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

Should you visit San Diego or Vail?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Diego and Vail. 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.

Vail

Vail is one of the premier ski resort areas in the United States. Located in central Colorado, Vail is not far from Denver and situated in the heart of the Rockies. Here you'll find a quaint mountain town designed around tourism, especially for the winter, although plenty of visitors come in the warmer months, too.

High-end hotels, condos, and other accommodation options are surrounded by shops and restaurants that are all somewhat expensive compared to other costs in the United States. Because of this, Vail is definitely not considered an “affordable” travel option for many. However, good deals can be found if you look around and do some research.

Which city is cheaper, Vail 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 Vail is $233. 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 Vail 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.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $278 in Vail For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Diego $91
    Vail $139
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Diego $182
    Vail $278

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.

Vail food costs typically run travelers around $60 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Diego $36
    Vail $60
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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Vail than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $16 on transportation in Vail on average per day.


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

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vail

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

  • Private Airport Transfer Service - Vail Hotels to Denver Int'l Airport: $600
  • Private Transfer: Vail to Denver International Airport (DEN): $576
  • Transfer in private minivan from Vail city to Denver International Airport (DEN): $291
  • Private Eagle County Airport Transfer to Vail: $210
  • Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Beaver Creek: $190
  • Private Departure Transfer to Vail Airport EGE: $128
  • Shared Transfer from Vail or Beaver Creek to Denver Downtown: $99

Is it cheaper to fly into San Diego or Vail?

Prices for flights to both Vail 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 expenses in Vail, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $106 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Diego $38
    Vail $106
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 Vail

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

  • Aspen Independence Pass Day Tour: $545
  • Blackhawk-Central City Casino Tour from Vail: $377
  • Dillon Marina & Shopping Tour: $267
  • Fall Leaves Tour from Vail: $373
  • Glenwood Adventure Park Tour: $350
  • Glenwood Hot Springs Tour: $377
  • Historic Mining Town Tour: $693
  • Listen to a Tour Guide While you Drive between Vail & Denver: $3.75
  • Vail Segway Tour from Vail Village: $89
  • 2-Hour Small-Group Guided Segway Tour: $89

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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Vail, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.83.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Diego $17
    Vail $7.83

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 Vail

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

  • Vail Valley Brewery & Wine Tour: $377
  • Palisade Wine Tour from Vail: $779


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Diego and Vail, we can see that Vail 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 Vail would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Vail than you might in San Diego.

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San Diego vs. Vail Travel Comparison

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