8:39 PM EDT, June 18, 2013
Last year the trip-planning website Tripomatic calculated one simple, fascinating statistic: In different cities across the globe, how long can $100 last?
Presuming a traveler stayed in the cheapest possible accommodation (usually a shared dorm), took two public transportation rides per day, ate one restaurant meal per day plus two fast-food or street-food meals (no sacrifice there; street food often makes the most memorable road meals), and visited one attraction per day, Tripomatic ranked 42 cities in terms of how long $100 would carry travelers.
The top spot went to Goa, India, at a whopping 9.62 days. The least budget-friendly was Reykjavik, Iceland, at .69 days.
The response to its "Shoestring Budget Travel Guide" was strong enough for Tripomatic, based in the Czech Republic, to make the survey an annual event. The just-released data show that the winner, again, is Goa, where a budget traveler can spend 9.14 days on $100. That's particularly remarkable and partly attributable to the fact that Goa is most renowned for its beaches and relaxation.
"Goa is really an extraordinary place," Tripomatic project manager Vit Janis said by email. "All of the top 10 local attractions (including caves, basilica, fort, beach) are officially for free."
Tripomatic ranked 51 cities this year, and most of the results weren't surprising. In the most-traveled cities, such as New York, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago, $100 lasts barely more than a day. The only city where $100 wouldn't last even 24 hours was Oslo, Norway; at 1.2 days, Reykjavik has moved to fifth-most expensive city.
The most affordable cities tended to be in still-developing Asian and Far Eastern countries: Goa, Hanoi, Bangkok and Manila.
Most interesting, perhaps, were the data's in-between jewels: Cairo, Mexico City and Lima, Peru, all showed themselves to be cost effective but only slightly more than beautiful, stable and history-drenched Prague, where $100 lasts 3.12 days. Buenos Aries, another stunner of a city, wasn't far behind at 2.89 days.
Berlin, a city with one of the world's strongest buzzes, clocks in at 2.32 days, which might not sound like a lot compared with Goa. But it does mean your money goes more than twice as far there as it does in New York.
Five days in New York or 10 days in Berlin? Berlin, please.
The data become even more interesting when compared with the 2012 results.
In Bangkok, for instance, $100 lasts twice as long in 2013 (6.17 days) as in 2012 (3.05 days). Some destinations became costlier, but most, like Bangkok, became cheaper, Janis said.
There are many travel insights to be culled from the results, which can be found at tripomatic.com as of June 24.
$100 lasted the longest in …
Goa, India (9.14 days)
Hanoi, Vietnam (7.69 days)
Bangkok (6.17 days)
… and disappeared most quickly in …
Oslo, Norway (.88 days)
New York (1.1 days)
Venice, Italy (1.14 days)
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