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AAA shows vacation costs up

Nationwide, a family of four spends $223 a day on meals and hotels. Florida is about $30 more.

By KRIS HUNDLEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 23, 2001


Hey kids, want to go to Bismarck?

If you want to save money this summer, North Dakota is the place to go, according to the AAA Auto Club South's annual survey of travelers' average food and lodging costs across the country.

Nationwide, vacation costs for a family of four are up 5 percent this year to $223 per day, the highest one-year increase in three years.

Florida ranks as the 10th most expensive state, down from ninth last year, with the average family spending $252 each day on meals and hotels. The AAA cautions that its survey does not include expenses such as theme park admissions and souvenirs.

North Dakota, by comparison, is just $167 per day. In Bismarck, a night's stay at the Radisson is less than $100, and you're only 7 miles from such sights as the Amoco Refinery. Who needs Disney World?

People with money to burn can hit the Northeast. New York, Massachusetts and tiny Rhode Island rank among the most expensive states.

Hawaii remains at the top of the list, with a daily family tab of $417.

AAA vacation cost comparisons

The most expensive states are Hawaii, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts and California. The least expensive are North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Among Southeast states, Florida is 10th, Georgia 24th and Alabama 38th. The District of Columbia is second.

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