(NewsNation) — Despite record-high inflation pushing up the price of airline tickets, most people are not letting that stop their vacation plans. TSA, for most of the summer, has been reporting higher checkpoint travel numbers than this same time last year, with more than 2 million people going through almost every day.
Nina Ruggiero, digital editorial director of Travel + Leisure, came on “Morning in America” to share what travel destinations readers chose for the “World’s Best” awards this year.
Best Domestic Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Breeze Airways
- JetBlue Airways
- Alaska Airlines
- Delta Airlines
According to Travel+ Leisure readers, Hawaiian Airlines was the top airline because it has great value for its customers, while still offering Hawaiian hospitality and food, Ruggiero said.
“I don’t think it hurts that they end up in Hawaii,” she added.
Best U.S. Cities
- Charleston, South Carolina
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Savannah, Georgia
- Honolulu, Hawaii
This category was one of Travel + Leisure’s most popular awards this year. Ruggiero said this is because Americans have realized that domestic travel is great, too.
“They really loved the warmer cities throughout the south and western United States,” she said.
Charleston, South Carolina has won the number one spot for the past 10 years.
“It’s a really fun-loving city, lots of entertainment, history, it’s very walkable,” Ruggiero said. “People love taking strolls down its cobblestone streets, past its beautiful architecture, and its driving distance to three really amazing beaches.”
- Mackinac Island, Michigan
- Kiawah Island, South Carolina
- Nantucket, Massachusetts
- San Juan Island, Washington
- Golden Isles, Georgia
Mackinac Island is actually a newcomer to the Travel + Leisure World’s Best awards this year.
“This is an amazing one because it’s affordable and it’s low-key,” Ruggiero said. “It’s really like taking a step back in time.”
There are no cars on the island — people have to get around by foot, bicycle or even horse-drawn carriage. “We all know gas prices right now — so that’s a plus,” Ruggiero said.
She added that there are plenty of family-friendly places to explore, such as fudge shops, ice cream shops, nature trails and water activities.
“There are plenty of places to stay and things to do,” Ruggiero said.
Best National Parks
- Grand Teton
- Rocky Mountain
“National Parks are a great way to travel. On a budget at Yellowstone, which is number one, you can go camping for $20 a night if you bring your own tent and just utilize the beautiful campsite there,” Ruggiero said.
Sights to see include over 500 geysers and endangered wildlife. People can go fly fishing, hiking —”The activities are truly endless,” Ruggiero said. “It’s great for families who are looking to just have everyone come and travel without spending a ton.”