Travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures, yet it often comes at a steep price. However, we’re lucky to live during a time when travel is more accessible than ever, and cheap deals — even in the most expensive cities — can be easily acquired with just a little bit of determination, patience, and research. We’ve done some of that research for you. Here are the 10 best budget-friendly cities to travel to this summer.
Our research is based on the data provided by personal finance website WalletHub. First, through its Currency Exchange and Best Travel Credit Card studies, WalletHub identified the most popular and budget-friendly summer destinations in the United States. Then, they analyzed prices of airfare from the six largest airport hubs in the U.S. to the 80 largest metropolitan statistical areas during the month of July. The statistics are based on 13 key metrics. The primary metrics ranked are cost of travel, local costs, attractions, weather conditions, and parks and recreation. For a more detailed explanation of the company’s methodology, visit their full study.
In layman’s terms, this means that these cities earned a place on this list not solely based on how much or little money you’ll spend getting there, but how much money you’ll spend while you’re there, what value you can extract from the city (based on its attractions), and the relative value of these places right now, as compared to their high tourist seasons.
Many will be happy to find popular destinations like Austin and Las Vegas on this list, alongside off-the-grid ones like Oklahoma City. Every city has plenty to offer when it comes to food. We hope you can make it to one of them this summer.
#10 Albuquerque, N.M.
Albuquerque has recently attracted visitors for being the home base of hit T.V. show Breaking Bad, but a romp through the culinary offerings of this town won’t break your wallet either. Fans of the show can grab an Indian taco at Twisters (known as “Los Pollos Hermanos” in the show). For a more farm-to-table approach, Grove Café and Market serves croque madames with fresh fruit and grilled cheese with ricotta, Gruyère, braised kale, and pickled fennel.
#9 Los Angeles
While Los Angeles is the home of many rich celebrities, it is also host to many wallet-friendly attractions and food. You can get a filling rice bowl for under $10 at one of Roy Choi’s famous Chego! restaurants, or enjoy home-style tacos at El Parian Restaurant, which made our list of America’s 50 Best Mexican Restaurants.