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

Should you visit Columbia or Houston?

Should I visit Columbia or Houston? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Columbia

Both the largest and capital city of South Carolina, Columbia is literally the center of everything. Geographically it is located in the middle of the state, and it is the home to the University of South Carolina, the Army's Fort Jackson, as well as a variety of museums that celebrate the city's art, history, and culture.

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 Columbia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbia is $0.00, 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 Columbia and Houston in more detail.



Accommodation

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
    Columbia -
    Houston $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbia $0.00
    Houston $226

Food

The price of a meal in Columbia can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $4.02 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $1.61 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

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
    Columbia $4.02
    Houston $28

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

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.
    Columbia -
    Houston $58

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 Columbia or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston and Columbia 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

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.
    Columbia -
    Houston $11

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 $70 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia 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
    Columbia $70
    Houston $11

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 Columbia and Houston, we can see that Houston is more expensive. And not only is Columbia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbia 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 Columbia.

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Columbia vs. Houston Travel Comparison

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