Travel destinations

SoCal Cities Among Top Summer Travel Destinations

The best summer travel destinations of 2022, according to WalletHub

Los Angeles and San Diego are among the 20 most coveted summer travel destinations WalletHub released today.

With nearly 80% of US travelers planning trips in 2022, WalletHub has released its report on the best summer travel destinations of 2022.

To help travelers plan the perfect summer getaway, WalletHub benchmarked 100 metropolitan areas across 43 key budget and usability metrics. The dataset ranges from the cost of the cheapest flight to the number of attractions for COVID-19 cases.

The best against the worst

  • The average flight to a popular summer destination costs $356, takes 3 hours and 34 minutes, and has 0.3 connections.
  • The Los Angeles metro area is the most attractive destination on the west coast and the Washington, DC metro area is the most attractive destination on the east coast.
  • Florida and Texas are home to the most popular summer destinations in the United States, each with at least two metropolitan areas in the top 15. Opposite, New York and California have the most number of most unpopular summer destinations, each with two metropolitan areas.
  • The Wichita metro area has the lowest rate for a three-star hotel room, $36, which is 4.6 times cheaper than Santa Rosa, the highest metro area at $165.

The top 20 summer travel destinations are:

1. Orlando, Florida
2.Washington, D.C.
3. Tampa, Florida
4.Austin, TX
5. Salt Lake City, UT
6. Los Angeles, CA
7. Honolulu, Hawaii
8. Minneapolis, Minnesota
9. Cincinnati, Ohio
10. San Antonio, TX
11. Miami, Florida
12. Charleston, South Carolina
13. Raleigh, North Carolina
14. Jacksonville, Florida
15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
16. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
17. Tulsa, Alright
18. Knoxville, TN
19. San Diego, CA
20. St. Louis, Missouri

Expert commentary

What are your predictions for the 2022 summer travel season (percentage of Americans traveling; most popular destinations; busiest travel times)?

“For the peak of summer travel, I suspect 80-90% of U.S. households will be traveling. However, I think National Parks, National Forests, and State Parks will see another increase in visitation given fuel prices, inflation, and ongoing health issues; the “staycation” phenomenon spurred by the 2008-09 recession, combined with pandemic-driven trends to visit outdoor recreation areas, could combine for many adventure recreations relatively close to home for many Americans. June-August is the normal high season with more travelers hitting the road or flying during the holidays (July 4th, Labor Day). I think a very popular destination this year will be the new national park, New River Gorge NP in southern West Virginia, as it offers activities for all ages and abilities and is less than 500 miles from 50 % of US population. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will also likely see millions of visitors this year.
— Joshua Roe – Lecturer, Arizona State University

“As many states in the United States and countries have dropped vaccine requirements and eased COVID-19 restrictions, travel will get ‘crazy’ this summer. The most popular U.S. destinations would be Florida, Las Vegas, California and New York. Some European countries such as Italy, Greece, UK and France are also the best choices for US travelers. June and July will be the busiest travel times because students are finishing their semesters and many families will be on vacation.
— Jing Li, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University

Do you think the federal government should prevent airlines from overbooking flights?

“While I don’t necessarily think the federal government should be mandating this, I do think airlines should do everything possible to restore consumer confidence. People are very discouraged by air travel at the moment, and overbooking flights is not helping this situation. Transparency is very important right now for airlines.
— Jan Louise Jones, Ph.D. – Lecturer, University of New Haven

“Airlines will certainly continue to overbook flights as more people than ever cancel flights or change their plans at the last minute and at the end of the day the airline industry is a business. Government really shouldn’t s involved in blocking an airline’s choice to overbook; airlines are aware of their choices and are also aware of the consequences of their choices (travel vouchers and lower customer satisfaction).
— Eve Marie Ruhlman MS – Instructor, California State University, East Bay

What are the costliest travel mistakes?

“I think the costliest travel mistake would be not to book in advance. The closer the time to travel, the more expensive the plane tickets and the more expensive the rooms become due to the increase demand and reduced supply.Also, traveling on weekends (Thursday-Saturday) when you have the option of traveling on weekdays (Sunday-Wednesday) can be more expensive, again times due to increased demand during weekends.Also, as has recently gone viral, booking an Airbnb for shorter stays can be as expensive, if not more, than booking a guest room. hotel due to the cleaning and other fees associated with an Airbnb that are not reflected in the price, so when choosing between an Airbnb and a hotel room, length of stay should be considered as well as the size of the Airbnb property booked versus hotel rooms.
— Tarik Dogru, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Florida State University

“Failing to plan. Paying too much for rooms or flights, especially during peak periods such as weekends and holidays. Pay exorbitant ATM and currency exchange fees and fall for tourist scams or get robbed/pocketed. Also, book last minute train or plane tickets.”
— Joshua Roe – Lecturer, Arizona State University

To see the full report and ranking for your city, click here.