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mar 20 2012

Would You Choose A Vacation Spot Just Because It's Cheap?

Picturesque Warsaw has some of the lowest five-star hotel rates on the planet. Ready to book? (Courtesy melpilgrim/myBudgetTravel)

At one time or another, we've probably all felt daunted by the high cost of visiting a certain place we really, really want to go—London, Venice, New York, and Australia come to mind right away. But I'm curious how many BT readers have ever chosen a vacation destination purely on the basis of its exceptional cheapness. The latest Hotel Price Index report came out last week on Hotels.com, and while rates worldwide are up 4% on average, there are still a slew of places where your hotel dollar goes far.

Domestically, the ten flat–out cheapest cities for hotel rates in 2011 (which, in many cases, correspond with general cost–of–visit rates) were: Columbia, S.C. (average room rate $65); Macon, Ga. ($72); Albany, Ga. ($75); Dothan, Ala. ($76); Lima, Ohio ($78); Bakersfield, Calif. ($78); Ottumwa–Kirksville, Mo. ($79); Glendive, Mont. ($79); Montgomery/Selma, Ala. ($79); and Parkersburg, W. Va. ($80).

And if you're looking for luxury at a low cost, here are the top international destinations for affordable five–star rooms, based on prices paid throughout 2011: Warsaw, Poland (average five–star room rate $130); Marrakech, Morocco ($168); Cairo, Egypt ($189); Budapest, Hungary ($191); Pisa, Italy ($193); Lisbon, Portugal ($195); Brussels, Belgium ($196); Berlin, Germany ($198); and Beijing, China ($203).

Does knowing that you can stay in Columbia, S.C. for $65 a night make you more likely to consider a visit to the South Carolina capital, with its historic homes, riverside zoo, and university–city energy (not to mention all that old–fashioned comfort food)? Or are you more tempted by the idea of living like a king in one of Warsaw's finest hotels for the cost of, say, a run–down pension in Paris?

How much do accommodations costs affect your vacation decisions? Tell us in the comments!

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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