The Midwest of the United States is a welcoming place for travellers and potential expats. Those who are familiar with travelling the United States may already know that travelling and living on the coasts are costly and can be too expensive. In contrast, the middle of the U.S. can be warm, friendly and inexpensive. The most famous city in the Midwest U.S. would be Kansas City, Missouri, a city famous for its Barbeque sauce and cheap city living.
Kansas City features fewer hostels and more hotels, motels and inns. Apartments and rooms for rent are available for those looking to stay 6 months or more, but can be available for shorter amounts of time for those who plan to study abroad or pursue work abroad. Well-organized grocery stores are on every corner, and all kinds of food are available nearly 24 hours a day.
The cost of housing in Kansas City
The cost of housing in Kansas City is inexpensive compared to its sister cities. You can find hotels, motels and inns in abundance, however there are a handful of small hostels, shelters and some guesthouses available.
- Guesthouses: $9 - $25 per night
- Guesthouses aren’t easily found in Kansas City. From the handful of guesthouses located in Kansas City, only two of them offer a monthly rate of $2,020 per month. This price includes all utilities and many generous amenities, such as free breakfast, coffee and tea. Guesthouses are usually furnished.
- Hostels: $31 - $50 per night
- Hostels are also hard to come by in Kansas City. For those seeking shelter within a hostel, expect a small shared room and restrictions such as “women or couples only”. Hostels can run about $1,500 per month and are furnished.
- Bed & Breakfasts and Inns: $60 - $130 per night
- Bed & Breakfasts in Kansas City are usually much cheaper than inns. A typical Bed & Breakfast can cost a mere $60 per night and include a buffet style breakfast. Inns are more expensive depending on the room and its amenities. Expect to pay $1,800 - $3,500 per month.
- Hotels & Motels: $40 - $259 per night
- Motels in Kansas City are cheaper than Hotels in Kansas City. Motels can cost $40 - $60 a night, or $500 - $1,800 per month.
- Hotels can cost $1,200 - $2,500 or more per month.
- Apartments: $310 - $600 per month
- Apartments in Kansas City are a great option. Apartments in downtown Kansas City can cost around $310 per month, not including utilities such as water, electricity and gas. Apartments are also unfurnished. Furnished apartments cost a little more per month, and are harder to find.
How much does food cost in Kansas City?
There are many options for purchasing food in Kansas City. Buying groceries in Kansas City for a single person can cost anywhere form $40 - $160 per month depending on your taste. Fast food, which is available on every street corner, will cost about $5 - $10 per meal. Restaurants will cost $10 - $20 per meal, or for a slightly higher standard of dining around, $60 - $100 per meal.
How much does transportation cost in Kansas City?
Transportation in Kansas City can be pretty cheap if you utilize the metro system. Metro buses can take you around the city for $3 a day. One way is $1.50, so it’s best to utilize the day pass. Visitor passes are $10 for three consecutive days, and monthly passes are $50.
Taxis are available starting at $10 for the first five miles, and $2 more for each additional mile.
Healthcare in Kansas City
Healthcare in America is expensive. Kansas City is no different. $30 will get you a basic physical exam at a local clinic, while $60 is the price of a basic exam through a private or family doctor. Hospital emergency rooms charge hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per visit, depending upon your emergency. There is, however, a discount offered for those who apply, but the waiting list can take up to a year to clear. Emergency dentists are also available in hospitals.
The average cost of entertainment in Kansas City
Entertainment in Kansas City is abundant. Popular concerts can cost about $60 - $120, depending on how close you like to get to the stage. Festivals are usually free, though sometimes cost about $15 per person. An exclusive nightclub is free to enter before 10pm, and after the time cut off may cost about $15 to enter. A beer can run about $3 - $7, depending on where you are drinking. Tickets to the Starlight Theatre cost about $30 per person, while seeing a movie can cost $8 per person.
Study abroad in Kansas City: The cost of education
If you've chosen Kansas City as your city for a study abroad program, you can expect to pay quite a bit of money.
Community colleges charge about $5,000 per year, or $1,200 per month for a full time student. Top universities charge about $9,600 per month, or $2,400 per month for a full time student. These prices do not include housing options.
What to expect as an expat in Kansas City
Kansas City is centered on education and entertainment. Kansas City is an IT hub, a bustling business oriented city, and because of that, free Wi-Fi is available everywhere you go. Kansas City will make any traveller or expat comfortable, even in the cheapest of hotels. If you are searching for apartments in Kansas City, dealing with individual owners and landlords, rather than a company, can be a cheaper option.