Warm weather is right around the corner and summer vacations aren’t far behind. While it can be hard enough to take time off — research shows that 52% of American workers didn’t use all their vacation days in 2017 — deciding on a location is the other half of the battle.
New data from WalletHub pinpoints the Washington D.C. metro area as the top vacation spot for 2018 with a total score of 67.34 out of 100. WalletHub analyzed “100 of the most populated metro areas (or Metropolitan Statistical Areas, as identified by the U.S. Census Bureau)” to come up with its rankings, which are based on travel costs & hassles, local cost, attractions, weather, activities, and safety.
The Top 10 cities to visit this summer
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area: 67.34
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metro Area: 67.25
- Austin-Round Rock, TX Metro Area: 66.37
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metro Area: 66.18
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metro Area: 65.93
- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metro Area: 64.85
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area: 64.56
- Oklahoma City, OK Metro Area: 62.80
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Metro Area: 62.63
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metro Area: 62.36
So which area fared the worst? — Santa Rosa, CA came in last (#100) with a total score of 28.01.
How the locations stack up
This infographic makes it clear that certain places are better (or worse) for a variety of factors.
How to pick the right place to travel this summer
The process is different for everyone, but it there are certain things to keep in mind.
Dr. Wei Wei, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., at Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida, told WalletHub about the five most important factors that she thinks should determine a summer vacation location.
“The top five indicators in my mind would be weather, destination safety perception (this is becoming increasingly important in recent years), unique destinations attractions & activities, cost, and accessibility (e.g., transportation, easiness to get to the destination),” she told the site.