Should you visit Columbus or Virginia Beach?
Should I visit Columbus or Virginia Beach? 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.
Virginia Beach sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. It's a popular beach destination and has many of the characteristics of most southeastern beach towns. There are many activities that you can enjoy and there's a concrete boardwalk that runs parallel to the water for about three miles. The boardwalk is a fun place to walk or bicycle. The beach itself is wide and sandy and is a great place to soak up some sun. During the summer months and school holidays it can get quite crowded and you might struggle to find a place for your towel and beach chairs. There are also many beach side resorts that line the water front. Most have pools and hot tubs where you can relax and some hotels have indoor pools as well, which can be nice during the cool winter months.
Which city is cheaper, Virginia Beach 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 Virginia Beach is $104. 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 Virginia Beach 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 Virginia Beach can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $60, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $120.
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Virginia Beach than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $31 on transportation in Virginia Beach on average per day.
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:
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer:
Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer:
Typical Local Transportation prices in Virginia Beach
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Virginia Beach:
Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Virginia Beach?
Prices for flights to both Virginia Beach 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.
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 Virginia Beach costs travelers about $25 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
Virginia Beach $25
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
Sightseeing expenses in Virginia Beach, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $17 per day, per person.
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:
Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket:
New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour:
Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus:
Tours and Activities in Virginia Beach
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Virginia Beach.
All-Inclusive, Autumn Weekend Tour for GROUPS of 10-16:
RIDE ALONG GREEK GODS & AQUATISM *Certified Tours*:
Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour:
Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours:
Sunset Stand Up Paddleboard Tour of Linkhorn Bay:
Tour of Virginia Beach (half day), for GROUPS of 10-16:
Tour of Virginia Beach, for GROUPS of 10-16:
Haunted Walking Ghost Tour:
Wetland Zip Tour:
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 Virginia Beach, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $8.51.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbus and Virginia Beach, we can see that Columbus is more expensive. And not only is Virginia Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Virginia Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Virginia Beach 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 Columbus would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Columbus than you might in Virginia Beach.
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