Travel Budget for Santa Barbara Visit Santa Barbara on a Budget or Travel in Style

Santa Barbara, California, United States of America

How much does it cost to travel to Santa Barbara?

You should plan to spend around $162 per day on your vacation in Santa Barbara. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $46 on meals
  • $42 on local transportation
  • $177 on hotels

A one week trip to Santa Barbara for two people costs, on average, $2,274. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

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 - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Santa Barbara cost?

A one week trip to Santa Barbara usually costs around $1,137 for one person and $2,274 for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Santa Barbara on average costs around $2,274 for one person and $4,548 for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per 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 will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Santa Barbara on average costs around $4,872 for one person and $9,745 for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently to Santa Barbara has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is Santa Barbara expensive to visit?

Prices in Santa Barbara are reasonable and comparable to your average travel destination. Hotels, food, and sightseeing are generally within normal price ranges.

Within North America, which is known to be an expensive region, Santa Barbara is a moderately priced destination compared to other places. The overall cost of travel here is fair for the region and comparable to Grand Teton National Park or Roanoke.

For more details, and to find out if it's within your travel budget, see Is Santa Barbara Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Santa Barbara?

The average Santa Barbara trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Santa Barbara travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) $177
Local Transportation 1 $42
Food 2 $46
Entertainment 1 $27
Alcohol 2 $6 - 18
Accommodation Budget in Santa Barbara
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Santa Barbara is $88. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Santa Barbara is $177. This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Hotel Prices in Santa Barbara

Looking for a hotel in Santa Barbara? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.


Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in Santa Barbara based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $253. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

Transportation Budget in Santa Barbara
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Santa Barbara is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $42 per person, per day, on local transportation in Santa Barbara.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Recommended Services

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

Rental Cars in Santa Barbara
The price of renting a car in Santa Barbara will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.

Food Budget in Santa Barbara
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Santa Barbara can vary, the average cost of food in Santa Barbara is $46 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Santa Barbara should cost around $19 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.

  • Food2 Meals for one day


Entertainment Budget in Santa Barbara
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Santa Barbara typically cost an average of $27 per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Recommended Activities

Alcohol Budget in Santa Barbara
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $12 on alcoholic beverages in Santa Barbara per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day


What did other people spend on Alcohol in Santa Barbara?

Typical prices for Alcohol in Santa Barbara are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in Santa Barbara, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.

  • Camping

Santa Barbara On a Budget
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 this area, especially if you're visiting as a day trip for one day in Santa Barbara from L.A. or elsewhere. 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.

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?

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.

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. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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