Best and Worst Staycation Cities and Cheap Alternatives to Staying Home

The money site WalletHub has released a study showing the top 100 cities for staycations – a term coined a few years back which means, “I don’t have enough money to travel so I’m staying home this year.”  No need for that!  We have some vacation suggestions for those who want to fly but don’t want to spend a lot of money.

The Staycation Study

In case you were wondering, the study defines a good stay-home city using the following criteria: Recreation activities (including number of golf courses per capita), food and entertainment (including the cost of a movie ticket), rest and relaxation (including the number of swimming pools per capita) and weather (such as the amount of precipitation).

But what about those who live in nice cities who do want to travel but don’t want to empty their wallets? We have some reasonable alternatives.

Best for Staycations + Cheap Alternative Destinations

These are cities considered best for staycations. We chose the following alternates because we often see airfare specials between the two cities in the Deals Blog, or because of routes connecting two nearby hubs which is frequently a good way to find deals.

  • Click the alternative city name to find your best deal (no matter where you live).

Best Staycation Cities

Alternative Cities for Vacation

1. Buffalo New York City
2. Minneapolis Chicago or Milwaukee
3. Cincinnati Chicago or New York
4. Pittsburgh Boston
5. Portland, Ore. Seattle
6. Omaha Denver
7. New Orleans Houston
8. Tampa Ft. Lauderdale
9. Orlando Richmond
10. Seattle San Francisco

 

Worst for Staycations + Cheap Alternative Destinations

These are ranked from worst to less worse starting with number 100. Frankly, some of these nice cities puzzled us but we didn’t create the study. Take a look at these suggested alternatives will involve a little driving to a larger airport for departure, to keep fares as low as possible.

  • Again, click the alternative city name to find your best deal (no matter where you live).

Worst Staycation Cities

Alternative Cities for Vacation

100. Chula Vista, Calif. Fly San Diego to San Francisco
99. Fremont, Calif. Fly Oakland to Los Angeles
98. Laredo, Texas Fly San Antonio to Houston
97. Anaheim, Calif. Fly Santa Ana to San Francisco
96. Fresno, Calif. Los Angeles or San Diego
95. San Jose, Calif. Los Angeles
94. Jersey City, N.J. Fly New York to Boston or Washington
93. Gilbert, Ariz. Fly Phoenix to Sana Ana or LA
92. Houston New Orleans
91. Fort Worth Houston or Austin

 

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Published: June 9, 2014