Start plotting your winter vacation with this WalletHub data.
The weather outside is about to get frightful, and doesn’t that make a warmer weather vacation sound so delightful? Unless, you know, you want to lean into the whole cold weather thing.
To determine which destinations are the best to visit this winter season, WalletHub analyzed 70 of the largest metro areas within the United States. It ranked the cities across six key metrics, including travel costs and hassles, local costs, attractions, weather, activities, and safety. It then grouped them as “warm” or “cold” spots, with “cold” destinations defined as those with average December temperatures below 46 degrees and “warm” destinations defined as those with average December temperatures above 57 degrees. (It defined 47 to 56 degrees F as a “dead zone.”)
“Compared with other rankings that focus on each destination’s scenic quality, this report focuses primarily on the cost and convenience of traveling to each location as well as its affordability,” WalletHub explained in its findings. “It also ensures that the number of attractions and variety of activities in each destination will keep everyone busy and entertained throughout the trip.”
After crunching the numbers, WalletHub determined that Las Vegas is the best place to travel for a warm escape, and Atlanta is best for cold-weather lovers. Both cities ranked so highly thanks to their number of attractions and good weather, as well as their ease of travel.
Joining Atlanta in the top cold weather spots are Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, and Denver rounding out the top five. For warmer escapes, WalletHub’s data suggests San Diego, along with a trio of Texas cities rounding out the top five: Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.
WalletHub’s experts also didn’t leave travelers hanging when it came to sharing sage advice on maximizing deals, either.
“Book early, book direct, and use points or mileage strategically to save. Meanwhile, be careful not to trade flexibility with a small discount,” Linchi Kwok, a professor at The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona, shared. “For example, I will continue searching for a reasonable price but avoid prepaid hotel stays or basic-economy flights. We may book a hotel stay as soon as possible because hotels usually let us cancel or modify a reservation without a fee (unless you booked a prepaid package). Airfares can be trickier because of the expensive change-or-cancelation fees associated with the tickets. Setting up price alarms on some travel websites will likely tell us when it is a good time to book a ticket or when the price drops.”
See WalletHub’s entire winter travel ranking and all the expert advice at wallethub.com.
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