Destinations

Hotwire Releases 2nd Annual “America’s Best Cities for a Quickie” Index with Surprising Destinations for Easy Getaways

Smiling young hippie women driving minivan car. | Photo: Syda_Productions / Depositphotos Smiling young hippie women driving minivan car. | Photo: Syda_Productions / Depositphotos

More than four in five (81%) of adults agree that after quarantine, quick, local trips are the perfect way to test the waters before investing in a longer vacation according to a recent survey by online travel site Hotwire.

SAN FRANCISCO, California. August 11, 2020 (Biz Republic) — While jet-setting abroad may be off the table this summer, many Americans are turning to their own backyard for a change of scenery after months of stay-at-home orders. In fact, more than four in five (81%) of adults agree that after quarantine, quick, local trips are the perfect way to test the waters before investing in a longer vacation according to a recent survey* by online travel site Hotwire® — but these trips will be accompanied by added safety precautions.

Key changes travelers plan to make include traveling more by car (50%), visiting less crowded spots (43%), researching a hotel’s cleanliness procedures (29%) and traveling close to home in case of emergency (26%). In 2019, the last-minute getaway experts at Hotwire brought new meaning to the term ‘quickie’ when they released the “America’s Best Cities for a Quickie Index” which ranked 40 U.S. destinations predominantly based on factors like leisure and entertainment for a two to three-night getaway.

But with trip planning looking a bit different this year and impacted by a rapidly changing health and safety landscape, recent traveler preferences called for new city ranking factors such as savings on last-minute bookings, driveability and population. To create the 2020 index,** Hotwire’s robust ranking system analyzed more than 300 cities coast-to-coast, compiling more than 10,000 data points and taking into account today’s most pressing travel factors, including Ease of Arrival – Driveability (30%), Best Bang for Your Buck – Value (30%), Things to Do – Leisure (30%) and Population (10%) as travelers look to escape crowded destinations.

America’s Best Cities for a Quickie Index 2020 – Top 40

Major Metropolises: 1. Las Vegas, NV | 2. San Francisco, CA | 3. Washington, DC | 4. Oklahoma City, OK | 5. Seattle, WA | 6. Memphis, TN | 7. Indianapolis, IN | 8. Austin, TX | 9. Denver, CO | 10. Portland, OR

Mid-Size Must-Sees: 1. St. Louis, MO | 2. Tampa, FL | 3. Atlanta, GA | 4. Arlington, VA | 5. Tucson, AZ | 6. Tulsa, OK | 7. Virginia Beach, VA | 8. Pittsburgh, PA | 9. Miami, FL | 10. Cincinnati, OH

Small Town Favorites: 1. Orlando, FL | 2. Scottsdale, AZ | 3. Fort Lauderdale, FL | 4. Reno, NV | 5. Salt Lake City, UT | 6. Springfield, MO | 7. Madison, WI | 8. Shreveport, LA | 9. Tallahassee, FL | 10. Toledo, OH

Itty Bitty City: 1. Charleston, SC | 2. Newport Beach, CA | 3. Santa Barbara, CA | 4. South Bend, IN | 5. Sarasota, FL | 6. Savannah, GA | 7. Temecula, CA | 8. Troy, AL | 9. Wilmington, DE | 10. Atlantic City, NJ

What Makes A Great Quickie City?

When it came to ranking the best cities for a “quickie,” these top 40 cities scored big in the following categories:

Ease of Arrival – Driveability (30%):
— Short drive time (number of top 50 U.S. metro areas within 250 miles)

Best Bang for Your Buck – Value (30%):
— High hotel demand
— Lowest average hotel daily rate
— Biggest last-minute savings

Things to Do – Leisure (30%):
— Most number of bars and restaurants
— Most things to do (sites and attractions)
— Least number of rainy days

Population (10%)
— Higher priority to those with smaller populations

With 20 fresh destinations on this year’s Index, three categories saw new cities hit the #1 spot. Las Vegas kept its claim as the top Major Metropolis for a quickie, thanks in particular to its high value and leisure scores and moderate population. To ensure a safe and seamless trip, Hotwire strongly recommends checking the most recent local travel guidelines for your city and destination before booking. They have also been working closely with their hotel partners to communicate property cleanliness precautions during checkout to indicate enhanced health and safety measures taken to protect travelers.

“No one is certain how much longer COVID-19 will disrupt travel plans, so quick getaways can help Americans enjoy a change of scenery right now without making major commitments,” said Nick Graham, head of Hotwire. “In the midst of everything, Americans are craving a much needed break. We’re seeing that people are taking certain precautions such as staying within driving distance of home and waiting until the last-minute to book so there’s no risk of their plans changing. And what’s really exciting is that these types of spontaneous trips actually offer outsized benefits: Hotwire users can save an additional 50% when they book within a week of their trip!”

Last-minute deals on Hotwire give you the flexibility to book a trip on the fly while saving more money than ever. Book a mystery Hot Rate® Hotel right before you want to travel and save an average of 52% more vs. booking a listed rate hotel two weeks earlier. Hot Rate deals are also available for car rentals, making a quickie getaway even more accessible. For more information on how to “Make it a Quickie,” see travel resources and deals, or to view the complete city index and tips, visit quickie.hotwire.com.

About Hotwire

Hotwire is a leading discount travel site. Launched in 2000, Hotwire, Inc. was one of the first online travel sites to work with suppliers directly to book unsold inventory. By simply hiding the brand name, Hotwire can offer customers deep savings on hotel rooms, rental cars, and flights. Hotwire is an operating company within Expedia Group. For more information, visit www.hotwire.com.

Survey Methodology

The Hotwire Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18+, between June 11th and June 16th, 2020, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population, ages 18+. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation.

The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

Index Methodology

Hotwire examined more than 10,000 internal and external data points across 300 cities in the U.S. based on factors important to making a successful “quickie,” including value, convenience, leisure, and population size. Each destination received a maximum of 45 total points across 7 subcategories, and were further ranked based on population. Leveraging the different rankings across all four categories, we created a weighted index to determine which cities had the highest ranking across all variables.

The total score was weighted by the following: value (30%), convenience (30%), leisure (30%), and population (10%). The total score was calculated by multiplying the weighted composite number by 10,000. Value score takes into account Hotwire’s booking demand, average daily rates for lodging, and biggest last-minute savings (based on difference in average hotel daily rate of Hotwire Hot Rates in 2019, booked 8 days or more from arrival vs. within 7 days). Convenience score is based on the number of top 50 U.S. cities within 250 miles (driving distance).

Leisure score is derived from the number of bars and restaurants, number of things to do, based on Yelp and TripAdvisor listings, and the least number of rainy days a city has in a year. Based on these factors, this index identified the best large (Major Metropolises), medium (Mid-Size Must-Sees), small (Small Town Favorites) and micro (Itty Bitty Cities) cities in the nation for travelers to make it a quickie.