Part of running a business is taking business trips. For small businesses, finding the best deals and optimizing their budget for airfare and hotel stays is also part of the process.
A new report from Tailwind by Hipmunk has a list of 20 cities where you can find a 5-star hotel at 3-star prices for your next business trip.
Granted a 5-star hotel is not necessary for a business trip, but if you want a high-end experience and maybe include your vacation, it is a great way to save money. The key, according to the report, is to find locations where the market makes luxury travel affordable.
If the city you are looking for is not on the list, you can get online and search on your own. By filtering the search by time of year, location, and the hotel it is possible to find a good deal on a 5-star hotel.
The cost of 5-star hotels can run into thousands of dollars per night. But Hipmunk says, in the US the average 2018 booking price on its site for a 5-star hotel was $431 per night.
So what makes a 5-star hotel? It is important to note there is not a worldwide governing body or agency with a single universal standard for hotel ratings.
While a 5-star hotel can be luxurious, a luxurious hotel doesn’t necessarily have to be a 5-star establishment.
The rating system used by agencies such as AAA, for example, has 1 to 5 diamonds to designate the hotels it reviews. Each year AAA reviews more than 27,000 hotels, but only 0.4 percent make the AAA Five Diamond list.
The 20 Cities with Cheap 5-Star Hotels
The 20 cities were selected after going through Hipmunk’s database. The company provides a comprehensive travel search platform. This includes commercial flights, trains, and charter flights as well as hotels and vacation rentals.
Based on its data, the following 20 cities met the criteria for finding a 5-star hotel at a 3-star price.
The cheapest rate came from Celebration, FL with a median booking price of $219. Celebration is located within a driving distance from Walt Disney parks. If you are on a business trip at the Disney complex or plan on vacationing there the $219 price tag is worth the price.
The next city is Waikiki, HI. This is yet another popular business and tourist destination with a median booking price of $241.
The top five cities are rounded up with Carlsbad, CA at $246, Las Vegas, NV at $250, and San Antonio, TX at $260 respectively.
The most expensive cities in the list start with Sedona, AZ at $359 followed by Scottsdale, AZ at $356. Honolulu, HI, Berkely, CA and Miami, FL were next at $355, $352, and $351 respectively.
Booking Your Hotel
Time is your friend when it comes to saving money on your travels. Whether it is a plane ticket or a hotel room, booking early will get you a better deal. Hipmunk recommends booking two to four weeks prior to check-in.
The report says if you book more than 30 days in advance, the price will be higher. Hipmunk doesn’t have an exact correlation for this, but it says it could be hotel pricing fluctuation or longer travel window plans by guests.
Another way to save is catching a last-minute deal during Shoulder Season, a travel period between peak and off-peak seasons. This is the time of year when luxury properties have the lowest rates.
You can take a look at the 20 cities in the graph below.