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

Should you visit Phoenix or San Diego?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Phoenix and San Diego can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

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.

San Diego

For many visitors and locals alike, San Diego is a paradise. Located in southern California, not far from Los Angeles, it has the perfect climate, wonderful beaches, and a culturally rich environment. It's surrounded by beautiful landscape and has a strong focus on wildlife conservation and eco-friendly living. Home to about 1.3 million residents, it is California's second largest city. It also has many universities, a large tech industry, and a thriving economy. Despite its size, many people perceive San Diego as a slower, more relaxed city with a pleasant vibe away from the chaos of a large city.

Which city is cheaper, San Diego or Phoenix?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phoenix is $114, while the average daily cost in San Diego is $161. 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 Phoenix and San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $92 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.

For a normal double-occupancy room in San Diego, $182 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Diego, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $91, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phoenix $46
    San Diego $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phoenix $92
    San Diego $182

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.

The price of a meal in San Diego can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $36 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Phoenix $42
    San Diego $36
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

Typical Food prices in San Diego

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


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • San Diego North Park Food Tour: $49
  • Liberty Station Food Tour: $49
  • Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico: $89
  • Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego: $96
  • Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef: $100
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $111
  • Dinner Cruise: $117
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego: $129
  • Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Local Transportation

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 $16 per person, per day on transportation in Phoenix.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in San Diego than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $19 on transportation in San Diego on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phoenix $16
    San Diego $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

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

  • Private Transfer: Phoenix to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): $622
  • Private Transfer: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to Phoenix: $622
  • SUV Airport One Way Transfer Phoenix to Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona, or Tucson: $334
  • Sedan Airport One Way Transfer Phoenix to Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona or Tucson: $309
  • Airport VAN Phoenix One Way Transfer Scottsdale Address: $213
  • Airport VAN Phoenix One Way Transfer Phoenix Address: $213
  • Phoenix Round Trip Private Airport-Hotel Transfer: $176
  • Phoenix Airport Transfers : Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $131
  • Phoenix Airport Transfers : Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury Van: $131
  • Airport SUV Phoenix One Way Transfer Scottsdale Address: $121
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $119
  • Private Phoenix Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $114

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Private transfer: San Diego to San Diego Airport (SAN): $622
  • Private transfer: San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $622
  • San Diego Private Transfer To N. Hollywood/Burbank area.: $398
  • Tijuana Border Crossing Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $398
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Palm Springs.: $398
  • Private Transfer from San Diego to Hollywood Burbank: $397
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $389
  • San Diego to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $357
  • San Diego to Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - Departure Private Transfer: $342
  • Private Transfer From San Diego To Orange County.: $298
  • Private San Diego Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $192
  • Private San Diego Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $128

Is it cheaper to fly into Phoenix or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego and Phoenix 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Phoenix can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $29 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing expenses in San Diego, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $38 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phoenix $29
    San Diego $38

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: $139
  • Apache Trail Small Group Tour with Canyon Lake Cruise: $165
  • 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

Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • 1-Hour Voodoo Escape Room Experience in San Diego: $35
  • 1Hr GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $63
  • 2 Hour Whale Watching Kayak Tour for Two: $77
  • 4 Hour Whale Watching/Eco Adventure: $163
  • 90-Minute San Diego SEAL Tour: $42
  • Affordable, Luxury Sailing Tour of San Diego's Bay and Coastal Waterways: $112
  • All Day San Diego City and Shopping Tour: $95
  • All Inclusive Beer Tour-Party bus: $169
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past: $69
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 12 Guests: $1,200
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 6 Guests: $600

Alcohol

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In San Diego, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $17.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phoenix $13
    San Diego $17

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
  • Private Southern Arizona Wine Tour Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards: $997
  • Private Wine Tour from Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards: $1,650

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting: $15
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $85
  • San Diego Micro Brewery Tour: $91
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $95
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $101
  • Private San Diego Brewery Tour: $107
  • All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck: $189
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.: $249
  • Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego: $475


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Phoenix and San Diego, we can see that San Diego is more expensive. And not only is Phoenix much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Phoenix would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Phoenix 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 San Diego would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Diego than you might in Phoenix.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Phoenix vs. San Diego Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.