6 Australia and New Zealand cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2017

Queenstown ViewUpdated and expanded for 2017, the Australia and New Zealand Backpacker Index includes 6 cities that are generally the most popular for foreign visitors. For the first time in a while, the currencies of both countries didn’t move much, and inflation was almost zero in both countries as well.

More 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

26 Cheapest overwater bungalow resorts in the world in 2017

Show a person a photo of an overwater bungalow or water villa and suddenly they have a new goal in life. Unfortunately, most of the 163 or so resorts that feature overwater rooms are quite expensive, usually well over US$600 per night, even in the off season.

Well, there is a bit of good news then as it turns out that not all of them are priced only for the super-rich. Thanks to the overwater bungalows and water villas guide, which lists every overwater resort in the world, we know that there are some affordable options out there.

Updated for 2017

The list of 26 resorts below has been totally updated for 2017, and all room rates are current for this year. Some resorts only have one rate, while most of the larger resorts offer the lowest rates only to those who book well in advance. Click to read more

8 Unique and affordable safaris from around the world

Originally the term safari was coined as a word to represent an overland journey. This was often referred to as a trip within Africa. Today however, the term safari has grown to represent any trip, whether overland or not, that involves the observation of wildlife in its natural environment. Safaris have also grown to vary in duration and price. Many of the original tours were only available to wealthy ‘explorers’ who wanted to scope out an area for future existence or hunting. Nowadays, prices accommodate all budget levels, allowing for easier access to the destination of your choice.

There are many different types of safaris to choose from, some take you into waters full of marine wildlife, while others take travelers along rustic hikes through sand and mountains. Of course there are still many classic safaris available that lead straight into the heart of Africa. With any safari that you take, remember to keep your eyes open and camera ready. Click to read more

56¢ dorm beds on a tropical island: A gimmick but I still want to go

Fiji Beachcomber islandRecently I was contacted by a resort that claimed to be the new champion for world’s cheapest hostel bed, which I’d previously determined was in Siem Reap, Cambodia at US$1 per night. The Beachcomber Island Resort in Fiji has reduced its 114 dorm beds to FJD$1 per night, which is only US$0.56. Sounds like an amazing deal, but when you learn that the dorm is on a private resort island in the tropics, it’s clear there is more to the story.

Unsurprisingly, the bottom line is that the dorm bed price was reduced for reasons relating to sales tax (benefiting guests), and each dorm bed comes bundled with three buffet meals per day at an additional cost of FJD$80. So for FJD$81 per day (US$45), you get a comfortable bed and 3 buffet meals per day on a private tropical island, with many activities also included in the price. That’s quite a deal, if you ask me. Click to read more

The free-walking-tour business is exploding in popularity

Paris Free Walking TourIn 2004 Sandemans New Europe Tours launched its new “free walking tour” concept in Berlin, and they’ve been so successful that they’ve continued to expand ever since, now on the verge of adding their 13th and 14th cities across Europe and Israel. When something works there will be others ready to copy the concept in their own market, and by late 2011 it turns out that similar free walking tours are available in about 50 cities around the world.

On a long research trip to Europe in 2008 I had the pleasure of going on 5 different New Europe walking tours, in Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, and Paris, and I can honestly say they were all excellent so this seems like an exciting new trend that is good news for everybody but the high-price walking tour outfits that are probably struggling a bit. Click to read more

List of free walking tours around the world

London Free Walking TourThe trend of ‘free’ walking tours appears to have started in Berlin in 2004 and has now spread to over 40 cities around the world, including nearly every major tourist destination in Europe. Fad or not, free walking tours seem to be here to stay, so we thought it would be helpful to collect a list of them all in one place.

The fine people at Free Sofia Tour compiled this original list and with their permission I’m including it here as well so value-oriented travelers have more chances of finding these tours and even planning their trips around them.

The tour guides work on tips and participants are free to tip as much or little as they think is appropriate, so they are a great first activity and orientation in a city on literally any budget. Click to read more

The world’s 14 best-value destinations

Let’s face it, there are plenty of cheap destinations in the world, and some of them deserve to be cheap. But there are also gems out there which are lovely and interesting as well as very easy on the budget. These ‘best-value’ places are ones where you have an excellent time and you’re continually shocked at how cheap things are there too.

Not long ago we published lists of our picks for the best-value cities in Europe, and the best-value cities in Asia. For both of those we ranked destinations for people traveling just to a specific region, but it’s time to open it up and collect our best-value recommendations from the entire world. Click to read more

Australia & New Zealand cities by price: Backpacker Index for 2011

As of early 2011 Price of Travel covers over 110 cities around the world, making it easy for travelers to figure out a budget as well as normal weather for every major tourist city on the planet. Here we continue with our Backpacker Index for 2011 series, highlighting Australia and New Zealand.

Admittedly, with only four total cities in this region right now, the coverage is spotty, but fortunately these examples should provide a good range for each country as prices are generally consistent in the main tourist areas. The most dramatic factor to consider lately is the exchange rate, which, as you’ll see below, has made Australia nearly as expensive as Scandinavia at the moment. Click to read more