A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. Houston for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Charleston or Houston?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Houston, 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.

Charleston

Charleston is a beautiful, southern city and seaport town in South Carolina. It has a wonderful, historic downtown area that the city government works hard to maintain. Located on a peninsula that is created by two rivers, the city is a stunning setting with much character. It is a popular place to visit for its culture, architecture and cuisine. In recent years Charleston has gained popularity and it continues to grow as both a regional and international travel destination. With its rising popularity comes increasing costs. Travel costs continue to go up as restaurants and hotels raise their prices, particularly during the peak travel season and holiday periods.

Houston

The largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States, Houston is a sprawling urban center that has grown from its wealth in the oil industry. Visitors today are drawn to its cultural diversity which has additionally made Houston a foodie destination. Other attractions to Houston include its proximity to NASA's Space Center Houston on the Gulf coast, and its Downtown which features a vibrant museum and arts scene, shopping, and dining.

Which city is cheaper, Houston or Charleston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $136, while the average daily cost in Houston is $210. 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 Charleston and Houston in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Charleston is about $144 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $226 for a double occupancy room in Houston.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Houston $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Houston $226

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Charleston cost around $46 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $18.

The average traveler spends about $28 per day in Houston 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Charleston $46
    Houston $28
Typical Food prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise & Live Music: $66
  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $65
  • Culinary Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $67
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $74
  • The Heights Food Tour: $74

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Charleston.

The average price of local transportation around Houston is $58 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $26
    Houston $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU: $36
  • Private Airport Transfer: Houston to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): $44
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston George Bush Airport IAH: $44
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $47
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston Downtown to George Bush Airport: $47
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $47
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston City Center to George Bush Airport: $47
  • Private Airport Transfer: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Houston: $52
  • Private Arrival Transfer from IAH Airport to Johnson Space Center: $61
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by Sedan Car: $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston and Charleston 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Charleston. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Houston's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $11 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Houston $11
Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

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


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

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

  • Charleston's Haunted Ghost Tour - Smart Phone Guided Tour: $5.00
  • Charleston Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $16
  • Charleston's French Quarter Guided Walking Tour: $20
  • Shem Creek Culture Tour: $20
  • Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide: $21
  • Charleston's Pleasing Terrors Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour: $21
  • Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Charleston Historical Walking Tour: $22
  • Charleston French Quarter Historic Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston: $22
  • Small-Group Tour: Charleston Old Walled City Historical Walking Tour: $23

Tours and Activities in Houston

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

  • Ultimate Houston Self-Driving Audio Tour: $8.00
  • Haunted Houston Ghost Walking Tour (All Ages): $21
  • Space Center Houston Admission Ticket: $25
  • Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston: $26
  • Houston Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $30
  • 3D Printer Factory Tour plus 2 ft Tall Rocket!: $31
  • Houston's Official Hop on-Hop off Tour: $32
  • Houston Hop on-City Tour: 2-Day Pass: $35
  • Hop-on Houston City Tour: $35
  • Astroville Weekend Downtown Houston Tour With Tunnel Access: $35
  • Astroville Rockets Basketball Game Day Tour with Tunnel Access: $36
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $37

Alcohol

The average person spends about $28 on alcoholic beverages in Charleston per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Houston may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $28
    Houston $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Charleston:

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

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

  • Skip the Line: Distillery Tour Ticket: $21
  • Haunted Houston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $29
  • Brewery Tour: $53
  • Astroville Downtown Bar Crawl & Tunnel Access (2 Cocktails Beverages Included): $58
  • Bar Crawl with Tunnel Access and 2 Cocktails: $67
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70
  • SUV St. Arnold Brewery Tour: $487


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Charleston and Houston, we can see that Houston is more expensive. And not only is Charleston much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Charleston would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Charleston 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 Houston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Houston than you might in Charleston.

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Charleston vs. Houston Travel Comparison

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