7 Notoriously Expensive Destinations (and How to Go for Cheap)

by , SmarterTravel Staff
(Photo: suvodeb via flickr/CC Attribution)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on January 6, 2014. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Caroline Costello, destination, London, New York City, Norway, San Francisco, Switzerland, Sydney, Tokyo.

(Photo: suvodeb via flickr/CC Attribution)

The idea of traveling to certain sophisticated, opulent, or far-flung destinations may incite concerns about exorbitant hotel costs and $15 pints of beer. It's true: Some cities and countries are predominantly more expensive to visit than others. But don't let that stop you. There are ways to stretch your dollars even in places where a high cost of living or an unfavorable exchange rate threaten a well-planned budget. Here are some tips and tricks for stretching your dollars, pounds, and yen in seven notoriously pricey places around the world.


New York, New York

The prohibitive cost of accommodations in New York City is often the number-one financial factor that discourages visitors. The average daily room rate in the Big Apple in 2012 was $281, according to

How to Save: Two words: vacation rentals. Do a search on Airbnb or our sister site FlipKey, and you'll find rooms or apartments for far cheaper than the average going hotel rates. You'll probably get more space, too. For example, we found an entire one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, available for $178 per night for a weekend in April.

Don't say we didn't warn you, though: Some of the properties listed for New York may be illegal. Zoning laws or leases may forbid short-term rentals; tenants will often just ignore the rules and rent anyway. Rent at your own risk. If you're not comfortable with the renting situation, a good bet is finding an off-season bargain on accommodations.

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