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Top 10 Travel Destinations (and What It Costs to Live There)

Trip Advisor has put out its list of the top 25 travel destinations in the US and, while looking through the list, I realized maybe the reason they’re such popular places to visit is because the average family can’t actually afford to live in them. Now when I say ‘average family’ I mean the average family size of 3.14 people per household according to the 201o census. When I refer to an average home, I’m also going off the 2010 census evaluation of a single family residence being an average of 2,392 square feet. Many of us live in a lot less space with a lot more people, while others live in a lot more space with fewer people, but for the sake of this article we’re going with census averages. Okay? Okay.

So what might it cost to live downtown in some of the most popular tourist and travel destinations in the United States in a 2,500 square foot single family residence? Here’s a look at the top ten.

  • To Visit New York 1 of 20
    york

    New York is one of my favorite places to visit (also the most expensive). There isn't anywhere else like it, but I could never live there (for reasons beyond the expense).

    New York City Average Hotel Cost: $281

  • To Live in New York 2 of 20
    new york

    This 2,700 sq. ft. 5 bed/4 bath home on New York's Upper West Side will only run you $3.4 million dollars.

    No big deal.

    Chump change, really.

  • To Visit San Francisco 3 of 20
    san fra

    I love you San Francisco -so much to see, so much to eat, so much to do. It can be expensive and stressful to get around (THE HILLS!), but well worth the journey.

    San Francisco Average Hotel Cost: $158

  • To Live in San Francisco 4 of 20
    san fran

    This 4 bedroom 3.5 bath 2,600 sq. ft. home in San Francisco is only $1,350,000.

    Bonus? 3 car garage, New York didn't have a 3 car garage.

  • To Visit Chicago 5 of 20
    chic

    If you like big cities but don't love the big expense of New York, Chicago is the place for you. Walkable, good public transit, and plenty to see, eat and do. (My favorite hotel is Hotel Allegro.)

    Chicago Average Hotel Cost: $119

  • To Live in Chicago 6 of 20
    chicago

    Great news! This 3 bedroom 2 bath 2,500 square foot penthouse in Chicago has just been reduced! Only $895,000.

    It sure is pretty. I could manage living here.

     

     

  • To Visit Las Vegas 7 of 20
    vegas-1

    Sure, the hotels are cheap, but that's because the average gambling budget is $585. Have to keep the rooms cheap so you spend all your money in the casinos.

    Vegas is not my place.

    Las Vegas Average Hotel Cost: Average Hotel Cost: $59

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  • To Live in Las Vegas 8 of 20
    Vegas

    This 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,500 sq. foot home in Las Vegas, Nevada will run you $224,900. Not bad! I mean, if you don't mind oppressive heat with nary a seasonal change in sight.

  • To Visit Orlando 9 of 20
    orlando-1

    Where you feel the hurt in Orlando is at the attractions, staying at them (as well as admission into them) can be pricey. Another place where lodging has to remain low to keep the money flowing.

    Orlando Average Hotel Cost: $96

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  • To Live in Orlando 10 of 20
    orlando

    This 4 bedroom, 2 bath 2,500 sq. ft. home in Orlando is quite the bargain, at only $74,900 you could afford to go to the beach every weekend. The bad news is the sale is pending. Our loss.

  • To Visit DC 11 of 20
    wash

    History is ALL OVER Washington. There is SO MUCH to see in such a small area, and all of it is fascinating. (I also like to play "which tourist is actually a secret service agent?" while on the Mall.)

    Washington DC Average Hotel Cost: $140

  • To Live in DC 12 of 20
    DC

    This 4 bedroom 3.5 bath 2,500 square foot townhome will run you $1,299,00, without a garage.

     

     

  • To Visit Boston 13 of 20
    boston-1

    Boston and I have yet to get together, but it's on my list. It's certainly one of the more expensive cities to visit, but I hear it's worth it for the chowder and fall colors.

    Boston Average Hotel Cost: $155

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  • To Live in Boston 14 of 20
    boston

    This is it. I'll take this one. This 2,550 sq. ft. 3 bedroom 2.5 bath home in Boston. LOOK AT HOW PRETTY IT IS. I mean, ignore the $2,999,999 price tag and just enjoy how lovely it is.

  • To Visit Los Angeles 15 of 20
    LA-1

    LA is also not my place. While New York may be busy and expensive, I can at least walk around or take public transportation to get around. This is not really an option in LA. Traffic is everywhere and traffic is terrible. Driving in LA will push your patience to the edge. (It is always sunny and warm though!)

    I really like the Culver Hotel.

    Los Angeles Average Hotel Cost: $116

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  • To Live in Los Angeles 16 of 20
    LA

    4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2,500 square feet, the smell of Hollywood and the all the traffic LA can muster for only $1,699,00.

  • To Visit Honolulu 17 of 20
    hono

    Hawaii is pretty! But you can lose a day of your life and a couple of mortgage payments getting there. (It's worth it though, at least once.)

    Honolulu Average Hotel Cost: $159

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  • To Live in Honolulu 18 of 20
    honolulu

    This one overlooks the beach from its own private island. 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath and 2,500 square feet. You can have my $697,000 Hawaii, who cares that a gallon of milk is $6. THE BEACH.

  • To Visit New Orleans 19 of 20
    nola-1

    My husband really wants to go to New Orleans. I really want to eat my way through New Orleans. Someday we'll make it. Beignets for everyone!

    New Orleans Average Hotel Cost: $132

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  • To Live in New Orleans 20 of 20
    nola

    7 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in 2,500 square feet for $425,00? Those have got to be some tiny bedrooms. The real estate in New Orleans varies the most, with some rundown wooden houses for $40K and some elaborate mansions (the same size) for over a million.

Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.

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