The best reward that comes from taking care of your physical and mental health is in the way that you feel — practicing wellness is all about practicing self-care and being the best version of yourself that you can be.
But, then again, would it hurt to actually be tangibly rewarded for being your best, healthy self (instead of just feeling good on the inside?)
Most affordable travel destinations in the US
Most affordable travel destinations in the US
10. Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City takes the final spot. We estimate that a family of four can expect to pay $2,790 on a vacation here. That is only $5 shy of Dallas. For an individual, on the other hand, Salt Lake City is actually a more affordable trip than Dallas. The reason for the disparity is the high cost of airfare to Salt Lake City. You don’t get a family discount when buying tickets and the average round-trip flight to Salt Lake City costs $350.
Salt Lake City is perhaps better known as place to visit in the winter, thanks to all the wonderful skiing. But all these hills and mountains that make Salt Lake City such a wonderful place to ski also make it a wonderful pace to hike. Plus, hiking is more budget-friendly vacation option than skiing.
9. Dallas, Texas
Dallas takes the ninth spot, falling about $100 short of Tampa in eighth. According to our data, Dallas has the third-highest average car rental costs in our top 10 and the second-highest average hotel costs. Food on the other hand is pretty affordable. A meal at a mid-range restaurants should cost no more than $19, on average.
If you are a history buff, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza highlights the life and death of President John F. Kennedy and would be a great addition to any vacation itinerary. For a day of nature and relaxation, try the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
8. Tampa, Florida
Florida cities score well on this list. The final Florida city to crack our top 10 is Tampa. We estimate the total cost of a vacation in Tampa for a family of four would cost $2,689. For an individual, that same trip would cost $933. What makes Tampa so affordable is the competitive airfare. The average round-trip flight to Tampa costs only $306.
7. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is the seventh-most affordable travel destination for families, according to our data. Flights to this city are fairly expensive, our data shows the average round-trip flight to San Antonio costs $359. However in the other metrics San Antonio shines, especially in the food category. If you are someone who enjoying indulging on vacation, San Antonio is a good place to go. The average meal at a mid-tier restaurant costs just $13.
For visitors wondering what to do in San Antonio, a walk along the San Antonio River through the city is never dull. And remember, the Alamo is San Antonio’s most visited landmark and is well worth including in any trip.
6. Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona’s capital comes in sixth. As a travel destination, this city ranks in the top 10 for three out of four metrics. In total we estimate that a family of four could expect to pay $2,626 for a three-day, three-night vacation in Phoenix. The biggest hit to the family budget will be airfare. The average round-trip flight to Phoenix costs $327, according to Bureau of Transportation estimates. An individual making the same trip could expect to spend $923, on average.
Of course, fans of desert environments will find Phoenix is a wonderful place to visit. Phoenix is home to the Desert Botanical Garden which has over 21,000 plants, including 139 rare, threatened or endangered species. And don’t miss the great hikes. Papago Park, Camelback Mountain and South Mountain Park are all within driving distance of downtown Phoenix.
5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
For the fourth straight year, Albuquerque is a top 10 affordable travel destination. Albuquerque ranks well thanks to affordable lodging and food. A night in the average hotel in Albuquerque will only cost $95 and a meal at an average mid-tier restaurant costs $18. However the travel portion of any trip to Albuquerque will be slightly pricey. In both car rental costs and average air fare, the city ranks in the middle of the pack.
Albuquerque is an even better spot to visit if you live within driving distance. By driving here, a family or individual could cut out the car rental and airfare costs, which are the most expensive parts of a vacation to Albuquerque.
4. Reno, Nevada
Another Nevada city takes fourth. Reno might make more sense for an individual traveler than for a family, at least judging by affordability. The city ranks third for the cost of a vacation for an individual and fourth for the cost of a vacation for a four-person family. Notable highlights for Reno include affordable hotels and meals. According to our data, the average meal at a mid-tier restaurant here costs about $19, while a night in a hotel will set you back $101 on average.
Like in Las Vegas, Reno has some interesting casinos which may be worth checking out like the Silver Legacy Resort & Casino. Car lovers will also enjoy coming to Reno. It is home to the National Automobile Museum which has over 220 classic cars on display.
3. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Our top three remain the same from last year. In third, once again, is Fort Lauderdale. Getting to and getting around this city is affordable, according to our research. This city has the fifth-lowest car rental costs and second-lowest average round-trip airfare costs. What makes Fort Lauderdale fall behind Orlando and Las Vegas are the meal and hotel costs. In both of those metrics, Fort Lauderdale ranks in the middle of the pack.
This is a great city for people looking to experience nature. Fort Lauderdale sits right next to the Everglades and offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see wild alligators.
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas repeats last year’s second place finish again this year. Sin City ranks so well because of the affordable flights. According to our data, the average round-trip flight to Las Vegas costs under $234. For that metric, Las Vegas ranks first.
In total we estimate that a single traveler spending three nights in Las Vegas could expect to pay nearly $857, while a family of four making the same trip would need to budget $2,308.
1. Orlando, Florida
For the third year in a row, Orlando is the most affordable travel destination. We estimate that an individual traveler could expect to pay just under $800 for their weekend trip to Orlando, while a family of four would be facing a cost of just over $2,225. Across all the metrics, Orlando is an affordable place to visit. It ranks no worse than sixth in any category. One metric that helps families is the falling cost of airfare. The average plane ticket is around $4 less than last year.
As the home of Disney World, this city is especially enticing for young families but there are other great vacation options unrelated to theme parks. For example, the Kennedy Space Center would be a great place to visit for a family with a budding astronaut in their ranks.
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Molly Sims certainly doesn’t think so, and she’s teaming up with Chase and Hyatt on behalf of the new World of Hyatt Credit Card to help customers around the world do just that.
The new card is specifically designed to encourage travelers to stay focused on health and wellness while on the road.
Sims gave us the gist of what the new card does when we met up with her in New York last week:
“It’s basically the first card of its kind to honor fitness … it’s basically promoting healthy lifestyle, healthy traveling and it's good because when you're someone like me who is constantly on-the-go, [you] do want to have healthy places around (because it's so important), and be rewarded for it … Chase was my very first credit card all those moons ago!
It definitley rewards you for being healthy and as I said before, traveling is very difficult because you can binge, you can fall off the wagon and to try to promote that healthy lifestyle is important.”
The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers a new bonus points category which features double the amount of bonus points on fitness club and gym memberships and four bonus points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts (including participating restaurants and spas, both of which aim to promote wellness in the name of smart dietary choices and relaxation.)
But Sims knows that not every trip offers easy accessibility to restaurants with healthy choices or hotels with fully-equipped gyms and wellness centers, which is why she goes into her getaways stacked and packed with healthy go-to’s:
“I try to pack almond butter packets, I pack protein powder — at least if I pack it and I only do it half the time, at least it’s there because you’re never going to [eat healthy] the whole time. I also downloaded 'Tone it Up’ … and I’ll do the Body by Simone or do Tracey Anderson, I try to stay consistent.”
She’s also a fan of packing COOLA sunscreen, makeup wipes and milk packets — consistency and accessibility being her key necessities when choosing what to pack while traveling, advising to “pack in compartments — that makes a huge difference.”
But Sims' biggest advice for staying on track while traveling is quite the opposite of what most people instinctively think they have to do while on vacation:
“Don’t not eat [a lot]! I think that’s the biggest thing — you end up binging on a trip because you drink all day and then you just go for it… I’m going to say the opposite of what we all naturally do, but eat more throughout the day so that you don’t binge … have a little fat, have almond butter or a shake — don’t have a lot of fruit, it’s all sugar … [eat] things that satiate you so that you’re not starving.”
These tried and true methods will definitley hold true as Sims embarks on her next big excursion:
“The last big trip I took was to Cabo. I’m about to go to [Lake] Como in Italy -- we’re staying at the Park Hyatt in Milan and then we’re going on to stay in Como. I’m so excited! And then we’re going to travel to St. Tropez for a few days to visit a couple friends of ours … no kids!”