mythical American family of four will spend an average of $269.44 a
day for lodging and meals this summer, a 3.7% increase over last
summer's average, according to AAA's Annual Vacation Costs survey.
according to AAA, was driven by a 7.9% rise in lodging rates. Meal
costs actually dropped 1.3%, AAA said.
But the average price
won't get vacationers into the most popular destinations. The hot
spots, as always, will cost a little more: as much as $583.66 a day for Honolulu, the most
expensive city in the survey. New York, at $523.62, was the only
other city to break the $500-per-day barrier.
A look at the five
most expensive cities shows that the averages mask some variations
in lodging and food prices. For example, Miami's average hotel cost
is more than $100 above that of San Diego, but San Diego's meal
costs are higher than any other city save New York.
abound. Jacksonville, Fla., for example, ranks 17th among the top
cities for hotel costs, but 41st in meal costs.
Comparison data for
2006 is not available, because this is the first year that AAA's
survey has included average prices for a broad selection of cities.
The survey has traditionally focused on states.
statewide data also suggests that prices are rising faster in
Hawaii than elsewhere. Hawaii's statewide total of $650.51 a day,
for example, represents a 17.5% increase, but Florida and
California, with average daily costs of about $320, each showed
only single-digit increases. Average costs for New York state, by
contrast, dropped a percentage point to $326.42.
AAA has been tracking
family vacation costs since 1950, when the national average daily
cost for meals and lodging was $13 for a family of four.