Every year, Business Travel News publishes a Corporate Travel Index that rates the top 100 cities in the United States according to what an average hotel room costs, the average price to rent a car and average food costs.
Some of the 2012 results are interesting. Here are some South Carolina examples.
Food costs in Greenville are more expensive than Charleston. Greenville’s prices are $10.74 for breakfast, $22.84 for lunch and $51.30 for dinner – total $84.87.
Charleston, by far the state’s most popular tourist destination, charges $10.86 for breakfast, $21.63 for lunch and by comparison, a paltry $44 for dinner – total $76.49.
However, Charleston recovers when it comes to average hotel costs. They rank 27th highest in the nation and Greenville is 72nd.
Averaging categories upper upscale, upscale, midscale, booked average daily rate, taxes and fees Charleston’s rate is calculated at $157.39 a night. That’s cheap however, compared to New York City – the most expense – at $342.61 a night, two and half times more than Greenville’s $126.73.
Greenville’s car rental average (compact, intermediate, full size, average booked rate, tax and fees) was $48.81 (63rd nationally), again edging Charleston’s $48.51 (68th).
Bottom line is Greenville, on average, is only $22 a night cheaper than Charleston.
North Carolina also has some tidbits.
First, Raleigh’s hotel rates don’t even crack the 100 most expensive in the U.S.
Charlotte at $138.05 (54th) and Greensboro (80th) at $124.41 are the only two from North Carolina. (Columbia, South Carolina is 85th at two cents a night less than Greensboro).
However, when it comes to food Raleigh tops all Carolina cities at $85.94, 40th in the nation. Greensboro is 78th at $77.48.
Charlotte has the highest rental car rate in North Carolina (28th) at $52.41 but Columbia is the highest in the Carolinas (20th nationally) at $52.88.
So here is the conclusion:
Don’t rent a car in Columbia but eating there is okay.
Spend overnight in Raleigh but skip the meals.
If you find yourself in Greenville, don’t be surprised at the travel costs.
And if you end up in Charleston, stay overnight with a friend.