Hotwire releases 3rd Annual “America’s Best Cities For A Quickie” Index with best destinations for an upgraded getaway

Top 40 Cities for 2021 Ranked Based on Increased Appetite for “Revenge Travel” and Desire to Level Up Travel Experiences

On the heels of one of the most severe travel droughts in recent history, it’s no wonder Americans are itching to get away and make up for lost time. According to a recent Hotwire survey,* an overwhelming 75% of Americans want to travel more to make up for trips they couldn’t take over the last 18 months. What’s more, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed (83%) are after quick, spontaneous trips to meet their travel needs. Cue travel app Hotwire’s “Best Cities for a Quickie” Index!

Not only are last-minute “quickie” trips of 2-3 nights less stressful to plan, but they allow for more at every turn — more frequent trips, more spontaneity, more savings when booking last minute with Hotwire, and more money saved to splurge on fancy experiences. In fact, 79% of Americans report they would use money saved by booking a quickie on Hotwire to level up their getaway:

  • 41% would add fun, active experiences to their itineraries
  • 35% would splurge on an expensive meal
  • 29% would pamper themselves with a massage or spa treatment

With those insights in mind, Hotwire’s third annual “America’s Best Cities for a Quickie” index** reflects the desire for MORE when it comes to travel – more 4 and 5-star options, swankier amenities, and more experiences while at the destination. To create the 2021 index, the travel experts analyzed over 10,000 internal and external data points across more than 350 cities, including value, volume of experiences (leisure) and drivability, with a focus on 4 and 5-star hotels which offer the most-wanted amenities for a truly leveled-up experience.

America’s Best Cities for a Quickie Index 2021 – Top 40

Major Metropolises

  1. New York, NY
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. Washington, D.C.
  6. Boston, MA
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Houston, TX
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Indianapolis, IN

Mid-Sized Must-Sees

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Baltimore, MD
  3. St. Louis, MO
  4. Milwaukee, WI
  5. Cincinnati, OH
  6. New Orleans, LA
  7. Miami, GL
  8. Pittsburgh, PA
  9. Lexington, KY
  10. Cleveland, OH

Small Town Favorites

  1. Orlando, FL
  2. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  3. Reno, NV
  4. Richmond, VA
  5. Salt Lake City, UT
  6. Madison, WI
  7. Buffalo, NY
  8. Shreveport, LA
  9. Tallahassee, FL
  10. Knoxville, TN

Itty Bitty Cities

  1. Savannah, GA
  2. Palm Springs, CA
  3. Newport Beach, CA
  4. Asheville, NC
  5. Costa Mesa, CA
  6. Charleston, SC
  7. Ann Arbor, MI
  8. Newport, RI
  9. St. Augustine, FL
  10. Atlantic City

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:

Best Bang For Your Buck (Value)

Hotwire enables more trips with its mystery Hot Rate deals which save you up to half off listed rates, or even more when booked last minute! And this year, the Quickie Index lists cities where you’ll find 4- and 5-star hotels that offer more amenities and more bang for your buck based on the following factors:

  • High 4- and 5-star hotel demand (based on total number of Hot Rate room nights booked on Hotwire in 2020)
  • Lowest average 4- and 5-star hotel daily rate (based on overall average daily rates of Hotwire Hot Rates in 2020)
  • Biggest last-minute savings on 4- and 5-star hotels (based on difference in average hotel daily rate of Hotwire Hot Rates in 2020 booked 8 days or more from arrival vs within 7 days)

Things To Do (Leisure)

Experiencing a quickie is all about having a little fun. The Quickie Index ranks destinations offering a wide variety of entertainment options that cater to all traveler types to ensure a great time, such as:

  • Most number of restaurants (based on Tripadvisor)
  • Most things to do (sites and attractions based on Tripadvisor)
  • Least number of rainy days per year (based on NOAA data)

Ease Of Arrival (Drivability)

For a true quickie getaway, minimizing the time needed to actually get to the destination is paramount to maximizing the fun! With more travelers looking to stay local, the Quickie Index factored in:

  • The shortest drive time for the most people – We looked at the total population within a 250-mile radius of the destination to find those cities that are within driving distance for the greatest number of people

Ready for a “quickie” trip? No need to plan in advance – Hotwire did the research for you so you can just pick a quickie city and pack your bags to go. And with Hotwire’s Hot Rate mystery deals, you’ll actually save more when you book last-minute! Just choose the rating, location and amenities you want – a pool, breakfast, room service – then Hotwire will find you the perfect hotel – revealing the name after you book, and saving you up to 60% in the process. To book your quickie getaway now, download the app or visit 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 August 27th and September 2nd, 2021, using an email invitation and an online survey. The data was weighted to ensure an accurate representation of U.S. adults, 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 350 cities in the U.S. based on value, leisure, and drivability. For 2021, Hotwire focused specifically on 4- and 5-star properties – those with the most-wanted amenities for a truly leveled-up experience. Each destination received a maximum of 15 points in each of the three categories and seven subcategories. Leveraging the different rankings across all three categories, Hotwire created a weighted index to determine which cities had the highest ranking across all variables. The total score was weighted by the following: value (40%), leisure (40%), and drivability (20%).

Value score takes into account Hotwire’s booking demand, average daily rates for lodging, and biggest last-minute savings for 4- and 5-star properties (based on the difference in average hotel daily rate of Hotwire Hot Rates in 2020, booked 8 days or more from arrival vs. within 7 days). Leisure score is derived from the number of restaurants, number of things to do, based on TripAdvisor listings, and the least number of rainy days a city has in a year. Drivability score is based on the population within 250 miles (driving distance). 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.

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