Travel has been booming this summer, despite higher gasoline, hotel and airline prices, and the hidden costs of taxes and fees that U.S. jurisdictions impose on travel-related purchases: hotel rooms, rental cars and general sales.
To calculate Travelers Misery Index, Forbes added together the following rates for a dozen popular U.S. destinations: hotel occupancy tax, general sales tax (avoiding double-counting where the sales tax is applied to hotel rooms) and the rental-car tax (again, avoiding double counting) for a car obtained on airport grounds.
Because some charges are imposed as a percentage and some as a fixed amount, Forbes assumed a one-night hotel stay at $100 (about the average daily rate, according to Smith Travel Research of Henderson, Tenn.) and a two-day car rental totaling $200, an approximation of the base rate for a luxury car in these cities.
Avis and Hertz provided car rental tax information. State departments of finance/revenue, local convention and tourism/visitors bureaus and local hotel/lodging associations provided hotel occupancy tax and sales tax figures.