Should you visit Columbus or Arlington?
Should I visit Columbus or Arlington? 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.
The capital city of Ohio, Columbus sits at the meeting point of America's Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Plains. It is also home of Ohio State University, which is a major financial and economic force in the city. You'll likely need a car to navigate the city, although there is a bus system, COTA, which can take you to some of Columbus' highlights.
Located just across the Potomac River from Washington DC, capital of the United States, Arlington is a city that also has many government sites and monuments that commemorate the nation's past. Two of its most famous features include Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon-the largest office building in the world.
Which city is cheaper, Arlington or Columbus?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $126, while the average daily cost in Arlington is $211. 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 Columbus and Arlington in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $116 in Columbus For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
The prices for places to stay in Arlington can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $105, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $210.
The average traveler spends about $39 per day in Columbus 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 in Arlington costs travelers about $64 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
To get around in Columbus, the average visitor spends $40 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Arlington's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $39 per person, per day on transportation in Arlington.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus
Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arlington
Also for Arlington, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Washington, DC: Private Airport Transfer: To or From: (DCA) Reagan National:
Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) to Washington - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) to Washington - Arrival Private Transfer:
Washington Airport Transfers: National Airport DCA to Washington in Luxury Van:
Washington Airport Transfers: National Airport DCA to Washington in Luxury SUV:
Washington Airport Transfers: National Airport DCA to Washington in Luxury Car:
Washington Airport Transfers: National Airport DCA to Washington in Business Car:
Washington - Ronald Reagan National Airport One Way Transfer:
Transfer in private minivan from Washington Ronald Reagan Airport to City:
Transfer in private car from Washington Ronald Reagan Airport to Washington City:
Round trip transfer in private minivan from-to Ronald R Airport in Washington DC:
Round trip transfer in private car from-to Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Arlington?
Prices for flights to both Arlington and Columbus 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.
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Arlington can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $8.50 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Columbus
For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus:
Tours and Activities in Arlington
For Arlington, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
4 Hours Private Chauffeured DC Sight Seeing Tour / SUV & Sedan:
Arlington Cemetery & American History Museum Guided Combo Tour - Private Tour:
Arlington Cemetery & American History Museum Guided Tour - 8ppl Max:
Arlington Cemetery Private Tour:
Arlington National Cemetery Guided Walking Tour:
Arlington National Cemetery Guided Walking Tour - 8ppl Max:
Arlington National Cemetery Guided Walking Tour - Private Tour:
Arlington National Cemetery Hop-On Hop-Off Tour:
Arlington National Cemetery Private Walking Tour:
Stuck at the Airport Washington DC Tour:
Tasting & Tour:
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Arlington spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbus and Arlington, we can see that Arlington is more expensive. And not only is Columbus much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbus would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbus 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 Arlington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arlington than you might in Columbus.
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