Best winter vacation destinations for 2022

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Three California cities listed among top warm vacation destinations for winter travel

Ahead of a winter that will see colder than usual weather across most of the country, according to the latest forecast from the Old Farmer’s AlmanacWalletHub released its report on the best winter vacation destinations of 2022 this week.

Focusing on cost and convenience rather than scenic beauty, WalletHub compared nearly 70 of the largest US metropolitan areas grouped together in hot and cold weather. Each destination was analyzed based on 37 key metrics, primarily the expense and hassle of getting to each location, but also other metrics, such as weather forecasts, safety, and variety of activities.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most interesting findings from the report:

Best Cold Destinations for Winter Travel
1. New York, NY
2. Atlanta, Georgia
3.Washington, D.C.
4.Chicago, IL
5. St. Louis, Missouri
6. Cincinnati, Ohio
7. Kansas City, Mo.
8.Boston, MA
9. Albuquerque, New Mexico
10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Best Warm Destinations for Winter Travel
1. Las Vegas, Nevada
2.Austin, TX
3. San Diego, California
4. Dallas, TX
5. San Antonio, TX
6. Phoenix, AZ
7.Houston, TX
8. San Francisco, California
9. Los Angeles, CA
10. Charleston, South Carolina

The best against the worst

  • The average flight to a popular winter destination costs $396.17, takes 3 hours and 30 minutes, and has 0.28 connections. By comparison, the average flight to a popular winter destination costs $521.74, takes 5 hours and 17 minutes, and has 0.57 connections.
  • Among cold destinations, Omaha, Nebraska, has the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $55, 2.4 times less than Worcester, Massachusetts, the city with the highest price at $133.
  • Among the hot destinations, Houston has the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $40, 5.2 times less than Honolulu, the city with the highest price at $208.
  • Among cold destinations, Chicago has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 6.157755, or 6.3 times more than Bridgeport, Connecticut, the city with the fewest at 0.984751.
  • Of the hot destinations, Orlando has the most restaurants (per square root of population), 7.281483, or 29.0 times more than Deltona, Florida, the city with the fewest at 0.250773.

Expert commentary

What is the outlook for the winter travel season?

“As tourism gains momentum due to easing travel restrictions, improving perceptions of COVID and strong travel demand, domestic leisure travel spending has already exceeded levels from before the pandemic in the first half of the year. Therefore, the outlook for the winter travel season is positive. Outdoor winter activities are a great way to get away from the indoors and the pandemic.
— Philip F. Xie, Ph.D. – Professor, Bowling Green State University

“There are competing forces at work. People are still looking for a break after curtailing some of their travel during the covid years, but rising prices due to inflation will put pressure on some of the demand. Additionally, with travel postponed in recent years, people will be looking to reconnect with family and friends across the country. »
— Stephen Pratt – Department Director, Tourism, Events and Attractions, University of Central Florida

What are the best ways for travelers to save money?

“Travelers should consider buying their tickets now; airfares have risen significantly from last year. Christmas airfares are going to be higher than in the past five years, up 55% from last year and 19% higher than before the pandemic. Some say airfares will be the highest ever; while we do not believe they will be significantly high. Check out AAA, AARP offers and loyalty programs to save on hotels and events. Amazon… is now getting into the travel sphere and offering great introductory deals and discounts.
— Neville Bhada – Adjunct Professor, University of Georgia

“While not financial advice, use a credit card with earned travel points for purchases that can be used to book travel and accommodation. Several different companies offer it and the points can be redeemed for a cabin with a hot tub in a snowy destination, flights, car rentals or even a train ride.
— Joshua Roe – Director/Assistant Professor, WVU Institute of Technology

What are the do’s and don’ts of winter travel logistics?

“Visit weather sites in advance and check the forecast. For example, if snow and skiing are your interests, then make sure of the season and the snow level expected at your destination… Avoid popular holidays and long weekends at your destination. Ask about your cold weather “carrying capacity”. You should not be attracted by lower prices to the detriment of its comfort. If you are interested in warmer weather, try to consider places that offer milder weather but much better fares and great packages… Avoid plane tickets with multiple stops, especially if you are going through airports with stormy weather forecast .
— Zaher (Zach) Hallab, Ph.D. – Professor, California State University East Bay

“If you’re flying, book the first flight or at least an early morning flight…Don’t catch a connecting flight if you want to avoid travel headaches, missed connections, delays, lost luggage, etc Check that your passport is still valid… Check what IDs or vaccination records are needed to enter the destination you are traveling to. Take photos of your passport and luggage in case they get lost. Don’t book your hotel reservations online through a scam website…Always confirm your reservations and try to get the names of the service people you spoke with…Bring a scarf…to keep you warm because you don’t know ever when you need it with unpredictable winter temperatures. Don’t forget to pack your medicine or cold/flu remedies and masks just in case.
— Leora Halpern Lanz, ISHC – Associate Dean, Academic Affairs; Faculty President, Master of Management in Hospitality; Associate Professor, Boston University

To look at the full report and the rank of your metropolitan area, click on the embedded link.

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  • Sailing in San Diego: Pexels
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