Most ‘bang for your buck’ travel destinations

When to Travel After Being Vaccinated.After getting vaccinated, your first thought may be to plan a trip — but you may want to pause before booking a ticket.The vaccine takes at least a couple weeks after the second dose to fully kick in, so be sure to hold off on immediately traveling.Though immunity will eventually set in, keep in mind that you could still potentially spread the virus.When planning, take into account who you’ll see along the way and consider the overall risk-level of the trip.Doctors have recommended avoiding destinations with positive rates of 5% or more, even if you’re vaccinated.If you do travel, it's important to continue social distancing, wearing masks, and consistently washing your hands

WalletHub analysis ranks Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta in top 5

Americans are ready to travel, as seen by the lines at the Atlanta airport that stretched through the domestic terminal atrium and down hallways as a travel industry decimated by COVID-19 continues to rebound.

Not everyone is ready to get on a plane — or can afford it — right now. For those looking to get away without breaking the bank, the financial website WalletHub developed a ranking of the cheapest U.S. destinations that are also the easiest to reach.

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To determine 2021′s Best Summer Travel Destinations, WalletHub compared 100 of the most populated metro areas (or Metropolitan Statistical Areas, as identified by the U.S. Census Bureau) across six categories: travel costs and hassles; local costs; attractions; weather; activities; and safety.

It then evaluated those categories using 42 relevant metrics, each graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for summer travel. You can read the full methodology here.

Lucky for Atlantans, three of the top five destinations aren’t that far by vehicle. In fact, No. 5 is in our backyard.

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta metro area finished fifth, with an overall score of 67.81.

Although the area ranked in the top 20 in five of the categories, it was No. 63 in safety.

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Within the key metrics, Atlanta ranked:

  • 20th – travel costs and hassles
  • 13th – local costs
  • 20th – number of attractions
  • 2nd – diversity of attractions
  • 14th – cost of cheapest flight
  • 5th – cost of three-star hotel
  • 15th – weather
  • 11th – activities
  • 26th – average COVID-19 cases in the past week per capita

Finishing at the top of WalletHub’s ranking was the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida, metro area, with a score of 72.95.

Second place would require a plane ride, however, since it’s the urban Honolulu metro area, with a score of 72.89. Third and fourth place were New Orleans-Metairie and Austin-RoundRock-Georgetown, in that order.

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta wasn’t the only Georgia area on the list. A few hours east on Interstate 20 will take you to the No. 22 destination: Augusta-Richmond County, which scored 60.78.

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