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

Should you visit Columbus or Tucson?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Columbus or Tucson? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Columbus or Tucson?


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. While not always famous for it's sights and attractions, visitors will be pleasantly surprised by what they find here.


Tucson, Arizona is the second largest city in the state and sits at an elevation of 2,400 feet. It's temperature is slightly milder than Phoenix and it is a pleasant place to visit. Most people arrive in the city by car, but Amtrak does travel through Tucson, as does Greyhound. The area is also served by the Tucson International Airport. Once in the city, you'll likely want to have access to a car, as the city is not very pedestrian friendly and public transportation is very much lacking. Many popular and beautiful sights are also outside of town in the surrounding desert, so having access to a vehicle is paramount if you hope to visit any of the places.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, and The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco.

Which place is cheaper, Tucson or Columbus?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $158, while the average daily cost in Tucson is $157. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbus and Tucson in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $72
    Tucson $93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $144
    Tucson $186
Compare Hotels in Columbus and Tucson

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Tucson? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Columbus

Hotels in Tucson

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Columbus Hotel Prices and Tucson Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $50
    Tucson $27

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: $66
  • Columbus Ohio (CMH) Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $180
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $133
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $66

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Tucson?

Prices for flights to both Tucson 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 Meals for one day
    Columbus $49
    Tucson $36

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $46
    Tucson $16

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

  • Columbus Blue Jackets Ice Hockey Game Ticket at Nationwide Arena: $24
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • 1-Hour Themed Escape Room Adventure & Narrative: $41
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $28
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $41
  • Trolley Pub Holiday Lights Tour in Columbus: $45
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10

Tours and Activities in Tucson

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

  • Saguaro National Park Self Guided Driving Audio Tour: $75

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $20
    Tucson $16

When comparing the travel costs between Columbus and Tucson, we can see that Columbus is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Columbus Expensive? and Is Tucson Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Columbus or Tucson?

Columbus has a larger population, and is about 42% larger than the population of Tucson. When comparing the sizes of Columbus and Tucson, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.