Hotels, Big Macs and Starbucks coffee — these are a few of the mainstays all tourists can depend on.
When traveling to popular U.S. cities like Los Angeles, Miami and New York, prices for things like fast food and movie tickets tend to vary. Some people swear that a Starbucks drink in one city costs way more in another city — but is that true?
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To a certain extent, popular items do tend to cost more, depending on where you are. Want to watch Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D on a whim? That'll cost about $19 in Los Angeles, but only about $15.50 in Chicago. Hungry for a quick bite at Domino's? A large pepperoni pie will be an easy $11.99 in New Orleans, but a steep $19.74 in San Francisco. And this is all before tax.
We compared the costs of recognizable brand items found in 14 major cities across the U.S. For contrast, we added in common costs for the same items in Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, the nation's poorest metropolitan area in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There are about 415,557 residents in the combined region (as of 2013), 36% of whom live below the poverty level, according to local newspaper The Brownsville Herald. Statewide across Texas, that number is only 17%.
Check out the infographic below to see how prices fluctuate throughout the states. And note, funnily enough, that Starbucks prices everywhere are nearly the same for a grande coffee before taxes (with the exception of locations in Times Square and Honoloulu — Hawaii residents get a price hike, usually due to shipping costs from the mainland Hawaii residents get a price hike, usually due to shipping costs from the mainland). The mammoth coffee chain keeps pretty standard prices in all of its locations, though there has been a recent decision to raise coffee prices, due to escalating costs of important commodities like Arabica beans.