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Travel Tip: Understanding the Cost of Living Overseas

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An international travel budget is not just about cost of flight or hotels. You also need to understand the value of local goods and services.

Hotels.com measures hotel food and beverage expenses with their Club Sandwich Index, which shows how prices can fluctuate around the globe.

This year Geneva, Switzerland has the most expensive one averaging over $30; New Delhi had the cheapest at just $9.

While the club sandwich is a good indicator of costs, check out the Economist’s Big Mac index for the value of basic goods and services.

Breaking everything down by the US dollar, Big Macs still range from $1.67 in India to $9.08 in Venezuela.

The Wall Street Journal got in on the action too, using a Starbucks Grande Latte to measure purchasing power parity (say that three times fast).

Once again, India is the most affordable with a latte running just $2.80. This time Oslo, Norway is the most expensive with a 16-ounce latte measuring almost $10.

Now if you want real value, here’s my advice: skip the latte, the Big Mac and club sandwich and eat some of the local food.

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