Travel Budget for Santa Barbara

California, United States of America

How much does it cost to travel to Santa Barbara?

How much money will you need for your trip to Santa Barbara? You should plan to spend around $130 per day on your vacation in Santa Barbara, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $37 on meals for one day and $33 on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Santa Barbara for a couple is $141. So, a trip to Santa Barbara for two people for one week costs on average $1,819. All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - Learn more about these numbers.
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A vacation to Santa Barbara for one week usually costs around $910 for one person. So, a trip to Santa Barbara for two people costs around $1,819 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs $3,638 in Santa Barbara. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Santa Barbara can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

How expensive is Santa Barbara?

How much does a trip to Santa Barbara cost? Is Santa Barbara expensive? The average Santa Barbara trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these Santa Barbara prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

While meal prices in Santa Barbara can vary, the average cost of food in Santa Barbara is $37 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Santa Barbara should cost around $15 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Santa Barbara is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

The cost of a taxi ride in Santa Barbara is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $33 per person, per day, on local transportation in Santa Barbara.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
  • Food2 Meals for one day
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
Flights to Santa Barbara

How much does it cost to go to Santa Barbara? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend SkyScanner because they can find the best deals across all of the airlines.

How much money do I need for Santa Barbara?

Typical travel prices in Santa Barbara are listed below. These actual costs can give you an idea of the price of travel in Santa Barbara. Please keep in mind that the cost of travel in Santa Barbara can vary depending on your specific style of travel.

  • Camping
Typical tour prices for Santa Barbara

How much do tours to Santa Barbara cost? Multi-day tours can often be an effecient way to see the highlights of a country or region.

  • Intrepid Small group tours for everyone
    14 days
    $ 2030
  • Contiki Tours for 18-35 year olds
    14 days
    $ 2375
  • G Adventures Adventure and cultural tours
    12 days
    $ 2025
  • Trafalgar Award-winning tours
    9 days
    $ 2800
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Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara The Santa Barbara Courthouse
Santa Barbara is located in California, less than 100 miles from Los Angeles. It sits between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, giving it a stunning backdrop. The town has a population of just 90,000 but it still offers visitors many cultural, culinary, and shopping experiences that surpass many large cities. There are wide beaches along a beautiful coastline, impressive wineries, and many top rated restaurants. Many people see Santa Barbara as a hangout for the rich and famous, but with a university and diverse population, the city is much more relatable than you might expect, although travel prices here are still somewhat high.

Santa Barbara's climate is Mediterranean. Its location along the coast means that the ocean breeze keeps the temperatures moderate with warm winters and cool summers. The winter months may experience storms with heavy rainfall and summers are drier. Snow may cover the Santa Ynez Mountains, but almost never falls in the city itself.
Many people visit Santa Barbara for its beautiful coastline and Mediterranean vibe. Simply exploring the city and soaking up the atmosphere and pleasant weather is the best way to experience the city. If you're looking for specific things to do in Santa Barbara, then popular options include the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, the Santa Barbara Mission, Stearns Wharf, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Botanic Garden, the Contemporary Arts Forum, and Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Gallery. Popular museums include the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Art, the Historical Museum, and Karpeles Museum.
There are a variety of neighborhoods in Santa Barbara, each with its own character. The Mesa is the area from Santa Barbara City College to Arroyo Burro County Beach. It has a beach vibe and is a pleasant place to explore. Mission Canyon is a wooded and hilly area around the Old Mission. It is a popular starting point for hiking. The Riviera is the hillside that faces the ocean and resembles a Mediterranean coastal town. The Westside is in the lowlands between State Street and the Mesa and is where you'll find Santa Barbara City College. The Eastside is to the east of State Street to the base of the Riviera. The Waterfront has the majority of the tourist businesses along Cabrillo Blvd. Lower State Street is also popular with tourists for its thriving nightlife and many festivals. Upper State Street is a residential and commerical area. San Roque is northwest of downtown and Samarkand is a residential area.

There are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy in and around Santa Barbara. The beaches are excellent places to relax and take in the natural beauty. Golf, hiking, surfing, paragliding, and kayaking are all popular sports. Food tours, wine tours, and walking tours in the area are also available.
Food and Dining
Mexican food is ubiquitous in Santa Barbara. There are also a range of styles and restaurant types throughout the city. Many top chefs have opened restaurants in the area so fine dining is easy to find with unique and well executed dishes. Many restaurants use local and fresh ingredients that make dining in Santa Barbara truly an experience.

Budget dining options around town include taquerias, cafes, sandwich shops, and pizza. If you're willing to spend a little more then you can enjoy excellent seafood, sushi, or French cuisine. Wine is also excellent in the area and should be enjoyed whenever possible.

Santa Barbara Car Rental Prices
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Most people drive to Santa Barbara. It's relatively easy to drive around town and there is free parking available in many areas outside of the downtown. Even in the downtown area you can often find free parking for the first hour. It's possible to rent a car from either Budget or Hertz, both of which have rental shops at the airport (compare car rental prices here).

There are buses that run throughout the city and connect it to the neighborhing cities of Goleta, Montecito and Carpinteria. The main Transit Center is 8 blocks from the Amtrak train station. There is also a shuttle bus that runs along State Street between downtown Sola St and Stearns Wharf, and along the waterfront between the harbor and the zoo. It leaves every quarter or half hour between 9 am and 6 pm (later on summer weekends).

It's possible to rent a bike from many of the shops along the waterfront. You can pick up a bike map at the Santa Barbara visitor center and there is a beach side bike path that many visitors enjoy. Rickshaw taxis are also common.


Looking for a party hostel in Las Vegas or San Diego? Traveling alone to NYC or LA? Want a budget hostel in San Francisco?

Train and Bus Prices
The best prices for buses and trains in United States of America can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

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Santa Barbara Travel Cost - Average Price of a Vacation to Santa Barbara: Food & Meal Budget, Daily & Weekly Expenses |
Travel Tips


By Bryan in Entertainment
The central area of Santa Barbara is easy to walk around, especially on State Street, the main shopping corridor. Many restaurants, museums, and other sites such as the Old Mission are within walking distance of the central area. If you're into shopping, this is the place to visit. A walk along the nearby waterfront harbor is also nice. Check out some of the seaside restaurants for great seafood, too.

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