A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Tampa vs. Houston for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tampa or Houston?

Should I visit Tampa or Houston? 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.

Tampa

On the north shore of Tampa Bay, across the water from Saint Peterburg, is the city of Tampa. The city has a population of almost 350,000. The metropolitan area includes Tampa, St. Peterburg, and Clearwater. It has about 2.9 million residents and is the second largest metropolitan area in the state. The city is a popular destination for outdoor activities and in 2008 it was ranked the 5th best outdoor city by Forbes.

Houston

The largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the United States, Houston is a sprawling urban center that has grown from its wealth in the oil industry. Visitors today are drawn to its cultural diversity which has additionally made Houston a foodie destination. Other attractions to Houston include its proximity to NASA's Space Center Houston on the Gulf coast, and its Downtown which features a vibrant museum and arts scene, shopping, and dining.

Which city is cheaper, Houston or Tampa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa is $119, while the average daily cost in Houston is $210. 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 Tampa and Houston in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $120 in Tampa For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $226 for a double occupancy room in Houston.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tampa $60
    Houston $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $120
    Houston $226

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Tampa cost around $35 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $14.

The average traveler spends about $28 per day in Houston 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
    Tampa $35
    Houston $28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Houston.

  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $65
  • Culinary Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $67
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $74
  • The Heights Food Tour: $74

Local Transportation

Tampa'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 $38 per person, per day on transportation in Tampa.

The average price of local transportation around Houston is $58 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $38
    Houston $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Tampa: $61
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Tampa to Tampa International Airport (TPA): $44
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Tampa Airport (TPA): $32
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Tampa Airport (TPA): $28
  • Private Tampa Area to Orlando Area Transfer up to 11 One Price Mercedes Sprinter: $300
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $113
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $113
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Hotel to Airport or Cruise Port: $113
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Anna Maria Island: $120
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Bradenton: $110
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Land O' Lakes Florida: $60
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Sarasota: $120

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $47
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston Downtown to George Bush Airport: $47
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $47
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston City Center to George Bush Airport: $47
  • Transfer from William P. Hobby Airport to Houston: $75
  • Transfer from George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Houston: $100
  • Sprinter Van IAH Transfer to Galveston: $462
  • Sprinter Van Airport Transfer in Houston: $320
  • Sedan Airport Transfer in Houston: $100
  • Sedan Airport Transfer IAH to Galveston: $256
  • SUV Airport Transfer to Galveston: $299
  • SUV Airport Transfer in Houston: $147

Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston and Tampa 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 Tampa can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Houston's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $11 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tampa $15
    Houston $11

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket: $26
  • Tampa Celebrity Homes Boat Tour: $30
  • Tampa History Cruise: $31
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • VIP Ghost Hunters Tour Semi Private: $35
  • Skip the Line: ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket: $45
  • Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour: $59
  • 2-hour Tiki Boat BYOB Cruise in Tampa: $60
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $63
  • Tampa Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $70
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket: $110
  • Nature Lovers Combo Tour: $136

Tours and Activities in Houston

Here are a few actual costs in Houston for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1-Day Houston City Tour ( Houston departure ) (HU1): $60
  • 1-Day Mexico Gulf+NASA Tour (Houston departure) (X1): $60
  • 2-Day Austin+San Antonio Tour (Huston departure)(HS2): $198
  • 2-Days New Orleans Tour (Houston departure)(HN2): $238
  • 3D Printer Factory Tour plus 2 ft Tall Rocket!: $31
  • 7-Day Texas Tour ( Houston departure ) ( APH7 ): $788
  • Astroville Light Rail Train Tour of Houston with Tunnel Access: $40
  • Astroville Rockets Basketball Game Day Tour with Tunnel Access: $36
  • Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston: $26
  • Astroville Weekend Downtown Houston Tour With Tunnel Access: $35
  • Audi R8 Supercar Experience at Grandsport Speedway: $435
  • Best City Tour 2 hours: $51

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Tampa spend on average $20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Houston may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tampa $20
    Houston $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tampa:

  • Tampa Bar Hunt: Tampa Takeover Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Tampa Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - Ybor City: $26
  • Private Tampa Brewery Tour - Party Bus: $600

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

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

  • Skip the Line: Distillery Tour Ticket: $21
  • Haunted Houston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $29
  • Brewery Tour: $53
  • Astroville Downtown Bar Crawl & Tunnel Access (2 Cocktails Beverages Included): $58
  • Bar Crawl with Tunnel Access and 2 Cocktails: $67
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70
  • SUV St. Arnold Brewery Tour: $487


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

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Tampa vs. Houston Travel Comparison

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