Expensive and Inexpensive Countries

Jan 22nd, 2016, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
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In Singapore we cross the border into Malaysia to buy staples like tissues, paper towels and cleaning products. The price difference is astounding.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2016, 01:26 AM
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>>Pretty irrelevant re travel since the scale is primarily based on things like Mortgages, Apartment rentals (residential)<<

The scale also shows how much it costs to eat in restaurants and if you are renting a holiday apartment, it is interesting to know the cost of food that you buy in a supermarket or how much local transportation costs.

>>I have always said that Paris is cheaper than many American cities.<< That's my experience, many American cities are expensive and not just compared to Paris.
Odin is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2016, 01:58 AM
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As you've all said it depends on what you are buying. When we spent four months in Paris I didn't find food anymore expensive than California and as people have said plenty of things were cheaper.

I agree with Kathie Coming for the Bay Area we are used to paying plenty!

Blueeyedcod is right too, costs depend on whether < if you travel on currencies that have a terrible exchange rate>

The exchange rate has an enormous impact, we're off to Canada in a couple of weeks and their dollar is now $1.46 to the US dollar which makes it MUCH cheaper than our last visit. We visited Australia twice. The first time it was a relative bargain (2000) and the second time we found it very expensive (2010). On the first trip we took a sea plane to a lovely island on the Barrier Reef and on the second we stayed in MUCH more modest places because it was so costly.

Everyone told us Croatia was cheap but we didn't find it to be so, why because the euro was almost 1.60 to the dollar, but then oil was over $140 a barrel then too!
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2016, 04:35 AM
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If you study the foreign per diem expenditure allowances for US Department of State employees, you can get an idea of how expensive a location is in relative terms, even if you expect to travel less (or more) luxuriously than the typical government employee. Note that this trick only works for large cities; data on smaller places is missing. But the cities are where your budget will be most under threat, and so where you most need to prepare.


From these tables, you should be able to find out whether the destination you are considering is more or less expensive than a city in your own (home) territory. As for absolute estimates, my suggestion if you are a (pair of) backpackers is to multiply the hotel allowance by 40 to 60 per cent of the government standard; if you are in the 'moderate' category of travel, try multiplying the allowance by 80 to 100 per cent.

Note that if you click on any given country there is usually a date parameter - in other words, seasonal variation in cost is accounted for, not to mention currency fluctuation (tables are, not surprisingly, in US dollars.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Mar 9th, 2016, 02:37 AM
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I wonder how they track these prices in terms of the jumping currency exchange rates that take place on a regular basis. I know that the Turkish Lira has dropped like 50% against the USD over the last 2 years...... So this would make Istanbul much cheaper than the tool is showing us......

A lot of regular price adjustment has to been done every month to keep the data accurate during the current economic instability!
2011mckinsey is offline  
Mar 9th, 2016, 09:09 AM
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The website has the option to choose different currencies.

Inflation rates are pretty low now in most countries, so the data do not change too fast.

Of course, you can find the hair in the soup, but according to my personal experience, the relations between price levels of countries are pretty accurate.
traveller1959 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2016, 09:14 AM
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I don't think the Post Office has got it right Turkey is one of the cheapest countries to visit.

Good job the Post Office isn't publishing a chart showing the worse places to exchange currency as they would be near the bottom.
stevelyon is offline  
Mar 9th, 2016, 09:22 AM
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It's REALLY cheap, and everything is so much fresher and better than anything you can get in the USA, even at Whole Effing Foods.

Believe what you like, but we actually live here and know what we pay for food.>>

agreed but I think that there is a real difference between what locals pay and what tourists pay. This is not because they are charged less, but because they know where to go and what to buy. It always makes me laugh when first timers to this board say that they are on a budget and then proceed to set out an itinerary that has them moving destinations almost every day, because that is the most expensive way to travel.

it takes time to find the best value bar, cafe, market stall etc. etc and of course locals not only have the time to do that, but they consume differently to tourists who more often want to eat in restaurants, and higher end restaurants at that.

You also need to adapt to the customs of the country you are in to get the best value - standing at the bar to drink an expresso in Italy will cost you far less than sitting down with a cappuccino for example - and unless you hang around for a bit you probably won't get to know this.
annhig is offline  
Mar 9th, 2016, 12:15 PM
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There isn't a difference between what tourists pay and what locals pay. Locals eat in the same high end restaurants that tourists like to. In Sweden, there is only one place to buy alcohol outside of restaurants and the price of wine and some spirits is the same if not cheaper than the UK but there is the constant harping on about how expensive alcohol is there, mostly by those who have never been.
Odin is offline  
Mar 9th, 2016, 12:44 PM
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I found Stockholm to be expensive but no more expensive than other European capitals. We spent a week in the Swedish archipelago but it was easy to access a local mainland town for food. The supermarkets were generally cheaper than the UK and far better quality.

Our top three most expensive destinations have been :

Turks and Caicos (silly prices)
Perth, Australia (now more manageable after exchange rate movements)
Norway (no hiding from the prices)

UK : it's very easy to exist as a tourists here quite cheaply. There's very good value food and clothes retailers and hotels chains offering rooms for £30 a night.
BritishCaicos is online now  
Mar 9th, 2016, 01:18 PM
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There isn't a difference between what tourists pay and what locals pay>>

that may be the case in Scandinavia but I doubt that it is so in most places.


agreed Dickie, but you have to find them. Hotel rooms are relatively easy to locate on the internet but tourists don't always have the nouse to hunt out the best value food etc whether it's for self-catering or to eat out.
annhig is offline  

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