I've found though that when visiting international cities, it just makes more sense (price-wise) to book a hotel.
It is very city dependent.
yeah, in london you'd have to spend a lot more to be in a decent hotel in a decent location*. and then you have to add on the price of eating breakfast and every dinner out. the latter, i guess, would be true anywhere.
*for a family of four, at any rate. alone i could stay in a pod hotel.