As much as you love to travel and score passport stamps, it may not always be in the cards for you. Sometimes, your vacation time doesn't get approved, because work has been extremely busy. Other times, you might look at your personal spreadsheets and realize you don't have room in your budget for fun in the sun. I've been in that position many times, too. But what I've found is that, even when the real world is saying "no" to your desire to follow your wanderlust, it's still possible to get away. Here's how: Treat yourself to a more low-key vacation, like a night spent in WalletHub's 2019 best cities for staycations.
The experience will be everything you're looking for and more. You'll start by hopping in the car with your travel buddy, and will drive to a nearby destination. This may be a lively city you've visited before, or an Instagram-worthy beach destination that's known for its homemade ice cream cones. Soon after arriving, you'll check into an aesthetically-pleasing hotel or a resort with a rooftop pool, and turn your vacation mode on.
Even though you won't be too far from your apartment building, you'll be excited to get away. You won't be thinking about the big projects going on at work, or the rent check that's due soon. You'll be treating yourself to rest, relaxation, and a long weekend to remember. Just be sure that you have this experience in one of WalletHub's 2019 best cities for staycations, OK?
What are WalletHub's 2019 best cities for staycations?
WalletHub, the personal finance website, revealed a pretty lengthy list of spots throughout the U.S. that'll be relaxing and save you some money. They'll allow you to skip out on buying a plane ticket, indulge in a ton of entertainment options, and escape without having to go the distance.
The top destinations on this list include: Honolulu, Hawaii; Orlando Florida; Chicago, Illinois; San Diego, California; Portland, Oregon; Charleston, South Carolina; Seattle, Washington; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Tampa, Florida; and San Francisco, California. Each comes with its own set of rankings.
For example, according to WalletHub, Orlando is ranked number one for food and entertainment, and 48th for relaxation. (Are there any fans of Walt Disney World out there?) Honolulu is the most highly-rated for recreation, and it's ranked number nine for food and entertainment.
It's up to you to do some research and decide if amusement parks, well-known eateries, or art museums are more essential for you, your travel buddies, and your itinerary.
How did WalletHub come up with these results?
WalletHub came up with these results and rankings by comparing 182 cities within the U.S. The company looked into recreation, food, and entertainment, and opportunities to rest and relax. They then graded each destination on each category, using a 100-point scale.
To find a city's overall score, they took the individual ratings and used them to find a weighted average. You can see the details behind each staycation spot's ranking by going to the WalletHub website and looking at the complete list.
What can you expect to do, see, and eat during a staycation in these cities?
While doing this research, WalletHub also included which cities are best for coffee, going to the spa, or grabbing a cup of frozen yogurt. This way, you know what to expect and what you're going to do, see, and eat in your chosen destination. Like a thought-out trip to Europe or a classic vacation to a tropical island, your itinerary can, and should, be jam-packed. It should emphasize your best interests, your tastebuds, and your travel goals.
According to the report, the five cities with the most museums per capita are: New Orleans, Louisiana; Charleston, South Carolina; Washington D.C.; San Francisco, California; New York, New York; and Tucson, Arizona. So if you and your travel buddy want to get in touch with the arts, head to one of these spots.
WalletHub also found that the cities with the most spas per capita include: Honolulu, Hawaii; New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago Illinois; and Orlando, Florida. They're the best destinations to seek out if you're hoping to get a massage, facial, or pedicure on your staycation.
Last but not least, the research revealed the cities with the most coffee and tea shops per capita include: New York, New York; San Francisco, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Orlando, Florida.
What are some tips and tricks for planning and going on a staycation?
Other than double-checking that your destination can provide an itinerary that's meant for you, there are a few more tips and tricks you need for planning and going on a staycation. First, pack light. You really don't need an entire suitcase for a long weekend, and your hotel or accommodations may be able to provide essentials that don't fit in your tote bag.
Second, I'd suggest putting some consideration into who you're going to bring with you. Who you travel with can seriously make or break the experience, and you want to make the most of your time. Find a bestie who loves to eat and chill, or invite your SO who wants some rest and relaxation, too. Other than that, hit the road and get away from the #realworld.