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Let the past guide your future travel plans

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Updated: 3/31 2:39 pm

(BPT) - Using last year's travel trends and hotel prices is a great way to plan your current adventures and vacation budget. You get the best of both worlds - learning from other travelers' experiences and visiting up-and-coming destinations before they become overcrowded and expensive.

The latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI) lets you explore destinations across the globe to find your perfect city based on your interests and budget by looking at the average prices paid by travelers around the globe at a sample set of more than 150,000 hotels worldwide. Here are some top recommendations for 2014.

* U.S. cities on the rise

Led by Las Vegas, New York City and Orlando, the 10 Most Popular Domestic Cities for Americans remained unchanged in 2013. However, several southern cities increased in popularity last year.

Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city, climbed up the ranks of the 50 Most Popular Domestic Cities for Americans each year since 2011, becoming the 29th most visited destination in 2013.

Raleigh surpassed four destinations to become the 34th most visited U.S. city domestically in 2013.

Several Florida cities rose in popularity in 2013, including Tampa (25), Jacksonville (37), and Lake Buena Vista, home of Walt Disney World, up five spots to 43.

* Best values

Domestic deals under $100

Lexington, Ky. - $100 - A vibrant southern city that offers an array of activities for travelers - especially those who love bourbon. Known as the 'Horse Capital of the World,' Lexington is also home to the second oldest horse racing track in the nation, the Red Mile Harness Track.

Branson, Mo. - $94 - This self-proclaimed family-friendly destination overflows with a variety of attractions and activities that suit the needs of every family member. In addition to the thrilling and award-winning Silver Dollar City theme park, Branson is known for its live performance theaters and historic downtown district.

Raleigh, N.C. - $99 - Not only is Raleigh rising in popularity but it's also a great value. The city's $60 million airport renovation project and numerous cultural and sporting infrastructural developments in the pipeline will likely help this city retain its popularity.

Mobile, Ala. - $94 - The birthplace of Mardi Gras in the U.S., Mobile is one of the Gulf Coast's cultural centers, boasting many art museums, a symphony orchestra and an abundance of historic architecture.

Europe for under $135

For those travelers who have yet to cross Europe off their bucket list, now is the time. As the region recovers following the Eurozone crisis, visitors can expect four-star hotel room prices for great prices in several popular cities if 2013 HPI prices trend into 2014 in this Best Values in the World cities:

Prague, Czech Republic - $124

Lisbon, Portugal - $127

Berlin, Germany - $131

* International hotspots

While London and Paris continue to dominate the list of Most Popular International Cities for Americans, several cities saw a significant boost in American tourism in 2013.

Toronto surpassed Rome as the third-most popular international destination for the first time since 2010. With the Canadian exchange at a three-year low, now is an opportune time for U.S. travelers to cross the border and explore the country's cultural and entertainment capital.

Mexico City made the most significant stride, jumping into the top 20 as the 17th most popular destination (from 21st).

Dubai surpassed Madrid, Florence and Venice in 2013 to become the 14th most popular international city for Americans.

Other Asia-Pacific destinations that experienced a surge in American tourism last year include Tokyo (6), Hong Kong (7) and Bangkok (11).

For more information on travel trends, destinations that will cure your wanderlust and budget planning, visit http://www.hotel-price-index.com/2014/spring and engage with @hotelsdotcom on Twitter with #HotelExperts. (Note: The price listed beside each city represents the average hotel price paid by U.S. travelers per night in 2013, according to the latest Hotel Price Index.)

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