The results are in, and it turns out, bigger really is better… when it comes to U.S. business travel.
FitSmallBusiness.com, the digital business publication, analyzed 40 popular U.S. destinations to determine the least expensive cities for business travel. Newsflash: the bigger the city, the better it is on your wallet.
Common wisdom suggests that small, lesser known cities offer business travelers the lowest prices for hotel rooms, airfare, transportation, and dining options. But after a thorough research and evaluation process, Fit Small Business discovered something entirely different. In reality, large metropolitan cities offer the most competitive prices for all amenities including flight, hotel, car rental options, and shared workstations, thus, making them the most cost-efficient for business travelers. While the cost of living is sky high in cities like San Diego, Miami, and Atlanta, they are all central hubs for travel and commerce, offering the business traveler a broad spectrum of pricing on virtually all business travel needs. The top spot goes to Las Vegas courtesy of its inexpensive fight, dining and entertainment options.
To create the list, Fit Small Business evaluated and ranked 40 popular U.S. destinations using a variety of factors that impact the cost of travel (see below) and assigned a weight to each category.
The Least Expensive Cities in the U.S. for Business Travel
- Las Vegas
- West Palm Beach
- San Diego
- Washington D.C.
Fit Small Business ranked the 40 cities on the following weighted six metrics
- Flight Costs (30%) – Average cost for a round-trip ticket to each of the cities from three airports across the country: Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, New York JFK International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport.
- Rental Car Costs (25%) – Average cost to rent a full-size vehicle from three rental car companies, based on a Monday pickup and a Wednesday drop-off at each city’s major airport.
- Hotel Costs (25%) – Cost of a hotel room in each city researched, based on a Monday check-in and Wednesday checkout.
- Dining Costs (10%) – Cost of a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant.
- Taxi Costs (5%) – Taxi start price, hour waiting price, and the average length of a one-way trip in each city researched.
- Workspace Costs (5%) – Cost to rent a conference room through Davinci in each city. The publication also considered the cost of renting a shared office space through WeWork, however, WeWork’s monthly plan makes the cost of renting office space equal across markets.
“A lot of companies – particularly small businesses – might be tempted to choose a smaller city to host a conference or a corporate retreat as a way to save money,” said Eric Noe, Editor in Chief of Fit Small Business. “But our study found they’d be better off looking at major transportation hubs, where they’ll find many choices for flights, event spaces and everything else to fit their budget parameters – whatever they may be.”