With around 29 percent not planning to travel for leisure in 2022, a new report showcases 2022’s Best & Worst Cities for Staycations

To identify the best spots for staying local, WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 44 key indicators of a fun-filled yet wallet-friendly staycation. The data set ranges from parks per capita to restaurant-meal costs to the share of residents who are vaccinated.

Here’s the list to help you plan:

Best Cities for StaycationsWorst Cities for Staycations
1. Honolulu, HI173. Fremont, CA
2. Orlando, FL174. Garland, TX
3. Chicago, IL175. Irving, TX
4. Fort Lauderdale, FL176. Fontana, CA
5. Portland, ME177. North Las Vegas, NV
6. Las Vegas, NV178. Oxnard, CA
7. San Francisco, CA179. Rancho Cucamonga, CA
8. New York, NY180. Moreno Valley, CA
9. San Diego, CA181. Chula Vista, CA
10. Seattle, WA182. Pearl City, HI

Best vs. Worst

  • Orlando, Fla., has the most zoos and aquariums (per square root of population), 0.0131, which is 43.7 times more than New York, the city with the fewest at 0.0003.
  • New York has the most parks (per square root of population), 1.4934, which is 21.8 times more than North Las Vegas, the city with the fewest at 0.0684.
  • Sioux Falls, S.D., has the lowest cost of house-cleaning services, $60, which is five times less expensive than Pearl City, Hawaii, the city with the highest at $300.

More Insight

Given the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on tourism and travel, what are the best ways to enjoy a staycation and keep safe?

“Doing things outdoors is the best during this time. Renting boats, hiking, rafting, tubing, rail biking … outdoor waterparks, and outdoor amusement parks, just to name a bunch of popular ones,” said  Jack Samuels, Ed.D., M.B.A., senior professor, Montclair State University; president, Tourism and Leisure Consultants, LLC.

“Visit the websites of the city or community’s convention and visitor’s bureau; it will list the exact precautions the municipality is taking to keep all safe. Also, check the website of the organizations you will be visiting as it will post updates on what precautions the attraction is taking to keep customers safe. As word-of-mouth is the number one way of attracting guests, a business knows this is paramount for a good visitor experience and maintaining high visitation,” said Neville Bhada, an adjunct professor, at the University of Georgia; founder and CEO, of Applied Strategies and Principles, Tourism Skills Group.

What activities can families do locally without breaking the bank?

“Usually, museums, zoos, and aquariums have reasonable entry fees or maybe free. Farmers’ markets are another interesting activity. Also, amateur sports events can be free,” said Andrew O. Coggins, a clinical professor, at Pace University.

“A great example of fun activities for families that come at little or no cost is state and national parks. Depending on the specific location, many of these attractions are free to visit (that is to say, their operation is funded by taxpayer allocations), and they often offer great hiking, biking, camping, and other recreational opportunities. Some other great options include museums, science centers, gardens, and any other publicly subsidized offerings that offer cheap or free admission,” added Gary L. Deel, Ph.D., JD, CHSE, CHIA, CHE, SHRM-CP, CFE, APP, and an adjunct professor, University of Florida.

What is the best time of year to have a staycation?

“Any time of year is good to explore; however, many families and couples choose to take a staycation during summer when demand for overnight travel and costs peak. Staycations during the warmer months allow families to enjoy the local flavor without repeatedly having to fill up the gas tank or pay a premium to fly. Also, when schools have week-long holidays, such as fall or spring break, it allows families a chance to indulge in the community scene without eating up an entire day in travel,” Bhada added.

“Summer and early fall are great times to have a staycation. However, weekend staycations have become extremely popular year-round with hotels and resort curating packages to attract people seeking a quick getaway within or not too far from their community,” said Dipra Jha an assistant director and scholarly associate professor,  at the School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University Carson College of Business.

Source: WalletHub