What Does A Miami Trip Cost? Here’s What We Actually Spent

Pink sidewalk on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach - Miami trip cost

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Are you planning a glitzy weekend in South Beach, but wondering whether the price tag is a little too luxurious? Miami is certainly not known for frugality; after all, it tends to draw rich and beautiful people looking to flaunt their money and physique. To help you ballpark potential expenses, I am sharing my actual Miami trip cost from a weekend getaway a few years back.

If I’m being honest, Miami Beach is not the first destination I would suggest to budget travelers. Your money will go much further elsewhere. That said, maybe you are curious about what Miami Beach is actually like and want to do some people watching. Or maybe (like us) you are spending a couple days in Miami before driving south to Key West.

Whatever your goals are, my below trip cost summary will help shed some light on what a weekend stay in Miami would cost. I will also provide an explanation of each expense, so you can understand exactly where all the numbers are coming from. Let the number crunching begin!


Here is my actual Miami Trip Cost (in USD):

Summary of Miami Trip Cost line items

The above shows our actual expenses paid for a weekend in Miami Beach. Our budget was not on a shoestring, but was not luxurious either.

As this was one of the first big trips Aaron and I planned together after our wedding, we had very little experience with budgeting for travel. Therefore, our expenses are pretty all over the place! In those instances, I will note what we’d probably do instead if we were to take this trip again today.

Travel Savvy Tip

Don’t look at this budget as a lump sum! That’s the quickest way to get intimidated and assume Miami is unattainable. The truth is, you won’t pay the full amount at once. For example, we bought our flights and lodging in October and then paid nothing else until May.

As the trip gets closer, you’ll start looking at tours you may want to do, as well as make restaurant reservations. When you get back home from your trip, you’ll pay off any remaining vacay expenses you’ve incurred.

Breaking it into chunks like this is a much more approachable way to afford the cost of a trip to Miami!


Miami Trip Cost Breakdown

Flight

Aerial view of Miami Beach strip from plane

$559.40

Miami and Key West was one of the first big trips Aaron and I planned together as a married couple. At the time, I was an avid Expedia user, which is where I found our roundtrip flights from Cleveland to Miami. Taking a road trip through the Florida Keys had been a dream of mine for a long time, so Miami became one of the first destinations I crossed off my bucket list, after Charleston, South Carolina.

Our flight out of Cleveland was on Delta and had one layover in Detroit. However, we were able to book a direct return flight on American Airlines. From Cleveland, I usually try to find direct flights whenever possible, as they are normally cheaper and overall more efficient.

I should also note that we paid for these flights before ever applying for our first travel credit card. Today, we could easily have gotten these flights for free using points.

Solo travelers should budget around $250 total for airfare; everyone should read the below tips to avoid overpaying for flights:

  • Be flexible with your travel days, as weekend flights can be more expensive. Play around with searching different departure and arrival days, and you’ll be amazed what a difference that can make.
  • Travel during shoulder season (May through December), when there is an overall drop in prices.
  • Last but not least, the tip that has helped me the most: Sign up for a credit card with travel rewards points. We’ve gotten countless free flights thanks to our cards, simply due to points earned on every day purchases. We’ve had great experiences using both the Capital One Venture and the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Transportation

$100

Okay you caught me – this expense is partially an estimate because we paid for some of our taxis in cash. However, I can tell you that getting from Miami International Airport (MIA) to our hotel in South Beach cost $40.25.

A rental car is not necessary to get around Miami, and it’s also not advisable with heavy traffic and the cost of parking. Most places are walkable or can be reached via taxi or Uber.

Solo travelers would spend about the same as the above, assuming they used a taxi roundtrip about three times.


Lodging

Pool view from balcony at the Savoy Boutique Hotel - Miami Trip Cost
View of pool from room at the Savoy Boutique Hotel

$744.69

When booking our Miami Beach trip, it felt very important to book a hotel located right on the water. We wanted to have easy beach access from our room.

As we had booked our flights on Expedia, the website subsequently gave us a special offer for 30% off our hotel stay. We took advantage of this when booking three nights at the Savoy Boutique Hotel, and were also pleasantly surprised to have a room upgrade upon arrival.

For being a modern oceanfront hotel with a swimming pool, as well as being located in the center of the action, we found our stay at the Savoy to be a great value!

Solo travelers would spend about the same amount for a similar hotel room in late spring. This total could be even less for a smaller room, since one person wouldn’t need as much space.


Groceries

$3.95

While I don’t exactly remember what this expense was, it was likely for bottled water. Miami Beach is HOT at the end of May.

Solo travelers should budget around $20 for groceries for incidental items like water and sunscreen.


Food & Drink

Smoothie bowl in colorful blue dish covered in granola and banana slices
Smoothie bowl at Under the Mango Tree

$756.78

Aaron and I used to have a habit (fine, it was mostly me) of never eating actual meals and filling up on snacks and appetizers all day long instead. Combine that with purchasing drinks each time, and this can add up real fast.

The funny thing is, we were actually attempting restraint in Miami. When comparing what we spent in Miami Beach vs. Key West, things look quite different!

Here is the bulk of what the above food and drink total includes:

  • $102.07 for seafood at Joe’s Stone Crab
  • $63.72 at Under the Mango Tree. We came here three times for delicious smoothie bowls.
  • $217.48 for a fancy date night at Pied a Terre. Unfortunately, it appears that this restaurant is now permanently closed.
  • $87 at Doraku Sushi (so worth it!). Yet again, however, this restaurant has since closed 🙁
  • $95.86 at Finnegan’s Way, which was our spot for watching Cavs playoff games

Solo travelers should budget around $200 for food and drinks. I personally do not drink much (if at all) when traveling alone, which really keeps costs down.


Activities

Pink buildings in Miami's Little Havana Neighborhood - Miami trip cost
Espanola Way in Miami Beach

$0

We spent most of our time at the beach or walking around/people watching at bars. This was enough for us, especially since we were spending most of our money eating and drinking (easy to do in Miami).

Honestly, I might go back to Miami for a day just to do this Little Havana Food Tour. That’s definitely a neighborhood I wish we had explored more!


Miami Trip Cost: Miscellaneous Expenses

Collins Ave shopping street in Miami Beach
  • Shopping: $9.30 This amount is definitely on the cheap considering what you could potentially spend shopping in Miami. Collins Avenue is lined with luxurious shops that beckon you to let your credit card run wild.
  • Pet Boarding: $175 For a weekend trip, you may be able to find a friend or family member to watch any pets you have for free. Since that was not possible for us, Aaron and I paid to board our dog in a “luxury suite” at his vet office.

• • •

Now you have a general idea of what a weekend trip to Miami costs. My husband and I tried not to go too big on spending during this trip, but that can be tricky to do in this expensive city. Just remember – people watching is super good in Miami Beach and totally free of cost!

Wondering what a trip to Miami might cost?  If travel to Miami is in your future, this guide will give you an idea of what a Miami weekend itinerary actually costs.  Centered on South Beach, this is what we actually spent on food, things to do, and our hotel.  Contains essential tips for saving money and what is worth the splurge.
Wondering what a trip to Miami might cost? If travel to Miami is in your future, this guide will give you an idea of what a Miami weekend itinerary actually costs. Centered on South Beach, this is what we actually spent on food, things to do, and our hotel. Contains essential tips for saving money and what is worth the splurge.

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