Forbes Compiles Travelers Misery Index

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.

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