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Here's how much that top 10 vacation will cost you

POSTED: September 28, 2017 9:10 a.m.
Herb Scribner/

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If you’re hoping to get away sometime soon, you might want to consider the finances of a worthwhile trip.

Research shows that more than half of Americans don’t use their vacation time. In fact, 54 percent of workers in 2016 ended the year without using all of their time off, which meant that 662 million vacation days went unused, according to Fortune.

But that number is actually a slight improvement from 2015, when 55 percent of employees didn’t use their vacation days. And the average number of vacation days used by employees in 2016 (16.8) jumped from 16.2 the previous year.

"Overall Americans are using more vacation days," Katie Denis, senior director of Project Time Off, told Fortune. "There's been a slight uptick.”

So, if you’re one of those Americans searching for a vacation, where should you go?

Here’s a quick breakdown of the top 10 vacation spots (according to the Travel Channel) and how much they’d cost a family of four.

A little context on our methodology:

  • For flights, we selected the most affordable price to help those families watching their finances. Plane tickets were based on two adults and two children (0 to 11 years old).

  • We based the tour fares on the rates in those specific locations.

  • Hotel prices were for a five-night stay. We selected the lowest-priced hotel based on those with 3-star ratings. Not the best hotel available, but certainly affordable ones.

  • Car rentals can vary on price, model and distance traveled. It also depends on insurance and what company you rent from. We selected the lowest-priced cars that could hold three-to-five passengers and three to four bags. We based this price on a five-day rental.

  • For bus tours, we selected the lowest price, which was for a day-long tour of each of the cities.

  • We based all prices on a weekday to find the lowest prices, too.

  • These prices don't factor in expenses like food, activities or other scenic tours. They also don’t account for taxes, fees and other added costs.

  • The cities below are ranked by total cost of the trip.
You can also visit this Deseret News list for more destinations.

1. Paris — $8,682

It’s a pricey venture to visit the city of love. Airfare will cost you nearly $7,000 alone, and hotel expenses will creep near the $2,000 mark. Make sure you plan ahead before venturing to the famous French city.

2. Rome — $6,431

Just think about this — the entire Rome trip is cheaper than the airfare to Paris. So at least you’ll be saving money there. The car rental is where you’ll really save a dime, spending only $58 for five days.

3. London — $5,324

London is a moderately priced trip for a family of four. The bus tour is relatively pricey for a day’s journey, but you’ll see much of the city. Hotel prices aren’t bad either, considering you’ll be in one of Europe’s premier cities.

4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina — $3,616

As fall and winter approach, it’ll certainly cost more to visit Southern states, especially hot spots like Myrtle Beach. Right now, it costs more to fly to Myrtle Beach than New York City. In Myrtle Beach, boat tours are more common than bus tours. The Waccamaw River tour would cost roughly $80 for a family, which is a nice alternative.

5. Branson, Missouri — $3,383

Branson is home to the Ozark trails, an attractive spot for Utahns looking to go on a hike outside the Beehive State. It’ll cost nearly $3,000 to fly there right now, and a pretty penny to rent a car (the place is probably used to visitors who want a scenic drive). Like Myrtle Beach, bus tours aren't common in Branson. However, there's a popular "Ride the Ducks" boat tour. This would cost $82 for a family of four.

6. New York City — $2,583

The bulk of expenses for a New York City trip come from the airfare, which is nearly $2,000 for a family of four. Hotel prices vary, but about $600 for five nights isn’t bad.

7. Cancun, Mexico — $1,832

It’s not too costly to visit the country south of the border. The airfare is the most expensive part. Mexico's car rental prices are inexpensive (about $5 for an entire week). However, you may be paying more than what online websites would have you think. According to The Huffington Post, renting the car can be less than $20. But Mexico requires travelers to buy basic insurance that can be at least $20 per day. Make sure you check with your insurance company before making this trip to see how much you'll have to pay.

8. San Francisco — $1,796

Utahns will benefit from a San Francisco trip, since it’s so close to the Beehive State. Airfare for a family is only $752 (it’s even cheaper if you drive). Hotels will cost more than the flight, but it’s San Francisco. What do you expect?

9. Miami — $1,701

Miami is a deal right now. Part of this might be because of adverse weather that’s affected the region, with airplane tickets prices hovering around $308. Hotels and car rentals can also be cheap based on what you’re looking for.

10. Orlando — $1,618

Your entire trip to Orlando costs less than the airfare to New York City. Not a bad deal. Of course, these prices don’t account for a Walt Disney World vacation, which can cost nearly $5,000 on its own.
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