Wonder how much your next vacation is going to cost? Figures released by the U.S. General Services Administration may give you a rough idea. Each year, the GSA sets limits on how much federal employees traveling on business can spend on lodging, meals and incidentals, such as tips, basing their estimates on costs at midrange accommodations and restaurants. For more on the GSA's per diem rates, read a recent Travel column on estimating travel costs. Based on the GSA's numbers, here are the 20 most expensive cities included in the survey.* Many are among the nation's top tourist destinations, including New York City and San Francisco. Others are cities leisure travelers could probably skip. If you're traveling to one of these destinations, do your research to get the best deals on hotel rooms and meals. Also consider traveling during the low tourist season. Consult our budget travel page for more tips. The cost averages listed below are for one person and one meal per day. --Jason La, Los Angeles Times *Figures are taken from the GSA's estimates for the 2011 fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, for destinations most commonly visited by federal employees. For cities with costs broken down by season, the average was taken. Daily rates are given for each city.
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