I think just about everyone is dreaming of getting out of their hometown for a few days this time of year, plane ticket prices be damned. Luckily for us, WalletHub has ranked 50 US cities for vacationing this summer, and their listing was heavily based on affordability.
To determine their list, WalletHub took a look at TripAdvisor and Fly.com to seek out the most popular vacation destinations of the summer, and combined that with Census Bureau data to find the largest metropolitan areas in the country. Then, they analyzed flights on Kayak.com for the month of July (the most popular time for summer travel), looking for quality departure points, affordable and quick travel routes, and logistically and financially accessible destinations. In each major city, they broke down round-trip flights to popular vacation spots by cost, duration and number of connections. Apparently, when it comes to getting out of town, the airport you’re planning to depart from can make or break whether you can afford the trip. Some cities have a much better track record than others of offering quick and affordable flights — and it’s not always so easy to see which cities are doing best in this category without a little digging!
For both international and domestic destinations, the best cities to depart from are Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, Charlotte and Philadelphia. If any of these cities are closest to your hometown, you’re in luck. The rest of us with not-so-awesome departure points will have to get a bit more creative to find the best deal on a flight.
The #1 most accessible destination, in terms of affordability and logistics, is Orlando, FL. I’m not sure why that surprised me at first — it’s the land of theme parks and family vacations, after all. I suppose when I think of an easy escape, the first thought that comes to mind is access to the ocean, and, well, more quiet than what you’d find in a place like Disney World. Orlando’s runner-up is Virginia Beach, followed by Las Vegas, San Diego, and Myrtle Beach. Sign me up!
I’m on a personal mission to take as many weekend trips as possible this summer. I grew up in an airline family, so I spent a lot of time on planes — as long as I was willing to fly standby. Standby life is a whole different planet than confirmed traveling, and it required lots of thinking on the go, last-minute changes of plans, and bolting onto planes to grab the very last seat just before the jetway door is closed. It’s been the most amazing adventure in the world, but as I get older, I’m inching closer to the cutoff age for losing some of the affordable travel options that have been so helpful to me — it’s time to cram it all in while I can!
Do you have a favorite vacation spot in the US? What are your favorite tips for making travel cheaper?