Surveys name Boston as the third most expensive city in the continental USA for tourists (after San Francisco and New York City).
The main culprit is hotel prices, but other travel expenses—restaurant meals, parking, attractions, etc.—are up there as well. (I regularly visit Paris, France for FranceTravelPlanner.com, and I find prices there delightfully lower than Boston's...)
But Boston is not all of New England, so a New England vacation need not break your budget. Besides, there are ways to enjoy even the pleasures of Boston at discounted prices.
You must also be aware of the tyranny of taxes and tips. More...
Here are some general budget guidelines for daily costs, per person. These costs assume two people are traveling together, sharing lodging and, in the case of a rental car, transportation:
Stay in hostels and camping areas, travel by bus, make your own picnics at least once a day, and choose value-for-money fast
food, and you can travel New England for $90 to $150 per person per day. More...
$125 to $175
Choose suburban motels and B&B guest houses near (but not in) the expensive cities and resort areas, visit cities on weekends and resorts from Sunday through Thursday, rent a car for a week or more (using your own car insurance, not the rental company's), choose restaurant
meals carefully, have the occasional picnic, and you can travel for $120 to $175 per person, per day.
Comfort Travel: $175 to $300
On this budget, you can stay in city-center hotels and country inns, dine in good (but not deluxe) restaurants some days, travel by comfortable rental car, and spend from $175 to $300 per person, per day.
Luxury Travel: $300+
Living among the 1%, there's no limit to what you can spend on the top hotels, inns, resorts, cars and flights, and the best restaurants. (At Vermont's exclusive Twin Farms Resort and Spa, room prices are around $2,000 per night.)
You can travel in New England by public transportation: intercity buses, trains, ferryboats and flights, but public transportation in the USA is not as widespread or as efficient as in some other countries, such as in Europe. In the USA, the car is king, and only a car gives you the freedom to move quickly and directly along your chosen itinerary. If you don't have your own car in the USA, you'll probably want to rent one. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan