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Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for U.S. Business Travel

Recently, The Street worked together with Concur to put together this list of the top 10 most expensive travel destinations for business travelers in the U.S. After analyzing over 50,000 expense reports, the average spend for food, lodging, cabs to and from the airport, entertainment and more was calculated. California with two mentions on the list and New York, with three, are (not surprisingly) home to some of the most expensive cities in the U.S. Check out the rest for yourself:

10. Santa Clara, California

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $331
The $50 average cost to get a ride from the airport puts this city at #10 on the list. If you do business with Apple or any of the other major companies in the area, you generally go to Santa Clara first and then trek it over to your final destination. Of course, you could fly into San Fran but that will usually cost the company about 25% more in travel costs.

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $336
Though lodging can oftentimes be cheap in Vegas, entertainment costs are the opposite. Vegas shows don’t pay for themselves and travelers spend an average of $166 on entertainment expenses, the 2nd most expensive on the list.

Vegas

8. Miami, Florida

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $334.84
Known as a ‘party’ city, when traveling to Miami, business travelers spend an average of $118 on a hotel room and $149 on entertainment expenses alone. The South Beach club scene sure comes at a cost.

7. Chicago, Illinois

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $345.85
Staying in the heart of the city can cost you about $132 and if you are planning to attend a pro baseball game, show or one of the famous Chicago museums during your stay, plan to spend about $144.

Chicago

6. Long Island City, New York

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $359
Because it’s a little outside of Manhattan, you will be saving some money on lodging and food. However, because most business travelers need to go into the city for the ‘business’ part of the trip, cab fare can rack up quite the bill.

5. Boston, Massachusetts

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $369
Home to many tech companies, Boston is a popular (and expensive!) destination for business travel. Entertainment is what makes this city so costly with the average spend to be about $144 for a professional sports game, tour and more…an entertainment cost that rivals NYC and San Francisco.

4. Washington D.C.

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $374.29
Businesses spend an average of $164.14 on lodging in our nation’s capital per trip and that doesn’t even count the 2nd most costly price of getting to and from the airports ($45).

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3. Garden City, New York

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $389
18 miles from Manhattan, a lot of people stay here to avoid the crazy NYC prices. The average $106 cost of a hotel room is almost half the price of a room in the city but the $72 cost of getting to and from the airport is almost double. Meanwhile, Garden City food costs are the most expensive on the list ($66 on average). We wouldn’t exactly call this the “cheap” way to do NYC.

2. San Francisco, California

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $407.04
Entertainment costs are high while food costs are more reasonable with the plethora of low cost dining options (street-side burrito stand anyone?!). Business travelers shell out about $166 in entertainment and an average of only $44 to eat.

1. New York, New York

Average spending minus airfare and car rental: $470.16
No big surprise here, New York City is the most expensive destination for business travel in the U.S. The $194 average hotel costs are the highest in the country, the $174 entertainment spend also tops the list and the $65 average dining cost is only topped by $1 (close by in Garden City, NY).

new york city skyline
This list proves that staying in a big metropolitan area sure costs a pretty penny. However, travelers and businesses are willing to pay these prices because it’s hard to mimic the experiences had in the cities anywhere else.

Tell us in the comments, what is the most expensive U.S. city you have ever traveled to? Was it worth it?

Traveling for business in the near future and not sure exactly what to expense back to your company? Check out Professional Travel’s guide to business travel expenses for some quick tips.

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