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    2022’s Best Cities for New Year’s

    2022’s Best Cities for New Year’s

    To determine which cities are the best for safely ringing in the new year without breaking the bank, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest cities across 29 key metrics.

    With New Year’s around the corner and 70% of Americans spending at least $50 on food and drinks for the occasion, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022’s Best Cities for New Year’s, along with its infographic of 50+ New Year’s Facts – Traditions, Spending & More and expert commentary. The data set ranges from safety and vaccination rates to quality food options and costs.

    Best Cities for New Year’s

    1. New York, NY
    2. Orlando, FL
    3. Las Vegas, NV
    4. San Francisco, CA
    5. Atlanta, GA
    6. Denver, CO
    7. Washington, DC
    8. Chicago, IL
    9. Los Angeles, CA
    10. Seattle, WA
    11. Miami, FL
    12. Austin, TX
    13. San Antonio, TX
    14. San Diego, CA
    15. Nashville, TN
    16. Louisville, KY
    17. Boston, MA
    18. Philadelphia, PA
    19. El Paso, TX
    20. New Orleans, LA

    Key Stats

    • 80+ Million – Number of Americans who will travel for the New Year’s holiday this year, with nearly half of them driving to their destination.
    • 59% – Share of Americans who plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve with family or friends. Only 37% will attend public events or eat out.
    • $865 – Average cost for a couple to enjoy dinner and a show on New Year’s Eve in the three largest cities (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago).
    • 360+ Million – Number of glasses of sparkling wine that are drunk each New Year’s Eve.

    Expert Commentary

    What factors should people consider when choosing whether and where to travel for New Year’s Eve?

    “The weather and the vibe of a destination come to the top of my list. I also prefer a place within driving distance. It is much easier to make last-minute alternative arrangements for a road trip, even when the weather turns bad.”

    — Linchi Kwok, Ph.D., Professor, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

    “I think for many people, the cost is the main consideration, and in times of economic stress, it should be. New Year’s Eve can be celebrated anywhere, in any number of locations, so if people’s budget is limited, they should choose a less expensive destination or stay closer to home. Likewise, holiday travel in general, around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s is much more chaotic and expensive. Alternative destinations beyond say the New York City scene could be part of the solution. Choosing alternative destinations might result in fewer flight delays or cancelations and lower costs, while still enabling celebrants to have fun and enjoy the new year’s festivities. Many ‘alternative’ places in the United States are selling themselves as suitable New Year’s destinations.”

    — Dallen Timothy, Professor, Arizona State University

    What money-saving tips do you have for people planning to travel for New Year’s?

    “Depending on your goals for the New Year’s Eve weekend, smaller destinations have learned in the pandemic era how to be attractive to potential visitors with a great collection of activities, restaurants, breweries etc. Some smaller destinations have also created their own version of “Times Square” like celebrations. Because this will be a weekend, daytime attractions and activities will also be in demand. Towns near outdoor recreation sites, state and national parks, forests, etc. are great for hiking, heritage tourism, and more. Smaller destinations still are less expensive that major cities and markets across the country.”

    — Robert M. O’Halloran, Ph.D., Professor & Director, School of Hospitality Leadership, East Carolina University

    “Book air tickets and hotels as early as possible. This often allows travelers to find the least expensive alternatives and provides more flexibility in travel. Try flying to, or staying in, alternative destinations and using local transportation to get to where you want to be. For example, in the US northeast, flights might be less expensive into airports near New York City (e.g., Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia) than those into NYC’s airports. These ‘alternative’ cities also have remarkable New Year’s celebrations, but if one’s target destination is NYC, using other cities as gateways can sometimes result in huge savings. Likewise, even with the cost of using local transportation, staying outside a city center can be a huge money saver.”

    — Dallen Timothy, Professor, Arizona State University

    What is the biggest New Year’s Eve money-wasters?

    “In my opinions, the concerns here are often the cumbersome logistics needed to participate in big New Year’s Eve celebrations. Don’t get bogged down in transportation systems that will be maxed out. Also, do your research and identify packages, including those near home that offer accommodation, meals, and even a New Year’s Eve party with the package price. Buying a la carte can be more expensive!”

    — Robert M. O’Halloran, Ph.D., Professor & Director, School of Hospitality Leadership, East Carolina University

    “Drinks and food (and credit cards). Once again, budget-conscious celebrators can have socially fulfilling and enjoyable New Year’s experiences by choosing less-expensive alternatives. One of the biggest wasters I have seen is people living beyond their means – traveling, staying, and eating in luxury and charging these indulgences to one’s credit cards. Unless someone can pay off the balance on time, their New Year’s celebrations will continue to cost them throughout the rest of the year (and beyond), at a very high rate of interest!”

    — Dallen Timothy, Professor, Arizona State University

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