Choosing a Place to Travel based on Cost 

 

Outline

  1. Overvalued and undervalued currencies 
  2. Ten common countries in the cheapest countries listings 
  3. Least expensive destination in the Eastern Hemisphere 
  4. Least expensive destination in the Western Hemisphere 
  5. Safety Factor 
  6. What do you think of the Leffel quote 

 

Overvalued and undervalued currencies

Using the formula in the Big Mac Index interactive site, how much is the Big Mac overvalued in the most expensive country, and how much is it undervalued in the least expensive? Which countries would be the cheapest for travel, and which would be the most expensive based on this index?

The 6 most expensive countries are Sweden, Switzerland, The United States, Norway, Canada and the countries that use the Euro as their currency. The 6 least expensive countries are Egypt, Ukraine, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan.

In the most expensive country, Switzerland, the Big Mac is overvalued by $1.03 relative to the United States. In the least expensive country, Egypt, the Big Mac is undervalued by $3.76 relative to the United States.

Ten common countries in the cheapest countries listings

Read the Leffel chapter and the other links provided to derive a list of the 10 cheapest countries for travel.

The ten cheapest countries to travel are Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, El Salvador, Niguragua, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica. 

Least expensive destination in the Eastern Hemisphere

From this list, the Big Mac Index and the most inexpensive airfares, find the least expensive destination in the eastern hemisphere for a three-week trip. What criteria did you use to select the country? Insert airfare graphic that shows how you would get to the country. Insert a graphic of an inexpensive lodging. What would be the total cost of the 3-week trip? (The idea here is that cheap lodging over three weeks will counter a more expensive airfare. So, look for the cheapest lodging and find a moderate airfare to that location.) Estimate daily food costs.

The destination I chose was Hanoi, Vietnam. I started with the list of countries I compiled that were in the Eastern hemisphere. Next, I made a list of all the international airports in those countries. I then searched for hotels in each of the cities with international airports, looking for cheap lodging. Finally, I searched for flights to those airports using the Matrix search engine. Hanoi was the city with the cheapest combination of flights and lodging based on my searches.

Least expensive destination in the Western Hemisphere

From this list, the Big Mac Index and the most inexpensive airfares, find the least expensive destination in the eastern hemisphere for a three-week trip. What criteria did you use to select the country? Insert airfare graphic that shows how you would get to the country. Insert a graphic of an inexpensive lodging. What would be the total cost of the 3-week trip? (The idea here is that cheap lodging over three weeks will counter a more expensive airfare. So, look for the cheapest lodging and find a moderate airfare to that location.) Estimate daily food costs. The total of travel and lodging was $1083.

The destination I chose was Guatemala City, Guatemala. I started with the list of countries I compiled that were in the Western hemisphere. Next, I made a list of all the international airports in those countries. I then searched for hotels in each of the cities with international airports, looking for cheap lodging. Finally, I searched for flights to those airports using the Matrix search engine. Guatemala City was the city with the cheapest combination of flights and lodging based on my searches. The total of travel and lodging was $941. I had to convert the cost of the flight from San Jose to Guatemala City from Costa Rican Colons to US dollars. In dollars, it was $125.71.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety Factor

Consider the safety factor in the destination you have chosen. Take a look the Global Peace Index rankings (A ranking of countries based on the Peace Index begins on p. 8.) Which country would be the safest? Where is the United States ranked? Where do your chosen countries rank?

Based on the index, Iceland would be the safest country for travel.

The United States was ranked 121st.

The countries I chose were ranked as follows: Vietnam—60; Cambodia—96, Thailand—113, Laos—46, Indonesia—55, El Salvador—116, Nigaragua—68, Guatemala—111, Honduras—118, and Costa Rica—40. All are above the United States.

What do you think of the Leffel quote:

"You'll learn far more than you ever did at a university. 
Remember the old days when people got a liberal arts education? They went to Oxford or Princeton to learn about history, politics, social studies, geography, religion, foreign languages, and economics. Well you'll learn far more about all those things by traveling than you ever can in college. Ask anyone in their 30's how much they remember about these subjects from their university classes. "Not much" will usually sum it up."

Leffel believes that people can learn about a variety of subjects through travel. And he argues that the fact that people remember more from their travels than from their college days is evidence of that.

You can learn about those things both by study and travel. Somethings are better learned by study; others are better learned by travel.

In large part, it depends upon the student, what courses they take and careers they want to pursue. If a student wanted to be an accountant, a financial analyst, a businessman, or an entrepreneur, they would study economics. If they wanted to pursue a political path, then they study politics. These students might learn more through study and will constantly learn by further study in their field as economics and politics change over time.

For other subjects as history and geography, a student can read and watch documentaries, but it doesn’t match to travel to those places. Pictures and second-hand accounts don’t always give the same experience. Being at the scene of different sites, gives a person a good perspective of what other people experienced. For example, when visiting the Anne Frank House, as I have, a person could understand how Anne and her family lived while hiding from the Nazis.

With languages, students get to practice in class. However, students might forget what they learn because they end up not using that language. Students could travel outside the United States, where English isn’t spoken. Students may not learn the language in that country if they stay for a short time. However, if students stay in a particular country for a long period, they might get to become fluent in that language.    

 

Submitted by Leah Johnson on February 22.