How Much Spending Money To Take To Miami (2023)

The city of Miami is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. Home to incredible beaches, luxury resorts and delicious food making it incredibly easy to overspend (I speak from experience). With that being said, how much money do you really need when going to this attraction-packed city?

We spent $125 per adult, per day during our most recent three day trip to Miami. This included; transport, food, drinks, attraction tickets and miscellaneous spending (think band-aids & souvenirs). However, this number doesn’t include our flights and accommodation.

Of course, this is just an average. If you’re happy lounging on the beaches drinking soft drinks and eating take-out food you’ll likely spend less. While partying at beach bars, dining at one of the many Michelin restaurants or renting a yacht for the day will likely result in you spending more.

Factors To Consider When Deciding On Your Miami Spending Money

There are a handful of factors that can significantly impact how much you spend while visiting Miami;

  • Duration of your trip
  • Domestic or international travel
  • Car hire or public transport
  • Staying somewhere with a kitchen or kitchenette
  • Number of people you’re travelling with
  • Type of holiday (once in a lifetime or semi-regular summer vacation)

We’d recommend visiting Miami for between five and seven days. We spent three days in the city during our first visit earlier this year and found it sadly wasn’t long enough.

Things To Budget For In Miami

Whether you’re travelling to Miami solo, as a couple or on a family vacation, there are five key categories you’ll need to consider budgeting for;

  1. Transport
  2. Accommodation
  3. Attractions
  4. Food & Drink
  5. Miscellaneous

I’ve gone ahead and broken this post down into each of these five categories to help you understand the costs (and ways to save) for each.

Travel

There are two types of travel you’re going to want to consider for your Miami vacation;

  • Getting to Miami
  • Getting around Miami

Since we’re discussing spending money, I’ve gone ahead and assumed you’ve got ‘getting to Miami‘ covered and instead now need to consider the costs involved with getting around the city. Because while the neighbourhoods within Miami are typically very walkable, you’ll still ways of getting between them. With that being said, there are three ways you can opt to travel around Miami;

  • Driving
  • Uber / Lyft
  • Public Transport

Public transport in the city is limited, especially outside of the Downtown and Brickell area. Subsequently, most visitors to Miami are left deciding between getting a rental car or rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft.

Best Place To Rent A Car In Miami

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Given the limited parking, and associated costs we found it to be cheaper and easier to use rideshare services and only opted to rent a car when driving from Miami up to the city of Orlando.

If like us, you’re staying in Miami prior to a cruise then consider staying in a hotel that offers a shuttle to the Port of Miami.

Accommodation

Miami boasts an array of accommodation options for visitors to choose from with everything from budget motels to luxury resorts available. If you’re not planning on renting a car while in the city then you’ll want to be strategic about the area you stay in given your limited flexibility.

However, if you hire a car then you may want to look for accommodation options with either complimentary or affordable parking given the high associated cost.

In our case, given that we were travelling with our 18-month-old little boy, we wanted to be by the beach and subsequently chose to stay at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. This four-star hotel benefits from a beach-front location and an array of amenities and facilities for guests to enjoy including private cabanas and on-site restaurants.

Attractions

The city of Miami benefits from an extensive range of attractions for guests to enjoy during their visit and this is where your budget can begin to expand at a significant rate.

While plenty of attractions in the city are free, such as visiting the beach, or affordable, such as visiting the Miami Children’s Museum, there are some attractions that can be on the expensive side, such as renting a yacht for the day.

We spent the following as two adults and one child visiting these attractions during our trip to Miami;

  • South Beach – $0
  • Miami Children’s Museum – $72
  • Wynwood Walls – $24
  • Little Havana – $0

We did spend money on food in Little Havana, although that’s in the food section. In hindsight, we really wish we’d budgeted for a tour around this area to enhance our experience.

Personally, for us this was more of a beach break between our international flight to the US from the UK and our cruise out of the Port of Miami and subsequently, while we explored the city, we didn’t do as much as we may have done had the trip to Miami itself been the vacation.

Food & Drink

Much like the cost of attractions, the amount you spend on food and drink while in Miami can have a significant impact on your budget. One person can easily spend $20 a day while another can spend $200.

As such it’s up to you to understand what sort of dining experiences you’re looking to have during your trip. In our case, this is a small take-out breakfast (usually a coffee and pastry), combined with a casual lunch in a café finished with either a restaurant meal, bite at a fast-food location or DoorDash depending on what we’ve been doing that day.

Given this, we spent $498 on food and drink while in Miami. That’s based on two adults and one child, although the child is 18 months and therefore we don’t order him a meal and he usually just ‘eats off our plate’.

This works out at around $250 per person for three days or $84 per person, per day. Which in our case makes food and drink our largest ‘spending money’ expense.

Miscellaneous

Finally, there are miscellaneous things you’ll either want to or need to spend your money on during your trip to Miami. Prior to travelling with a child, this category was often a small $5 or $10 a day.

However, we now find that the list of things we spend our money on during trips is getting increasingly extensive, and our most recent trip to Miami was no different. Some of the most common miscellanious spending we have includes;

  • Airport magazines
  • Tips at restaurants, hotels etc.
  • First aid
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Laundry fees
  • Hiring pushchairs & wheelchairs

Miscellaneous expenses are tough to plan for in advance. However, we’ve experienced something along the lines of everything mentioned above at least once during a trip in the last 12 months.

As a general rule, we find that it’s always worth budgeting $10 per person, per day for these miscellaneous expenses. We rarely spend $100 in this category as a family of three, even on trips as long as two weeks. However, it’s always nice knowing we’ve budgeted accordingly should we need to rent a stroller or do some emergency laundry.

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