Whether you need to know how much to save for a round the world trip or what destination is best to make the most out of your hard earned holiday budget, knowing the cost of living in each country is one of the first things you should find out.
Here’s 5 suggestions for estimating travel costs:
  1. Tripbase Cost Per Day Calculator – Over at TripBase they have a number of holiday planning tools, the tool I thought that seemed particularly useful was the Cost Per Day Calculator. You can choose between Budget, Mid Range and Luxury and the calculator estimates the cost for Accommodation and Meals for the day. Even on budget though the estimated costs looked a little high but it should give a nice idea of relative costs of cities (you can’t select countries and have to search by city) that your thinking of visiting. You can get it here or try it out over on the right of this blog.
  2. Ask someone one know – Asking a friend or someone you work with who you know has just been to a country is one of the best ways to get an up-to-date idea of costs. Of course it depends if the person you know is likely to spend similarly to you or be more frivolous.
  3. Post on a forum or a blog – Post a question on a forum such as  Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum or Virtual Tourist asking a helpful contributor if they can  help, hopefully someone who actually lives where your thinking of going picks up your post and replies.
  4. Guidebooks – One of the most frustrating things I’ve found about guide books such as the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide is the inaccuracy of costs, they’re almost always either out dated or you’d have to be the worlds best hagglers to match their estimates. That said as long as you budget for adding 20% to their costs you should be alright.
  5. Tim Leffels Worlds Cheapest Destinations – I reviewed this book recently and found it a great way of getting general costs plus specifics for 21 of the worlds cheapest counties

What do you think? Any other suggestions or top tips?

Benedict Adam

Trying to travel with the ethos of a backpacker, no matter of budget, whether I'm across the other side of the world or over the road.