FAQ

Priceoftravel.com is in the building phase as of early 2010 so everything here is new. But just to get things started, here…

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of Price of Travel?

Price of Travel is designed to help people decide where they might go and also when, all at a glance. With a quick scan of the page for the destination you are considering, you’ll know how much money you’ll likely need for each day spent there. Let’s face it, we all have limited funds, and some places cost much more than other places once you get there.

Where do those hotel and hostel prices come from?

The hotel and hostel prices are all researched and edited by hand. The idea is to give visitors the basic range in prices for each category. If you are coming during the high season then you might have trouble finding a room at the absolute bottom of the range we found, but the price ranges should be helpful when comparing one city with another.

Are these hotel prices for any hotel and at any time of year?

The hotel prices we’ve concentrated on are all hotels in the main tourist districts of each city, rather than near airports or in far-off suburbs. In some cases you can save money by staying away from the tourist district, but in order to properly compare prices we only use locations that most people consider desirable.

Most of these hotel prices are based on high season or shoulder season, but not for “peak season.” This means that if you are coming during the busiest month or two of the year you might not find prices as low as the bottom of our range, but also if you come during the off season you might find even better deals.

What do the star ratings mean for hotels?

The star ratings are based on local standards, so a “3-star hotel” in one city might not even be as nice as a “1-star hotel” in another city, but generally speaking they are a good measure of relative quality. In some cities (particularly in Europe) the ratings are based on rigid standards, like whether they have an elevator or not. In other cities the ratings don’t mean as much.

How can I find these super-cheap 1-star hotels, since they aren’t on most websites?

This is an interesting issue, which we’ve covered on a separate post about finding cheap 1-star hotel rooms. As long as you know what you are getting into, a 1-star hotel room can often be a great way to keep your expenses down while still having a good night’s sleep in a private room.

What do the prices mean for “budget” meals?

Obviously food prices in any given city will range wildly depending on where you go, so our goal was to find useful ranges of prices for each meal that basically compare to something similar in any other city. These prices are all for complete meals, without drinks, that are typical in that location. So, for example, breakfast prices in France or Italy might seem a little low, but that’s partly because breakfast in those countries is usually quite small.

If you are unsure how the price ranges fit into your own travel style, compare your destination city’s prices to prices in a city that you know well. You may discover that you are used to paying double or triple what we’ve listed, so you’ll likely have to pay double or triple for something similar in the destination city.

Why aren’t drink prices included with meal prices?

In order to make the meal price ranges more meaningful, we left drinks out altogether. Many people don’t buy a coffee or Coke or beer with every meal, so including them in every price range would make things confusing. We’ve listed beer prices for every city, plus coffee, wine, and soft drink prices where we could.

What is meant by the price ranges for beer in every city?

This is another tricky subject since in many cities you can find a beer for US$1 at one type of place, and a beer for US$12 for an import at a fancy hotel bar. Even when just comparing regular bars and pubs there can be a wide variation, so as a benchmark we have chosen to use typical prices for domestic beers at lower to mid-range bars and pub and restaurants. In other words, if you are in Vietnam and you want a Heineken instead of one of the similar local lagers, you might be above the price range we have given.

How can I add information that you are missing?

If you are interested in helping us build up our database then we’d love to hear from you. Check out our Tips page for details.



21 Responses to “FAQ”

nosh says:

do u have a newsletter. cant see it on the website.

 
Riaan says:

Dear Sir

How updated is this site on prices?

 

    Riaan,

    The prices on this site are updated at least once a year, typically around December or January. But some articles are updated even more often. Thanks for the question, and it reminds me that we need to make that more obvious. -Roger

     
Hannah says:

Hi there – Have you done any comparisons or searches for Singles traveling? You have various location tabs, but I would love to see your recommendations and comparisons to help me out with planning a vacation as a single-traveler… Thanks!

 
Miranda says:

Hi Roger,

Do you think November is a bad idea to visit Iceland? What is the advantage and disadvantage if we visit during June-August and November? Because we are traveling far away from Asia so we dont want to miss any chance to see the beautiful Iceland. What is the most beautiful list that we must see and visit?
Thanks beforehand.
Regards,
Miranda

 

    Miranda,

    You can find better sources on Iceland’s must-see sights, although I will try to answer your November question. In my opinion, the best time to visit Iceland is the time that you can go. In other words, if you can visit in November or skip it completely, then go in November. It’s an amazing place, and probably my favorite destination in the world in some ways, although that is all tied into being able to see the scenery.

    The downside to visiting in November is that Iceland is near the Arctic Circle, so by the end of November it’s only light for maybe 4 or 5 hours each day, and maybe around 6 hours at the beginning of the month. So you’d want to focus your main sightseeing into the middle of each day, and you won’t have many hours to really explore like you would in summer when the sun barely sets.

    Another slight complication is that Iceland is really focused on summer tourism, so most of the smaller guesthouses are closed by the end of October and don’t open again until April. On the other hand, with so few tourists it means rates at the hotels and guesthouses that go all year round are lower, and there are even fewer crowds, obviously. Also, November is one of the better months for potentially seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland, so that could make up for fewer hours to see the waterfalls and glaciers and such. I hope this helps and have a great visit if you go. -Roger

     
Heike says:

Hi, are the hotel prices for a dormitory bed, a single room, a double room or half a double (beased on 2 sharing)?
Kind regards

 

    Heike,

    The hotel prices on the City pages are per night for the whole room with 2 guests. On the Backpacker Index the price is for a dorm bed in a hostel. In the 3-star Traveler Indexes it’s half the price of a 3-star room for two. I hope that helps. -Roger

     
louise says:

Hi, the prices of hotels vary significantly depending on how far in advance you book, special deals, etc – how did you collect the hotel prices? is this an average? sourced though online booking companies or from hotels directly? Have you compared your average rates against any other sources, they seem fairly high for some destinations – Thanks,

 

    Louise,

    There are hotel prices listed all over the site and some are collected in different ways. If you tell me which prices you are referring to, I’ll happily let you know how we get them. In other words, do you mean the ranges on the individual city pages (London, Paris etc), or within specific articles? -Roger

     
      louise says:

      thanks Roger – i am referencing both within a city and when comparing cities. I noticed that your site was quoted when looking at the most expensive cities to stay at, so was interested in the reliability of such benchmarking compared to the likes of STR – would be great to discuss further directly.

       

        Louise,

        The rates that you see in the top-left corner for any City page (London prices, Paris prices etc) are the range we found on a hotel meta-search engine for the month of April or May. We use those months because they are more or less the shoulder season all over the world. We toss out any major outlying prices as well. For example, if some hotel in a city claims to be 3 star and has rooms for US$30 per night, and the next cheapest 3-star is US$50 per night, we don’t include the US$30 one in the range.

        And while individual hotel rates can jump around from day to day, the overall range stays pretty constant. It’s also true that some cities have rates in July or August that are, say, 20% higher than the rest of the year, but it’s very hard to include that in one range without distorting something else. Basically, those hotel and hostel price ranges on those pages are there for an “at a glance” comparison rather than as a guarantee of room rates for whenever you might be there.

        Also, you’ll notice that the ranges are often surprisingly wide. A city might have 3-star rooms that range from US$40 to US$150. Hopefully most people realize that if they are looking for a US$40 room that it’s not going to have a great location and fawning guest reviews. Again, the range is there so people can quickly get an idea of what a daily cost might be. If you compare a city in Vietnam with a city in Japan, you’ll see that there is a big difference.

        Another factor to consider is that hotel star ratings are only regulated in a few parts of the world, so most of them are just a reflection of what a hotel thinks it can get away with and not disappoint too many guests. For example, in Phuket or in Kuala Lumpur, you can find hotels that claim to be 5-star that start at around US$70 per night. They are nice, but in other parts of the world they could never claim 5 stars without getting blasted in the reviews by every guest.

        As for the hotel and hostel prices used in the 3-star Traveler Index and Backpacker Index, those are hand-researched by me each year and the criteria is explained at the top of the article. There’s a bit of an art to it, but I’m quite confident in my judgment on this because I’ve been to almost every city listed on this site and I do hotel research almost constantly for this site.

        I’m not sure what STR is, and obviously I’m not sure why you are curious about this, but it’s a subject I am fond of and I’m happy to try to help. If you are looking for a place to do some kind of global study of hotel prices, I don’t think my data is suited to that, and I’m not sure if anyone’s data is suited to that for the reasons I mentioned above. I hope this helps and I’ll try to answer more specifically if you have any other questions. -Roger

         
          louise says:

          thanks for the extensive reply! i came across your website after following a reference in the Hoppa study about the most expensive destinations to visit and was just interested how you capture such data. many thanks

           
Anasua Bhatacharya says:

Hi Roger
Plan to visit Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg,Prague and maybe a couple of places in Switzerland if possible in 15 days (1/7/16–15/7/16) We are an elderly couple in our late fifties with health issues like arthritic knees & back pains.Please can you suggest the best way to tour these places? Where to stay, what mode of transport will be suitable for us,because long walks & hiking is impossible for us.I know it’s a little too mch to ask but would greatly appreciate if you could give us detailed guidelines.We are from India.Thanks.Looking forward to hearing from you.

 
Linda Gerbec says:

I can’t find a way to call up your interactive map.

 
Kim says:

Hi! ‘May i know what are the criteria for a place to be a budget tourism destination? Thank you!

 

    Kim,

    It depends on which article or part of the website you are referring to. There is no official criteria, but I try to choose destinations that are in the lower or mid price tiers compared to their neighbors when I recommend a “cheap destination.” Let me know if you have any follow up questions on this. -Roger

     

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