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

Should you visit San Diego or Salt Lake City?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Diego and Salt Lake City. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

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.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the capital city of Utah and one of the largest cities in the southwest region of the US. Salt Lake sits on the border between the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin regions, making it the perfect place for outdoor activities. The city's natural beauty and resources even became the focal point for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake experiences all four seasons, with the most popular times to visit being summer and winter. Summer, June-August, sees little rain and temperatures in the high 80's Fahrenheit. Winter, December-March, has temperatures in the 30's Fahrenheit and gets the perfect amount of snow for winter sports.

Which city is cheaper, Salt Lake City or San Diego?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Diego is $161, while the average daily cost in Salt Lake City is $197. 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 San Diego and Salt Lake City in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $190 in Salt Lake City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Diego $91
    Salt Lake City $95
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Diego $182
    Salt Lake City $190

Food

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.

The average traveler spends about $40 per day in Salt Lake City 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 Meals for one day
    San Diego $36
    Salt Lake City $40
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

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.

Salt Lake City'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 $36 per person, per day on transportation in Salt Lake City.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Diego $19
    Salt Lake City $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Transfer from San Diego International Airport to San Diego: $62
  • Tijuana Border Crossing Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $398
  • Private 1-Way Private Airport Transfer: $66
  • San Diego to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $357
  • San Diego to Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - Departure Private Transfer: $342
  • San Diego hotel/address to San Diego Airport (SAN) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Palm Springs.: $398
  • San Diego Private Transfer To N. Hollywood/Burbank area.: $398
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $389
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego hotel/address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $119
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • Private transfer: San Diego to San Diego Airport (SAN): $622

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salt Lake City

Also for Salt Lake City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Park City: $199
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $154
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City - Arrival Private Transfer: $77
  • Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) - Departure Private Transfer: $77
  • Arrival Private Transfer Salt Lake City Airport SLC to City by Sedan or SUV: $76
  • Departure Private Transfer City to Salt Lake City Airport SLC by Sedan or SUV: $68
  • Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport to Salt Lake City: $62
  • Salt Lake City International Airport One Way Transfer: $48
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36

Is it cheaper to fly into San Diego or Salt Lake City?

Prices for flights to both Salt Lake City and San Diego 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 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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Salt Lake City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Diego $38
    Salt Lake City $22
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

Tours and Activities in Salt Lake City

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

  • 3-Hour Guided Tour in Park City or Midway and Heber Areas: $513
  • 4-Day Small Group Tour: Yellowstone and Tetons Camping from Salt Lake City: $695
  • 4-Day Yellowstone and Grand Teton Park Winter Tour for Small Private Group: $1,880
  • 4-Day Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park Private Tour: $1,116
  • 5 Day Yellowstone and Grand Teton Winter Tour - Private Small Group Tour: $2,309
  • 5-Day Utah All-Inclusive Tour from Salt Lake City: $2,256
  • 5-Day Utah Mighty 5 National Parks Limousine Tour from Salt Lake City: $2,500
  • Best of Salt Lake City Including Great Salt Lake Sightseeing Tour: $192
  • Best of Salt Lake City Sightseeing Tour: $125
  • From Private Bryce Canyon National Park Tour: $300
  • From Private Canyonlands Off-Road Tour: $300
  • From Private Capitol Reef National Park Tour: $300

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 San Diego, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $17.

Typically, people visiting Salt Lake City spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Diego $17
    Salt Lake City $14

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Salt Lake City

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Salt Lake City:

  • Salt Lake City Bar Hunt: Salt Lake City Bar Crawl: $12


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

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San Diego vs. Salt Lake City Travel Comparison

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