Wednesday, October 1, 2014

See the leaves? Or watch your nickels?

The website TripAdvisor  last week released results of a survey comparing prices for a twosome visiting 15 popular U.S. leaf-peeping destinations for a two-night weekend stay.

And Asheville came close to being most expensive.

Their TripIndex Fall Foliage report combines the costs of a B&B, a tank of gas, a meal, and apple picking to arrive at the results.

The results:

Lenox, Mass -- $684.75
Asheville  -- $638.75
Camden, Maine -- $570.22
Gatlinburg, Tenn. -- $568.35
Columbus, Ohio -- $504.51
North Conway, N.H. -- $501.33
Stowe, Vt. -- $486.16
Lake Placid, N.Y. -- $486.11
Leavenworth, Wash. -- $476.89
Luray, Va. -- $469.71
Gettysburg, Pa. -- $459.28
Traverse City, Mich. -- $448.88
Lake Geneva, Wis. -- $422.07
Lake Tahoe, Calif. -- $399.31
Ashland, Ore. -- $391.15

The results are interesting... but ultimately with little meaning.

One problem is in the details: What B&Bs and eateries were included? When was the data collected? In other words, how authoritative are these findings?

More important is actionability: How likely you are to go somewhere else on this list based on these price differences?

The bottom line is this: How much driving do you really want to do to get to a place you want to see?

And if you have enough cash to fly somewhere for a leaf-peeping weekend, the cash differences listed in these rankings are pretty much pocket change.