The Florida Keys? Italy? East Coast …

With nearly 82% of Americans planning to take a trip this summer, a new report on the Best Summer Travel Destinations in 2024, can help you decide where and when to vacation.

To help travelers plan the perfect summer getaway, WalletHub compared 100 metro areas across 41 key indicators of an affordable and fun vacation. The data set ranges from the cost of the cheapest flight to the number of attractions to the average price of a two-person meal.

Top 20 Summer Travel Destinations
1. Atlanta, GA11. Salt Lake City, UT
2. Washington, DC12. New York, NY
3. Orlando, FL13. Richmond, VA
4. Honolulu, HI14. Miami, FL
5. Tampa, FL15. Springfield, MO
6. Austin, TX16. Knoxville, TN
7. Philadelphia, PA17. Tulsa, OK
8. Chicago, IL18. Oklahoma, OK
9. El Paso, TX19. San Antonio, TX
10. Cincinnati, OH20. Los Angeles, CA

Best vs. Worst

  • The average flight to a popular summer destination costs $377, lasts 3 hours and 59 mi, notes, and has 0.4 connections.
  • The Los Angeles metro area is the most attractive destination on the West Coast and the Washington, D.C. metro area is the most attractive destination on the East Coast.
  • Florida and Texas are home to most top summer destinations in the U.S., each with at least two metro areas in the top 15. Oppositely, California has among the largest numbers of the most unpopular summer destinations, with at least two metro areas.
  • The San Antonio metro area has the lowest nightly rate for a three-star hotel room, which is 5.2 times less expensive than in Oxnard, the metro area with the highest.

Predictions for the 2024 Summer Travel Season

“Research and reports on upcoming travel trends forecast that the summer of 2024 will be another strong season for domestic travel. This forecast, a testament to the travel industry’s unwavering resilience, remains strong despite persistent inflation and volatile prices across transportation, accommodation, food, and entertainment expenses. Travelers saw some relief from higher transportation prices in the first quarter of this year, but April brought a nearly 25 percent increase in flight costs. The percentage of Americans traveling this summer is predicted to be between 82 and 93 percent. Those of us traveling to U.S. beaches and coastal destinations should expect lots of company in the United States beginning the Memorial Day weekend and continuing strong through July. Travel for youth and amateur sports participation will also remain high this summer. According to the Sports Events Tourism Association, Americans took over 200 million sports-based trips in 2023, with youth sports events as the top segment of that market. Sixty percent of cities cited sport and recreation as the largest room-night generator,” said Bridget Niland, Ph.D., J.D., dean, College of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management, Niagara University.

Will the Federal Government Block Airlines from Overbooking

“No, I do not think the Federal government should block airlines from overbooking flights. Overbooking has been an important part of the revenue management practice in the airline industry for a long time. There is abundant literature that supports this practice from the business management perspective. On the other hand, I think passengers’ rights need to be protected. For example, Senate Bill 178 would address this concern,” said Tianshu Zheng, Ph.D., associate professor, at Iowa State University.

“The federal government issued some consumer-friendly rule changes for airplane travelers, but it has yet to tackle the airline overbooking problem. The new rules make it easier for travelers to understand when an airline must issue a refund and place new parameters on the processing and timing of refunds. Pursuing these rule changes could be viewed as the government addressing the negative ramifications of longtime airline practices, including overbooking. Airlines justify the practice of overbooking as necessary to keep fights affordable. Perhaps the government’s new refund regulations are the right approach to looking out for consumers but stopping short of regulating practices that keep airline travel within reach of most Americans,” Niland added.

Tips for People Looking to Travel on a Budget

“As a Dean of a College Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism, we love to prepare students to manage every facet of the traveler experience, but there are elements you can reign in to keep costs affordable. Your food and beverage are always major expenses, which can quickly escalate. Finding inclusive accommodations can alleviate non-stop credit charges while away from home, but be careful to read the fine print to ensure you have enough options to make the trip feel like a treat and not a chore. Food and beverage costs are a key factor in the popularity of short-term rental locations. Travelers should be careful before booking these alternative hotel accommodations because cities and towns across the globe are adding taxes and other fees to these rental arrangements. Buying and preparing your food while on vacation will cut your costs, but again, be sure to weigh the idea of cooking and cleaning with your desire or need for some true relaxation time,” Niland said.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit: here.

Source: WalletHub