Now fully updated for 2020, the North American Backpacker Index is in its 10th year to rank the major tourist cities in the US and Canada from cheapest to most expensive. The currencies and inflation rates were pretty stable through 2019, so not much changed except for hostel prices in both countries. In some cases the rate at a great and central hostel has come down a bit, and in other cases it's gone up.
More than in most of the world, it's difficult to rank these cities in a meaningful way because food and drink costs are pretty similar in all of them. This list is meant to help backpackers and budget travelers, and those who are bargain hunters can find really great deals in all of these places, while mid-range tourists with more money than time will end up paying much higher prices. In fact, if we were to rank the cities by the prevailing prices at their better hostels, the rankings would be almost identical to the rankings including everything. Click to read more