If you just happen to be POTUS then your presidential travels from place to place for you and your presidential entourage is going to be a very expensive business. According to the video above from Wendover Productions it costs a staggering $2,614 per minute to transport Donald Trump from place to place. It's not the kind of situation on one of your US presidential travels where you want to get yourself stuck in traffic, or your flight gets delayed.
The main reason for this is security, the US president is most at risk of assassination when they're traveling around, getting out of a car and onto a plane, so he has to travel with a whole motorcade of protection.
Out of the four presidents who were killed while holding office, two of them were killed while on one of their presidential travels. James Abram Garfield was shot at a railroad station and John F Kennedy was fatally shot riding in his car with his wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis along Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
This vulnerability means that both the Secret Service, and the Marines and Air Force, have a very complex, and costly, system for moving the US president and his presidential entourage around on his presidential travels. The presidential motorcade alone has around 40 to 50 vehicles and over 100 people, and when the US president flies on Air Force One, all these people need to get planes and helicopters too. That's a lot of in-flight meals.
Breakdown Of Costs For US Presidential Travels
In the video they go into detail about the various costs and the elaborate logistics behind the presidential travel expenses. For instance traveling from the White House to the U.N. Headquarters in New York. It's a one hour trip involving a helicopter to Andrews Air Force Base, plane to JFK Airport, helicopter ride to Manhattan Heliport, then a final motorcade to the UN HQ. A relatively short trip but it costs taxpayers in the US around $156,820, which is where they get the presidential travel costs figure of $2,614 per minute for the title.
It gives you a headache just hearing how involved it all is for any presidential travels, let alone having to plan such a thing. There are so many vehicles, including motorcycles that travel ahead of the motorcade to close off exits and streets, and usher cars out the way. Local police are there too, two identical presidential limos are in the motorcade, one acting as a decoy. A car that jams electrical signals travels along and one which has a doctor on board, it's insane. This ridiculously elaborate motorcade is only used when short journeys are done though, with the Marine One helicopter used for longer ones.
As a final sum in how much it all costs for presidential travels and using some assumptions, because a lot of the information is confidential, the video estimates that the White House spends around $350 million a year—a quarter of its annual budget—on transporting the US presidents and his presidential entourage about.