When the fax machine was introduced, some analysis thought business travel would be significantly reduced, if not entirely obsolete. The same thing happened when everyone started using email, back in the early to mid-1990s. Yet business travel didn’t disappear.

And it’s not going away anytime soon, even with the advent of cell phones, GoToMeeting, Skype and other instant communication devices.

Tempting as it is for corporate budget minders to dream about ditching travel expenses, it’s a safe bet that face-to-face meetings will remain the preferred mode of business contact, especially for high-level communication. Forget “super-secure” connections, HD videoconferencing and the like – there really is no substitute for an in-person conversation and handshake.

Since business travel is here to stay –finding out which U.S. cities are the least and most expensive can provide keen insight for logistic considerations, budget planning and your bottom line.

Our team here at Innovative Company did some business travel research, and here are the most and least expensive U.S. cities for business travelers. Some cities were a bit cheaper than expected – Chicago is less pricy than you’d expect. But other cities, including one that many people have never heard of (Garden City, NY, not far from Manhattan), made a surprising surge near the top of the list.

High Resident Costs = High Traveler Costs (Most of the Time)

There seems to be a direct correlation between expensive real estate and resident living expenses and high travel prices. The usual suspects – namely New York, San Francisco and Honolulu – have been the most expensive U.S. cities for business travel for a while. And with skyrocketing cost of living in these areas, don’t expect a discount anytime soon.

Top 5, Bottom 5, Middle 5

According to Business Travel News, 2015 business travel expenses were highest in San Francisco ($509 per diem), New York ($495), Boston ($465), Honolulu ($399) and Seattle ($389). Looking at the most affordable cities, there’s something about less populated coastal areas and the southwest desert that seem to keep costs under control. Shreveport ($241), Tucson ($245), Norfolk ($250), Biloxi ($251) and Albuquerque ($252) round out the least expensive U.S cities for business travel.

Interestingly, the four of the “middle 5” cities in terms of business travel costs are literally in the middle of the country. In the $294 – $299 range are breadbasket metro areas Oklahoma City, Des Moines, Kansas City, and St. Louis. Syracuse completes the quintet.

Travel Cost Considerations

Business travel for companies dependent on fleet vehicles can reduce daily costs with the help of a reputable fleet vehicle repair firm like Premier Coach Works. For individual travelers, Fix Auto offers a nationwide network of full-service collision repair facilities to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Having a “Plan B” on the road will help your bottom line, and it’ll also ensure you’re not idle for too long. Business travel plans can be sidetracked by unexpected events like vehicle repairs and fender benders, but companies like Premier Coach Works and Fix Auto will keep your travel plans on track.

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