OKLAHOMA CITY – The 681,000 people who live here may soon have more company as vacationing families come to see what the capital has to offer.
Summer vacation is fast approaching, and the Family Travel Association’s 2022 US Family Travel Survey shows that 84% of parents are likely to travel with their children in the next 12 months. High demand and rising prices mean that many families are looking for fun and entertainment in the market that fits their tight budget.
Oklahoma City ranks second among the least expensive cities for family vacations, with a maximum trip cost of $3,272 for a family of four, according to a new study.
To determine the cheapest cities for family vacations, Forbes Advisor analyzed 53 major US cities on the following criteria: airfare, hotel, car rental and food costs. The analysis did not include any cities with average temperatures above 95 degrees during the summer months.
Toledo, Ohio, topped the list at $2,731 including airfare for four, three nights in two rooms at a mid-range hotel, a three-day rental car and three meals a day. New York City came in as the cheapest at $5,550, on average, for a three-day vacation.
The top five cheapest family vacation destinations were Orlando, Florida; Buffalo, New York; and Wichita, Kansas. Tulsa was not far behind, ranking seventh at $3,692.
“Oklahoma City is a great, affordable place to go on vacation,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who also works as a tourism secretary. “21.4 million people visit Oklahoma City each year, but with world-class hotels, attractions, and entertainment centers under construction, we expect that number to grow. I look forward to welcoming more families to enjoy all that the Modern Frontier has to offer. “
While out-of-towners may choose Oklahoma City as a great place to play at a good price, their entire vacation is a business for a growing industry that is bringing in a lot of money.
Visitors to Oklahoma City generated $3.8 billion in revenue in 2021, the year tourism rebounded due to the pandemic, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber reported in December. These companies created 31,569 jobs and contributed $311 million in state and local taxes.
“Our people are what make our destination special,” Oklahoma City President Zac Craig said. “It takes a diverse group of strong, united people to make Oklahoma City a great place to be.”
Visit OKC honored 12 individuals and organizations last week, recognizing that they have “stepped up in their industry to promote tourism in Oklahoma City.”
Forbes Advisor noted that Oklahoma City’s popularity on the list was due to the low cost of hotels.
“Families will find plenty to do in the Boathouse District, an outdoor recreation area with activities for all ages. Similarly, Myriad Gardens and Six Flags Frontier City will delight children and adults alike,” the report said.
“Oklahoma City is an hour and a half from Tulsa, No. 7 on our list of cheap travel destinations. Time-conscious families can combine destinations with a single flight purchase. In Tulsa, don’t miss the Riverfront Gathering – a free park with is one of the largest stadiums in the country.