130 World cities ranked from cheapest to most expensive: Backpacker Index for 2015

Siem Reap monkWe have all heard that some parts of the world are “cheap” to visit while others are “expensive” but most people have a hard time quantifying any more precisely. That’s why Price of Travel launched our Backpacker Index numbers for cities all over the world in late 2010. Now totally updated in its 5th year, below you’ll find all major destinations around the world ranked by price for backpackers.

More specific information can be found by clicking on the regional articles just below, or by clicking on the individual city names in the main list.

There were some major changes on the list this year, mainly due to large swings in currency in much of the world. Compared to the US Dollar, all European currencies weakened, as did the Canadian Dollar, while most Asian currencies hovered around the same level all year. Once again, Asia dominates the cheap part of the list with the first 7 spots, while Europe dominates the expensive part at the bottom. Click to read more

4 Australia and New Zealand cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2015

Queenstown ViewAfter several years of overvalued currencies, things in Australia and New Zealand are back to more normal levels as of early 2015. In fact, if you are American you will now find this part of the world to be reasonably cheap, though Europeans and Canadians may not.

The good news is that both countries have a robust infrastructure for budget travelers, with more hostels (called ‘backpackers’ usually) than almost anywhere else in the world. Self-catering will cut costs in both countries since even fast-food restaurants tend to be quite expensive. Camping or going with a group in a campervan is another good way of seeing a lot while spending less money. Click to read more

10 Africa and Middle East cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2015

Dubai Mall ViewUpdated for 2015, the Backpacker Index for Africa and the Middle East still remains a modest undertaking. Most of this area is pretty much forgotten by mass market tourism, and even the more adventurous backpackers will struggle to find hostels and cheap hotels with the amenities they like.

The good news is that most of the developed cities in the Middle East and Africa are relatively cheap, excluding Tel Aviv, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. Many budget travelers are shocked to find the prices in sub-Saharan Africa are quite high, at least for international-standard hotels and such. A good and recent guidebook can be a big help in this area, even while they become less necessary elsewhere. Click to read more

12 North American cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2015

Downtown Los AngelesThe United States and Canada continue to be popular for international budget travelers and backpackers, in spite of generally high prices from a global perspective. This ranking of 12 of the most popular destinations in the region has been updated for 2015, and the places didn’t change much. In fact, most cities are well bunched together, as you might expect from two countries that are so similar in most respects.

Most prices on tourist expenses were fairly stable in 2014, so the price tags didn’t change much at all. The one major change is that the Canadian Dollar slipped another 15% during the year compared to the US Dollar. This means that Canada will be noticeably cheaper than the US, including all of its top tourist cities listed below. Click to read more

Cheapest cruise lines for 2015 Mediterranean cruises – 7 lines ranked by price

Over the last few years, the Mediterranean has become a hot spot for visitors from around the world. One of the best ways to experience everything the region has to offer is through a cruise. Not only will you get to experience a few different countries in a short amount of time, but you’ll get to skip finding a hotel and having to fly here to there, and there and back again. In fact, the only flight you’ll have to take is to the starting country and then back out again. Generally, ports are near popular airports, making this both easy and cheap.

Each cruise line holds its own personality and is made to fit a certain type of traveler. This allows for each to have their own price category. There are many different cruise companies that cover the Mediterranean but for this assessment, we’re going to focus on those that offer a 7 night or 7 day itinerary. With a quick read of the information below, you should be able to figure out with one is your best fit, as well as the best option for your price range. Click to read more

16 South and Central American cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2015

Rio De JaneiroSouth and Central America are sometimes forgotten by residents of the rest of the world, but savvy travelers continue to flock to this region for a great variety of reasons. In addition to the cultural and scenic highlights, the entire area is quite cheap by international standards, at least once you are here.

This list has been updated and reorded for 2015, although there weren’t any dramatic changes in the rankings. As the currencies of Europe have tumbled, the currencies in Latin America have been fairly stable compared to the US Dollar. The exceptions continue to be Venezuela, where things seem to keep getting worse, and Argentina, which now has a parallel currency situation similar to the one in Venezuela. Click to read more

Is the New York CityPASS worth it? New York CityPASS review 2015

Welcome to, what many would consider, one of the best cities in the US- New York City! Here you’ll find attractions and activities galore, showcasing everything from art to history, architecture to scenic views. But with so much to see and do, it can get a little difficult trying to decide where to spend your time.

Not only that, but you’ll also be trying to figure out the best ways to save money. That’s where to New York CityPASS comes into play. But is it really all that it’s cracked up to be? We’ll find that out and more below. Click to read more

13 Cheapest Caribbean islands in 2015 for all-inclusive resorts

Caribbean Beach LongIt’s no secret that there has been a boom in demand for all-inclusive beach holidays, and along with it, a boom in all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. Not including Mexico, there are now around 250 all-inclusive resorts spread over more than 20 Caribbean islands, so it at first seems like a confusing choice for someone new to this style of vacation.

What most newcomers don’t realize is, that over 100 of these resorts on in the Dominican Republic, and almost as many are on Jamaica, so those two islands represent a large majority of the market, and most of the best deals as well. Click to read more

Cheapest Caribbean Islands: 32 destinations by price in 2015

Bahama BeachExtremely popular with both North Americans and Europeans during the winter months, the Caribbean is filled with islands and destinations that range from cheap & basic to posh & exclusive. You’ll also find islands where English dominates, but also where Spanish, French, or Dutch are far more common. This list has been totally updated for 2015 to include changing hotel rates and airfare differences.

Ranking Caribbean islands and destinations by price is challenging for a variety of reasons, so we simplified it by including only a cheaper 3-star hotel room for a week and two cheap flights from New York City. Generally speaking, islands with cheaper hotels will also have cheaper meals and diving etc. Click to read more

31 Asian cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2015

Hoi An BridgeBeing such a huge chunk of the world, it’s no surprise that Asia has a huge range in the price ranges for the popular tourist cities. Tokyo and Singapore are among the more expensive tourist cities in the world, while much of Southeast Asia is literally the cheapest region in the world for budget travelers.

In this complete 2015 update we’ve added one new city (Xi’an, China), bringing the total to 31. Interestingly, while currency exchange rates went crazy in much of the world in 2014, the Asia currencies barely budged against the US Dollar, so the rankings below didn’t change much. Click to read more