One surefire way to cut down on travel costs during your summer vacation is to, well, just stay home. Staycations are a trendy alternative to that cross-country road trip or Caribbean cruise, especially if you live somewhere other people are itching to visit. Unless that place is Dallas, which WalletHub has named one of the worst cities for staycations.
Yes, the financial website recently crowned Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington the No. 6 best summer travel destination, but that study took airfare costs, hotel rates, and assorted other travel hassles into its equation, while the new one zeros in on what there is to do, eat, and see once you're in the city.
Dallas ranks a dismal No. 124 out of 150, with pretty poor showings in the three overall categories of recreation, food and entertainment, and rest and relaxation.
Recreation includes things like the number of public golf courses, parks, hiking trails, water parks, shopping centers, and swimming pools. Food and entertainment counts the number of nightlife options, zoos, museums, cultural attractions, affordable restaurants, coffee and tea shops, and beer gardens per capita in addition to the average costs for a movie or game of bowling.
Rest and relaxation measures not only the number of spas and beaches but also WalletHub's summer weather score and the costs of beauty salons and housecleaning services. Because on a staycation, you're not supposed to sweep the floor yourself.
The best staycation city in Texas is Amarillo, apparently, at No. 35. Grand Prairie follows at No. 45, the only other Texas city to crack the top 50.
Fort Worth is the lowest at No. 145, and Arlington — home to DFW's Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, and AT&T Stadium — is No. 130. San Antonio, with its River Walk and own Six Flags amusement park, is No. 136, and Houston is No. 137. Austin ranks a middle-of-the-road No. 70.
To put it in perspective, WalletHub ranks Anaheim, California, home of Disneyland, No. 134 and New York City, home of practically everything entertaining, No. 148.