Boston Dinner Cruise On The Odyssey: $111
  • Boston Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $118

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
  • 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 Boston is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $28 per person, per day, on local transportation in Boston.

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.
    Boston $28
    San Diego $19
Typical Local Transportation prices in Boston

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Boston are as follows:


  • Taxi
    $35
  • Subway Daily Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Boston:

  • Private transfer: Boston to Boston Airport (BOS): $622
  • Private transfer: Boston Airport (BOS) to Boston: $622
  • Boston’s Logan International Airport to Providence - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $361
  • Boston Airport Transfer Arrival And Departure: $340
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $181
  • Boston’s Logan International Airport to Providence – Arrival Private Transfer: $180
  • Boston Airport Private Sedan Transfer: $143
  • Boston Logan Airport (BOS) to Boston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $142
  • Round trip transfer in private vehicle from Boston city -to Boston Airport (BOS): $138
  • Private Boston Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $136
  • Private Boston Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $136
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Boston (hotel OR airport pick-up): $132

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Diego to San Diego Int. Airport (SAN): $35
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Diego to SAN San Diego Airport: $46
  • Private Airport Transfer: San Diego International Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $46
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Diego Airport SAN: $48
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $48
  • Private Arrival Transfer from SAN San Diego Airport to San Diego City: $49
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • San Diego hotel/address to San Diego Airport (SAN) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Transfer from San Diego International Airport to San Diego: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer San Diego to San Diego Airport SAN in Business Car: $63
  • Private 1-Way Private Airport Transfer: $66
  • Private Airport Transfer San Deigo Arrival And Departure: $67

Is it cheaper to fly into Boston or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego and Boston 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 Boston typically cost an average of $26 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.
    Boston $26
    San Diego $38
Typical Entertainment prices in Boston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Boston are as follows:


  • Two Tickets to Celtics Game
    $101
  • Duck Tour
    $32

Tours and Activities in Boston

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Boston are as follows:

  • 2-Day Trip Philadelphia City Tour from Boston: $519
  • 3-Hour Guided Boston Trolley Tour: $40
  • 6-Day Economy East Coast Tour ( Boston Departure) ( BOAP6E): $448
  • 6-Day Economy East Coast Tour (Boston departure)(BO6E): $448
  • 6-Day Tour East Coast Tour ( Boston Departure) ( BOAP6D): $560
  • 6-Day Tour East Coast Tour (Boston Departure)(BO6): $560
  • 6-Day U.S East Coast Tour (Boston departure) BO6U: $560
  • 7-Days Tour US east coast and Canada tour (Boston Departure) (BO7C): $706
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: Boston Harbor: $44
  • Beer Tour: $80
  • Best of Boston Tour - Private Safe Tour: $185
  • Boston 90-Minute Historic Sightseeing Cruise: $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
  • Ghosts of San Diego Walking Tour: $25
  • Skip-the-Line: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket: $26
  • San Diego Harbor Cruise: $28
  • Tijuana Walking Tour from San Diego: $28
  • Off the grid Christian tour.: $28

For more ideas for your next trip, check out Free Things to Do in Boston, Must-See Monuments and Memorials In Boston, and The Best Things To Do in Boston with Kids.


Alcohol

The average person spends about $22 on alcoholic beverages in Boston per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

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
    Boston $22
    San Diego $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Boston

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:

  • Haunted Boston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Historic Pub Crawl Tour along the Freedom Trail: $40
  • Craft Brewery Beer Tour: $82
  • Sip of Boston Guided Brewery Tour: $90
  • North End Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • Back Bay Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • South End Wine Tasting Tour: $96

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 Boston and San Diego, we can see that Boston is more expensive. And not only is San Diego much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Diego would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Diego 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 Boston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Boston than you might in San Diego.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Boston vs. San Diego Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.