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Which country give the US dollar more bang for buck?

Which country give the US dollar more bang for buck?

Old Apr 6th, 2000, 09:19 PM
  #1  
Trevor
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Which country give the US dollar more bang for buck?

Just wondering which country in Europe will give the US dollar the most purchasing power? Is the UK the worst and why? Thanks!
 
Old Apr 7th, 2000, 08:57 AM
  #2  
Rex
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Possibly Portugal, though I haven't been there in years. And so much depends on how much you insist on cities versus rural detinations. In Italy, for example, your dollar gets crushed in Venice (also your yen, pounds and marks) - - but just an hour up into the hills, you can still find great accommodations at terrific prices. And everywhere you go, meals are generally more expensive on the US, but then again what is a "typical" US meal? McDonalds? or Ruth's Chris Steak house? It's really hard to get a big filling meal for three dollars in Europe, but for ten dollars, I think that the average meal in Europe is better than in the US. And for eighty dollars a person (or more, especially in France), the value is in the eye (and on the palate) of the beholder - - on any continent. <BR> <BR>Best wishes, <BR> <BR>Rex
 
Old Apr 7th, 2000, 09:10 AM
  #3  
elaine
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Trevor, the "why" is too complicated to answer here, at least it is for me. Each country has its own economy, and each city or town has its own micro-economy. The relationship between the local economy and the relative value of the U.S. dollar is determined by many factors. <BR>Even in the U.S., $20 in a small town may get you the beat meal in town, while $20 in New York City may in some restaurants barely pay for a snack. In Europe and the UK, prices in London and the other big cities seem relatively high, while there are more bargains to be had in some of the smaller cities and suburbs, just as in the U.S. Local factors like the strength of the local economy, unemployment rates, tax rates, real estate costs, food import costs, and also "what the traffic will bear" all play a factor. <BR>That said, when it comes to accommodations and food, Greece is still a relative bargain.
 
Old Apr 7th, 2000, 01:33 PM
  #4  
elvira
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Northern Ireland, Greece, Malta and Portugal are less expensive countries than France or England (as examples). As elaine pointed out, however, within those countries costs vary. A meal in an Athens restaurant was more than a meal in a Monpazier (France) restaurant, but neither came close to the price for a similar meal in Paris or London. We rented a house in the Dordogne Valley - 4 bedrooms, full kitchen, beautiful grounds - for less than $1000 a week. We rented two small cottages on Naxos for $600. A studio apartment in Paris for a week is $750. <BR>A b&b in a private home in London is $50; in the Antrim area of northern Ireland, it was less than $25. <BR> <BR>Then there's the wet-yer-whistle index: glass of iced tea in Montmartre = $8 <BR>pint of Guinness in Portadown pub = $2 <BR>litre of water in French market = $.50 <BR>litre of water in a Paris restaurant = most of your travel budget <BR>
 
Old Apr 7th, 2000, 05:04 PM
  #5  
Trevor
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Well, I used the Cost of Living index under MONEY in Fodors General Interest topics and found that if I made $100,000 a year in Atlanta Georgia, I would need to make $169,000 a year in London to maintain the same lifestyle or go down a notch in my social status or I could move to Canada and need to only make $98,000 a year. Isn't this Costof Living Index relative to the cost of travel as it considers, housing, transportation, food etc.
 
Old Apr 7th, 2000, 07:07 PM
  #6  
Al
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Turkey wins the prize, hands down. Delightful people, fine food, exciting places to visit. Absurdly low prices. Love it!
 
Old Apr 7th, 2000, 09:02 PM
  #7  
Trevor
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Turkey huh! Purchasing power is the word I've been looking- is it simply what each country uses as a Price Index or what our dollar is worth against theirs due to the loss of value from inflation?
 
Old Apr 8th, 2000, 06:04 AM
  #8  
Al
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Purchasing power is paramount in determining how much your money is worth compared with the currency of another country. Exchange rates tell you only half the story. It is the relative amounts of goods and services that you can actually BUY that determine "the bang for your buck"...or guilder...or franc. In l996, the Turkish lira was about 72,000 to the dollar; today, it is more than 500,000 to the dollar. This tells you next to nothing. It is what your dollar actually BUYS that is important--and you get tremendous value for each dollar when you spend it in Turkey because the purchasing power was (and is) extremely high.
 
Old Apr 8th, 2000, 06:15 AM
  #9  
Al
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In 1945, the British pound was worth about $5. Today, it is worth $1.60 or thereabouts. In 1945, Americans lived like kings in Britain (when they could find anything to buy). Today, British prices for goods and services in general seem very high to us. That is because our dollar buys us so much more within the United States. For example, we pay about $1.50 or so for one gallon of gasoline. We pay about $1.15 for a loaf of bread. You wouldn't believe how much the British (or the French or the Germans or the Italians, etc.) pay for the same items. Why? Largely due to differences in taxes, efficiencies of production and distribution, and customary profit margins. (Let's not talk about French bread--I am hungry enough for their superior quality!) My point is this: you can't look at exchange rates in a vacuum; you must compare actual prices paid for similar or identical products and services. They differ greatly from country to country. And those are some of the reasons why.
 
Old Apr 8th, 2000, 02:44 PM
  #10  
merriem
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I say go to Budapest! We were there ten days ago. Everything was very reasonable. Dinner in a 5 star restaurant with a bottle of wine for TWO ran about $50. Lunch for TWO was between $11-17....the Hilton, which was actually a very nice hotel in the Castle district was $130 on the executive floor including a full breakfast and taxes. 10th row seats at the Opera house were $17...the bus was about 35 cents, the metro about 50, and we took the train for a couple of day trips and that wasn't over $2 each. It is an hour flight from my most UN favorite airport, Frankfurt....but a charming place to go, and your money will go very far. When we were there, we got 265 Fts for the $. Also the brandy was great, and sold for about $6 a bottle. My best bargain city yet!
 
Old Apr 8th, 2000, 02:53 PM
  #11  
Ben Haines
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Fodors <BR> <BR>The cheapest countries of Europe are Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Romania (so long as you stay in private houses). <BR> <BR>I think Sweden may still compete with Britain for top place as most expensive. About Britain you ask "Why ?". Nobody quite knows, but elements are these. <BR>We sell knowlege, not products. We sell comsultancies, arts, entertainment, financial services, medicine, and so on, and we do it well. <BR>We are almost American in out zeal to cut out comfortable practices, like jobs for life, that lower competitiveness <BR>We market our skills using English <BR> <BR>Ben Haines, London <BR>
 
Old Apr 8th, 2000, 05:33 PM
  #12  
Al
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Ben, don't be too hard on Britain. There are some things the British do with consummate taste and skill. For example, is there anything in the world to compare with spring strawberries smothered in Cornish clotted cream? Armloads of daffodils from the Scilly Isles. A morning's walk down Bond Street. Fish and chips, sprinkled with that funny vinegar. From personal experience, we found Norway's cost of living made us suck in our breaths with its absurd steepness. Our dollars' purchasing power rose by an estimated 20% when we crossed the border into Sweden. On the other hand, we paid more than $100 for a so-so dinner for four in a lackluster Chinese restaurant in Reading. Food costs in Britain are a scandal -- why? The beer is colder than it used to be -- but whatever happened to Britain's campaign for real ale?
 
Old Apr 8th, 2000, 08:33 PM
  #13  
julie
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We just returned from Portugal...best bet as far as we are concerned. Wine is cheep and good, food is plentiful and no more than here, gas is expensive (everywhere in europe)but lodging, especially by the week, is a great bargain. We stayed four weeks for about $1500 US, in a two bedroom apartment, with all the amenities.
 
Old Apr 9th, 2000, 11:34 AM
  #14  
Ben Haines
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Fodors <BR> <BR>I agree with the kind things ou say about my country, which 'd never be hard on. But we were asked why costs are high. For example, a week in England costs four times a week in Hungary. Our national cuisine and wild flowers aren't four times better than Hungarian. So I was looking for other possibilities. <BR> <BR>The government thinks that a handful of companies have an oligopoly in supermarkets and make huge profits on food they buy from farmers. <BR> <BR>A web search under "CAMRA" will giive you the good news that the Campaign is alive and well. Here in London any Youngs pub serves real beer, and so do many others. Watneys Red Barrel is no longer mentioned, even outside polite society. Pubs are having trouble in staying open, but that's due to vanloads coming in via Dover duty free. The solution is obvious -- lower the excise. <BR> <BR>Ben Haines <BR> <BR>
 

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