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Next Stop: Fargo?

John Deiner

In case you missed it, AAA announced earlier this week where you should go for vacation this summer if you want to save some money.

But first, here's where you shouldn't go.

According to an Associated Press story, "a family of two adults and two children could expect to pay an average of nearly $270 a day for food and lodging this summer." If that's your budget, stay away from Rhode Island (where for some reason you'll pay an average of $345 a day), New York ($326) and New Jersey ($324). Hawaii topped the list of expensive states ($650 a day, but we already knew that place was expensive). And in second place? The District of Columbia, at about $611 a day.

Still, prices may be high, but it's hard to imagine that DC or New York or even Jersey will be hurting for tourists this season.

And the cheapos? Tourism officials are no doubt cheering in Nebraska ($199), Iowa and Kansas ($201), and South Dakota ($204), among the bottom five. But if you really want to make your money last the longest, you'll be heading to North Dakota, where that fake family of four will spend about $187 a day.

Start your planning now. You can find everything you need at the North Dakota Tourism Division Web site -- and say hi to Paul Bunyan for me.

And on that note, does anyone actually ever plan a trip based on these sorts of surveys? Anyone trading in Boston for Bismarck?

By John Deiner |  June 1, 2007; 10:05 AM ET  | Category:  Deals , John Deiner
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What does Paul Bunyan have to do with Fargo, ND? Do you think he and Babe are there because you saw it in a movie? Wow, you guys really need to get out more and explore your own country.

Posted by: Orange Line | June 1, 2007 10:56 AM

Hmmm, should I cancel my plans to visit Charleston & Savannah this summer and go to Iowa to save some money? Nah. (Note to all the Hawkeyes out there: I'm sure it's a lovely place to visit with tons of interesting things to see and do. And yet.)

Posted by: Karen | June 1, 2007 11:44 AM

Does AAA note whether the cost of gas needed to get from Point A to anywhere in North Dakota makes up for the difference in price of a vacation there vs. the east coast, where public transportation is an option?

Posted by: BxNY | June 1, 2007 12:00 PM

Good point. I'm digging around and can't find that particular info anywhere, but I suppose if ND is more than a hundred dollars cheaper a day than, say, Jersey, you're still not going to spend as much. I guess you could ride "Babe Babe." (Yes, I'd love to visit Fargo sometime -- just haven't made it there yet.)

Posted by: John Deiner | June 1, 2007 12:32 PM

Driving there would be expensive especially from the circulation area of the post. Taking a direct flight to one of the ND airports (Fargo, Bismark and maybe Grand Forks) requires you to pay local flight costs which are higher than hub costs. Nearest hub is Minneapolis/St. Paul so you'd need a rental car and a few hours budgeted to get their. Yes I have family there.

Posted by: bluemeanies | June 1, 2007 2:05 PM

This summer I'm driving through parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas precisely because I am sick of being ignorant of the Midwest. I'm sick of never knowing where to put the Midwest states on those US fridge magnet maps for kids.

A road trip from Texas to Chicago and back (ostensibly for a Windy City blogging conference) will help me sort out at least a part of the middle of the map. The fact that they are cheaper is certainly a bonus, and I've been blessed in that I've already seen the expensive "biggies" and I'm ready for adventure elsewhere.

Short answer: yes, cost is one factor that inspires me to "think different" about where I'm going to travel.

Posted by: Sheila at Family Travel | June 2, 2007 11:07 AM

The reason Rhode Island is out of whack is that too many people from Boston, New York and Philadelphia go there and don't bat an eye at paying the prices which they pay when they're at home.

So, the locals charge what is normal to the the Carpetbaggers.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | June 7, 2007 1:39 PM

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