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 25 best budget-friendly cities to travel to this summer.
Our research is based on the data provided by personal finance website WalletHub. By collecting data from multiple national and federal reports as well as other travel websites, WalletHub identified the most popular and budget-friendly summer destinations in the United States. Then, it analyzed prices of airfare from the six largest airport hubs in the U.S. to the 80 largest metro areas during the month of July. The statistics are based on six key categories: travel costs and hassles, local costs, attractions, weather, activities, and safety. For a more detailed explanation of the company’s methodology, visit the 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. You’ll definitely find some pretty predictable spots on here, such as Chicago and San Diego, but other cities may surprise you, either because of their reputations as expensive destinations or because of their entire lack of a reputation as a destination. As WalletHub’s list largely named metropolitan areas, we took the principal city of each of these areas to bring you the 25 best cities for wallet-friendly summer travel.
Nikkitha Bakshani contributed to this story.