Should you visit Orlando or Columbus?
Should I visit Orlando or Columbus? 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.
Orlando is a haven for tourists from the entire United States and abroad. The most famous sight in Orlando, Walt Disney World, is not actually located in the city at all, but in nearby Lake Buena Vista. The area attracts over 50 million visitors a year and the city's sprawling development has created amenities and entertainment options for tourists of all ages.
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.
Which city is cheaper, Columbus or Orlando?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Orlando is $240, while the average daily cost in Columbus is $126. 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 Orlando and Columbus in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $224 in Orlando For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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 price of a meal in Orlando can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $50 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $20 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 $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.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Orlando
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Orlando:
Lunch for Two at Epcot
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Orlando
For Orlando, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, Orlando:
The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show:
Mango's Tropical Cafe Dinner & Show Tickets:
Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando Dinner and Show Ticket:
The Rock Dinner Show in Orlando:
Food Tour of Celebration:
Pirates Dinner Adventure Orlando:
Downtown Food Tour:
WonderWorks and Outta Control Dinner Show VIP Combo:
Audubon Park Garden District Food Tour:
Cowboy Rodeo Adventure Tour & BBQ Dinner from Orlando:
Dinner with Disney Characters by Limousine:
To get around in Orlando, the average visitor spends $48 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.
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.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Orlando
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Orlando are as follows:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Orlando
Also for Orlando, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Universal/North I-Drive Hotels to Orlando Airport Private Transfer:
Universal Studios to Cruise Port Canaveral. Private Transfer Up to 10 pax:
Universal Studios Resorts to Orlando Airport MCO. Private Transfer Up to 10 pax:
Universal Studios Resort to Cruise Port Canaveral. Private Transfer up to 4 pax:
Transfer to / from Miami Area and Ports:
Transfer in private vehicle from Orlando downtown to Orlando Airport:
Transfer in private vehicle from Orlando Airport to Orlando downtown:
Transfer in private minivan from Orlando downtown to Orlando Airport:
Transfer in private minivan from Orlando Airport to Orlando downtown:
Transfer from Orlando to Cape Canaveral/Cruises/Cocoa Beach:
Transfer from Orlando International Airport to Orlando:
Transfer from Orlando International Airport to Central Florida:
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:
Is it cheaper to fly into Orlando or Columbus?
Prices for flights to both Columbus and Orlando 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 Orlando, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $163 per person, per day.
In Columbus, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
Typical Entertainment prices in Orlando
For Orlando, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Tours and Activities in Orlando
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Orlando.
1-Hour Airboat Sunset Tour (Seasonal):
1-Hour Private Ski Boat Experience in Florida:
2-Park 1-Day Universal Orlando™ Theme Park Tickets:
2-Park 2-Day Universal Orlando™ Theme Park Tickets:
8-Hour Automatic Polaris Slingshot SL Adventure Rental:
A Walk Around Lake Eola Audio Tour:
Central Florida Everglades Airboat Tour from Orlando:
Central Florida Everglades and Safari Park Tour:
Chef Nite Dining Experience:
City Tour of Orlando with Gospel Brunch:
Clearwater Beach Deep Sea Fishing Adventure with Lunch:
Clearwater Beach Pirate Cruise Adventure with Lunch:
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:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Orlando, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $24.
Typically, people visiting Columbus spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Sample the Local Flavors in Orlando
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Orlando:
Florida Craft Beer & Brewery Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Orlando and Columbus, we can see that Orlando 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 Orlando would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Orlando than you might in Columbus.
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