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How much does it cost to travel around the world?

County Wise

Did you know that the cost of a 1/3 liter bottle of Coke or Pepsi is as low as $0.27 USD in Jaipur, India and as much as $5.30 USD in Stavanger, Norway? You can find stats like this at Numbeo.com. They use crowdsourcing to collect prices of various products and services from around the world.

 

And as we were creating the Barclaycard Travel Community we wondered, how much do things cost when you’re traveling abroad compared to the United States? We thought it might be helpful for travelers to have a comparison tool when planning their next trip. And while the cost numbers available aren’t perfect, we decided to take a step forward.

 

So, we are excited to introduce the Barclaycard Travel Cost Index. This index compares the cost of traveling to 544 cities around the world with those same costs in New York City. Here is how we built it. We looked at Barclaycard Cardmembers’ spend  in the US when they traveled outside the United States. We removed some spend categories that clearly wouldn’t be relevant for those traveling outside of the US. Lastly, we rolled up the remaining spend categories into the following groups and looked at the spend distribution.

 

Category              Spend by Travelers

Hotel                               39%

Shopping                         34%

Restaurants                      10%

Transportation                   7%

Entertainment                    6%

Grocery                             3%

 

We then grouped the data collected by Numbeo.com into the same categories. For example, the transportation category is weighted by gas, taxi and train ticket prices. Next, we built an index of transportation costs around the world relative to New York City. We developed indices for each of the 6 categories. Lastly, we weighted the indices by the distribution of spend by our traveling Cardmembers.

 

Top 5 most expensive cities for travelers (compared with New York City)

1. Bergamo, Italy

2. Noventa di Piave, Italy

3. Trondheim, Norway

4. Luanda, Angola

5. Como, Italy

See the full list.

 

Top 5 least expensive cities for travelers (compared with New York City)

1. Guntur, India

2. Kolhapur, India

3. Nasik, India

4. Vijayawada, India

5. Da Nang, Vietnam

See the full list.

 

So how does this work in the community? Well, as you search through travel stories on the site you will see a section that shows the travel cost index of the city you are searching for; if it’s one of the 544 in our database. The index is compared to the city you told us you live in. That way you can see how much more or less expensive a city is compared to where you live. We hope you like this feature and that it can be a helpful tool in planning your next trip. As always, we’d love to get your feedback. Let us know if you have any questions or ideas on how to improve the Index.

 
3 Comments
City Slicker
So this only shows barclay clients demographic? Im not totally agreeing with the results here, I can see where living in india and vietnam is cheaper but quality is different too. Just food for thought
County Wise
BayAreaFunTime,

Thanks for the comment and sorry for the slow response. The index is weighted based on the purchase behavior or Barclaycard US customers traveling abroad. So yes, our customer demographic base could skew the numbers. But what do you think of the spend distribution I presented in this blog. Do you think it accurately represents the distribution of travel spend in general?

It's also a great point on quality. I'm not sure how we could objectively account for that but I am open for ways to improve the index.

Thanks again,

Jared
City Slicker
My own personal experience is a much higher % spending on food/grocery/restaurants and much less on shopping. Does transportation include the cost of getting there? If it does, it might often be the biggest expense. If you're not counting the cost of airfare or gas to get there, then my breakdown is probably closer to 40% hotel, 30% restaurant, 15% entertainment, 15% shopping. But I'll acknowledge that individual results must vary.
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