Thrifty trips

3 Texas cities fly high among America's most affordable vacation spots

3 Texas cities fly high among America's most affordable vacation spots

The Emily Morgan Hotel and the Alamo san antonio
San Antonio is one of the cheapest spots on the list. Photo courtesy of The Emily Morgan Hotel

Looking for a cheap getaway in 2019? It might just be in your own state. Personal finance website GOBankingRates put San Antonio, Austin, and San Antonio on its list of the 20 Best Travel Destinations for Your Money in 2019

GOBankingRates determined the top affordable U.S. travel destinations by examining data provided by travel website Hipmunk for the average costs of flights, hotels, transportation, food, and drinks in 55 American cities. San Antonio shows up at No. 5, followed by Austin at No. 13, and Houston at No. 14.

In its ranking of San Antonio, GOBankingRates cites round-trip airfare of $338 and a per-night hotel rate of $151.

“San Antonio has some of the cheapest public transportation on this list, with the average daily cost at $16. It also has some of the cheapest beers, with the average cost of a domestic brew at $3.50. Food is also affordable, with the average meal costing $12,” GOBankingRates says.

No. 13 Austin, meanwhile, offers round-trip airfare of $322 and a per-night hotel bill of $189, GOBankingRates says.

“Once you get to Austin, it’s cheap to get around, with the average cost of public transportation per day at $8 — the lowest of any destination included on this list,” GOBankingRates notes. “While you’re there, catch a ballet, visit one of its world-class museums, go shopping, or spend the day paddling around Lady Bird Lake. And be sure to savor some of the local Tex-Mex and barbecue.”

GOBankingRates pegs the average cost of a meal in Austin at $15, and the typical cost of a domestic beer at $4.50.

At No. 14, Houston earns praise for some of the lowest airfare ($286) and per-night hotel costs ($131) in GOBankingRates’ 55-city study.

“Although Hurricane Harvey hurt the local tourism industry in 2017, the city is recovering. The city experienced more than 21 million visits in 2017 and is aiming to get 25 million annual visits by 2020,” GOBankingRates says.

Houston recently was named by two national magazines as one of the world's best places to travel in 2019.