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

Should you visit Columbus or Phoenix?

Should I visit Columbus or Phoenix? 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.

Columbus

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.

Phoenix

The most populous city in the American Southwest, Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and busiest hub of activity in the general area. Geographically it is located in the Sonoran Desert, making for long hot summers and mild winters. This climate has ensured a thriving tourism industry with plenty of attractions both in and around Phoenix.

Which city is cheaper, Phoenix 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 Phoenix is $187. 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 Phoenix in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

Travelers usually pay around $226 for a double occupancy room in Phoenix If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $58
    Phoenix $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $116
    Phoenix $226

Local Transportation

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.

Phoenix'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 $28 per person, per day on transportation in Phoenix.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $40
    Phoenix $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

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

  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $87
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $87

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

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

  • Transfer from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Phoenix: $56
  • Sedan Airport One Way Transfer Phoenix to Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona or Tucson: $309
  • SUV Airport One Way Transfer Phoenix to Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona, or Tucson: $334
  • Private Transfer: Phoenix to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): $622
  • Private Transfer: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to Phoenix: $622
  • Private Phoenix Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $114
  • Private Phoenix Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $114
  • Private Phoenix International Airport Transfer to Pittsburgh: $48
  • Private Departure Transfer to Phoenix Airport (PHX): $26
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Phoenix Airport (PHX): $26
  • Private Transfer to/from Phoenix Airport (PHX): $128
  • Phoenix to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) - Departure Private Transfer: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Phoenix?

Prices for flights to both Phoenix 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.





Food

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.

In Phoenix travelers spend around $42 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Columbus $39
    Phoenix $42

Typical Food prices in Phoenix

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


  • Nice Lunch (for 2)
    $36
  • Indian Food Dinner (for 2)
    $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phoenix

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

  • Awesome French Crêpes Cooking Class: $65

Entertainment

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 Phoenix can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $32 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $37
    Phoenix $32

Tours and Activities in Columbus

For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Central Park Bike Tour: $53
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $21
  • New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour: $60
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus: $11

Tours and Activities in Phoenix

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

  • 2-Day Grand Canyon Tour from Phoenix: $539
  • 3-Day Sedona and Grand Canyon Rail Experience: $820
  • 4 Person Guided U Drive Jeep Experience: $650
  • A Day In The Old West Adventure including Horseback Ride and Cowboy Lunch: $325
  • ATV Rentals and Tours: $350
  • Apache Trail Full Day Small Group Tour: $149
  • Apache Trail and Dolly Steamboat Tour: $129
  • Awesome Instagram Tour of Phoenix: $150
  • BYOB Pedal Bar Experience In Old Town Scottsdale: $53
  • Biplane - 30 Minute Scenic Sightseeing Tour in Phoenix: $250
  • Christmas | Holiday Lights ISM Zoomtown Lights 2 Hour Tour: $320
  • Christmas | Holiday light Illuminations Symphony of lights only 2 hour Tours: $320

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Phoenix, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $13.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $16
    Phoenix $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Phoenix

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

  • Wine Tours, Airport Transportation and more!: $100
  • Custom Arizona Brewery Tour: $245
  • Scottsdale: Mountain Biking and Brewery Tour: $250
  • From Phoenix/Scottsdale: Sedona Hiking & Wine Tasting Tour: $275
  • Private Southern Arizona Wine Tour Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards: $997
  • Private Wine Tour from Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards: $1,650


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbus and Phoenix, we can see that Phoenix 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 Phoenix would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Phoenix than you might in Columbus.

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Columbus vs. Phoenix Travel Comparison

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