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10 cheap US destinations for the holidays

Very few of us have a real say in where we travel for the holidays. It’s all about family and friends, so oftentimes that means sleeping on a pull-out couch or twin bed in your childhood bedroom. But for those with a little flexibility, there are some budget-friendly places to get away for the holidays.

According to Kayak, Las Vegas is the most wallet-friendly domestic destination for travelers this holiday season. If playing roulette and watching Celine Dion belt out her greatest hits sounds appealing, the travel booking site predicts the average plane ticket could cost $258 in November. If you can wait a few additional weeks, the median airfare could to drop to $247 in December and $221 in January.

Hotel rooms might also be uber affordable during the winter months. In November, the median hotel rate is expected to drop to $146 a night, and we found an impressive nightly rate of $159 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino the weekend before Thanksgiving. Prices just might reach an average $171 a night by January.

Kayak’s 2016 Holiday Travel Hacker Guide is not really a prediction tool. Instead, it uses historical data and trends to estimate what travelers might encounter as they book airfare and hotels in the winter months. To pinpoint wallet-friendly destinations, Kayak rummaged through data from November 2015 through January 2016 on searches conducted in the US and Canada.

Skate away the winter blues in Chicago. (Getty Images)

Surprisingly, another destination that might be easier on your wallet is Chicago. Kayak says the median airfare could reach $244 in November. Prices might jump up to $261 in December, before dropping to $184 in January. It’s no secret that Chicago is downright frigid in the winter, but there are some wintry activities to put visitors in a festive mood. Go ice skating in Millennium park with the Chicago Skyline as your backdrop, shop till you drop on the Magnificent Mile, or laugh till it hurts at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival from Jan. 7-17.

Rounding out the top three, Kayak estimates that Atlanta could also be an affordable destination this holiday season. According to its data, the average price of round-trip plane ticket might cost about $262 in November. Prices may increase slightly in December before dropping to $206 in January. The temperature in Atlanta hovers in the 40s and 50s during December and January, so the slightly warmer weather is reason enough to fly south for a few days. Hotels rates are also a selling point. Guests could pay as little as $140 for a nightly stay in November. That could jump up to $161 a night in January.

Here is a full list of wallet-friendly destinations this holiday season

  1.     Las Vegas
  2.     Chicago, Ill.
  3.     Atlanta, Ga.
  4.     Denver, Colo.
  5.     Dallas, Texas
  6.     New York, New York
  7.     Washington DC.
  8.     Orlando, Fla.
  9.     Boston, Mass.
  10.  Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Brittany is a writer at Yahoo Finance.

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