I traveled to Chicago tonight for some customer meetings I’ll be having the next two days, and when I originally searched for flights and hotel, I was shocked to see how expensive hotels were in the city this week — the cheapest hotel I could find in the general vicinity was at least $390+/night, which would be completely out of the realm of what I’d be allowed to expense and get reimbursed for. I ended up finding a deal for $282/night, which still sounds insane, but at least would be within my company’s limits. That was two weeks ago; a colleague who would be accompanying me tried to search just days before our scheduled travel, and the cheapest hotel he could find was over $680/night! I later found out that a number of big conferences were happening in the city this week, and one of them was actually being hosted at the hotel where I am staying.
It’s pretty absurd to me to think that normal, everyday people could afford hotel rights such as these, and even more absurd to think that some companies would actually allow their employees to expense hotels that would be that expensive. If you were to stay in Chicago at that latter rate for just two nights, you’d already be over $1200, and for some people, that’s rent money for an entire month!