Plan, book now for the best winter travel deals

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 Almanac, personal finance website WalletHub released its report on the best holiday destinations this month. winter 2022.

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.

To view the full report, visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-winter-holiday-destinations/7930

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

Best Cold Destinations for Winter Travel

New York, NY comes out on top, ranked number one as a cold travel destination. This was followed by Atlanta, GA at number two; Washington D.C.; Chicago, Ill.; St. Louis, MO; Cincinnati, Ohio; Kansas City, MO; Boston, Massachusetts; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and, rounding out the top 10 cold weather destinations, Philadelphia, PA.

Best Warm Destinations for Winter Travel

Traveling to a warm winter destination showed Las Vegas, NV as the top pick, followed by Austin, TX at number two. San Diego, CA finished third, followed by Dallas, TX; San Antonio, TX; Phoenix, Arizona; Houston, TX; San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, CA; and, at number 10 on the “hot weather” list was Charleston, SC.

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 higher prices due to inflation will reduce 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 – Assistant Professor, University of Georgia

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 the destination… Avoid popular holidays and long weekends in the destinations. 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

Angela C. Hale