Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Price Is Wrong

When you travel, you spend money.

There’s no way around it. Hotels, transportation, meals … you’ve got to shell it out to make it happen.

So it’s no surprise that smart tourists look for bargains. You can save a few dollars, euros, or riyals by watching the currency markets and cost-of-living indices. Or you can just splurge—and the latest survey of the world’s most expensive cities from Mercer Consulting, as reported on, will help you do just that.

The highest-cost city is Moscow, which explains why many travelers aren’t rushin’ to go there.

The reigning four-year price champion, Tokyo—this year, at least, capital of the Land of the Rising Dollar—fell to number three, behind South Korea’s Seoul.

Places four through nine hold no huge surprises: Hong Kong, London, Osaka, Geneva, Copenhagen, Zurich. You’ll find each of these cities more costly than New York, which comes in tied with Oslo at number ten.

Keep these tips in mind for your upcoming voyages:

— Spend more time in the southern hemisphere, where we find many of the least expensive cities but few of the most costly ones.

— Travelers to East Asia are better off overnighting in Chinese cities than in Japanese ones.

— When in Europe, stay longer in Leipzig and Prague than in Berlin and Kiev.

— Latin America offers some bargains, including the least expensive location in the 144-city survey: Paraguay’s Asuncion.

And when in the United States, beware the priciest cities: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. And definitely avoid Toledo.

That has nothing to do with prices. I just don’t like Toledo.


At June 28, 2006 4:16 PM, Blogger OnMyWatch replied to my musings ...

damn, I was so looking forward to seeing the fictional birthplace of Klinger.

At June 28, 2006 4:16 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

I think if they could the state of Ohio would give Toledo to Michigan... but I think the only reason they can't give Toledo to Michigan is because Michigan doesn't want it either (they already have Detroit, is it really fair to give them TWO shitty cities?)-- for that matter I think that's also how Michigan ended up with the Upper Peninsula-- they tried to pawn it off on Wisconsin and the cheeseheads say, "nuh unh, we ain't havin' it!"

At June 28, 2006 5:04 PM, Blogger KC replied to my musings ...

The Boy just returned from London last night and complained how everything was so expensive there. He mentioned $5 for a soda. Not sure if he was kidding or not because he fell asleep as soon as he got home and he's not awake yet for me to quiz him.

At June 28, 2006 6:59 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

OMW: Feel free to go. Don't say I didn't warn you ...

Perplexio: I think the northern suburbs of Toledo are in Michigan, so that two states can share the joy of the metro area.

KC: I hope he brought you some good Shakespeare memorabilia. And that it didn't cost an arm and a leg.

-- david

At June 28, 2006 7:00 PM, Blogger Kay replied to my musings ...

Whew - and to think Toledo was on our vacation short list! Or was it Akron. Hmmm... no, no Ohio for me this yeat.

At June 28, 2006 7:01 PM, Anonymous Bar replied to my musings ...

Thanks for the travel trips. The only traveling I can afford this summer is from one blog to antoher.

Loved your "rushin" pun!

LA is expensive and so is Orange County. DO NOT VISIT HERE! You will hate it! It sucks. (can't stand tourist season)

At June 28, 2006 7:23 PM, Blogger Fated replied to my musings ...

/shakes a fist at Toledo

I'll have to keep all of this in mind.

At June 28, 2006 7:38 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Kay: Iowa's bad this year, too. Just avoid the four-letter states.

Bar: I'll stay away ... sigh ...

Fated: Thanks for stopping by!

-- david

At June 28, 2006 8:30 PM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

I haven't been to Kazakhstan, but I've been told by reliable sources to avoid it.

At June 29, 2006 12:43 AM, Blogger Pixie replied to my musings ...

London hikes up its prices for tourists. So a $5 soda would not shock me in the least.
Also to find a place that does free drink re-fills in the Uk is very rare. I was shocked at how cheap coke etc is over here.

At June 29, 2006 6:13 AM, Blogger Curare_Z replied to my musings ...

I don't think the cost in Moscow is why people aren't rushing to go there, Amulet.

At June 29, 2006 7:09 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

GW: I've never been, so I can't give any personal insight here. But I have heard it has some amazing scenery.

Pixie: I try to make up for that by charging double prices to anyone with a British accent.

Curare: Perhaps not. But with pervasive organized crime, occasional terrorist acts, and rampant corruption, what's not to like?

-- david

At June 29, 2006 8:22 AM, Blogger jay lassiter replied to my musings ...

Have you ever been to Leipzig?
it's faaaaaaaabulous!
never made it to prague, but maybe one day.
and the fact that Russia so costly makes me wonder, WHO"S BUYING?

At June 29, 2006 10:16 AM, Blogger missy replied to my musings ...

Haha! I like the Toledo comment!

Eastern Europe is a good place to see some culture and the beach... it has almost everything you want whether shopping, snowboarding, etc. I am a big fan! I like saying that especially today when I am typing this comment whilst looking out at my hotel window to see the Black Sea coast in Romania. I just spent 45 pence (70 cents?) on an ice-cream. It's 20,000 in Romanian money. I'm a millionaire here!

missy xx

At June 29, 2006 10:17 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

I don't get the jabs at Ohio. I mean I understand the Toledo bashing as even people IN Ohio who actually like living in Ohio tend to bash Toledo (I know as I used to be one of them). It's kind of like how people in Michigan bash Detroit (unless they live there)... The rest of Ohio is actually pretty nice, especially those towns, cities, and villages that dot the shores of Lake Erie.

At June 29, 2006 12:02 PM, Blogger Anita replied to my musings ...

This is one of the main reasons I prefer the beach. Get a hotel a few miles away so it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Instructions include: buy sunscreen, sandwich stuff, snacks, fruit, water and canned beer; pack cooler with ice and above refridgerables (word?) and beach accessories and hang out till you must drunkenly roll down the road and pass out. Voila!

But I hear you, Sir Amulet. Even Atlanta gets expensive. I remember when the Olympics were here in '96 bottles of water were going for $5. They definitely took advantage of the fact that tourists wouldn't know how hot it gets here.

At June 29, 2006 1:14 PM, Blogger Bruce replied to my musings ...

Get uncle and aunt moved from Cleveland(aka the Mistake by the Lake) to Toledo a few years back. WTF? And they wonder why I never visit them...

At June 29, 2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Don't knock Toledo!

If Drew Carey can get laid in Ohio--and with a real live woman, and not something he bought on the Internet--then I would assume that there is hope for all of us.

I'm taking a major leap here, and presuming that you mean "Toledo, Ohio"--and not "Toledo, SPAIN."

One should be forewarned: The only "El Greco" you will find in Toledo, Ohio is a hairy guy with five gold chains who manages Dionysus Greek-Style Pizzeria.

(Not that finding a Greek pizza joint is entirely a bad thing...there are certainly worse fates that could befall the traveller. Like being kidnapped by Left Wing guerillas in Columbia, for instance...)

At June 29, 2006 3:02 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Zen Wizard -- What about the threat of being kidnapped by Left Wing college professors in Columbus?

At June 29, 2006 3:02 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Jay: Although I've been to Prague, Leipzig slipped by. I'd go to either city tomorrow given the chance. Great pic, btw.

Missy: I've heard amazing things about Romania and Bulgaria. Especially about those Romans and Bulgars.

Perplexio, Bruce: I've got nothing against most of Ohio, where I have spent quite a bit of time. I think Colombus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati all beat Toledo. Must have something to do with the letter "C," because Chicago kicks Texarkana's ass, too.

ZW: You are correct. I only disparage Spain en español.

-- david

At June 29, 2006 3:09 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Anita: You should write a short book with your beach instructions--you're sitting on gold! And $5 for water?!? Yikes--next thing you know, some corporation will be trying to get us to pay $3 or $4 for a cup of coffee. Insane!!

Perplexio: Bogotá suddenly sounds much better.

-- david

At June 29, 2006 6:33 PM, Blogger CT replied to my musings ...

I'm going to LA in august, but I'm staying with family so that will help with the cost... lol plus we'll do cheap stuff like surf...

At June 29, 2006 11:41 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

We should give Toledo to Canada.

At June 30, 2006 12:25 AM, Blogger Laurie replied to my musings ...

Hey stop dissin' Michigan! Only Michiganders are allowed to do that ;-)

I don't care how pricey it is - I LOVE L.A.!

At June 30, 2006 8:25 AM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

Here in PA e border on Ohio. I'll be sure to stay away from Toledo, just on your advice ;)
Been to Cleveland, by the lake, I thought it was rather nice.

At June 30, 2006 8:25 AM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

err that's WE border
It's Friday, give mea break lol

At June 30, 2006 1:04 PM, Blogger LocuTus of Borg replied to my musings ...

>:P David what you got against Toledo! ;) You are exactly right on the "money." I try to find places that are out of the way but still wonderful to go to. Though I would have to vote for staying out of Detroit too. hahaha

At June 30, 2006 10:39 PM, Blogger Mimi replied to my musings ...

So Klinger has it all wrong about Toledo, huh?;)


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