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.



29 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?

 
    Roger Wade says:

    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

 
    Roger Wade says:

    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

 
    Roger Wade says:

    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,

 
    Roger Wade says:

    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.

       
        Roger Wade says:

        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.

 
    Roger Wade says:

    Anasua,

    I answered this question on the other thread that you left it on, which is on this page. Please respond there if you have more questions. -Roger

     
Linda Gerbec says:

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

 
    Roger Wade says:

    Linda,

    The interactive map is at the bottom of the Europe Backpacker Index post. Is that the one you are referring to? -Roger

     
Kim says:

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

 
    Roger Wade says:

    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

     
Sheryl says:

Hi Roger,

Am planning to travel to Singapore with my family around 1st or 2nd week of December to celebrate my parents anniversary. Is it a good time to visit and do a lot sightseeing in terms of the weather?
Thanks!

 

    Sheryl,

    Singapore isn’t far north of the equator so the weather there is almost the same all year round. December is a little wetter than the summer months, but not by much. Any month of the year you will usually get a few quick and hard rain storms each week. Sometimes they happen over night, and other times they come in the late afternoon. It’s sunny most of the time, so at least you know when you start to see the clouds get dark that it will probably rain soon, so it’s easy to avoid. And the storms usually last 30 minutes or less, so it’s just a matter of ducking into a shopping center or your hotel room for a bit, and then right back outside.

    In other words, December should be a good month, and the city is very well suited for those sudden hard rain showers. If you do something like the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, it’s probably better to do it in the morning as long as it’s not cloudy yet. You’ll have a wonderful time. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
sheryl says:

Thanks Roger for your quick reply! I would also like to know when would be the ideal time to book the flight tickets? The earlier the better as the prices shoot up as you approach the travel date?

Separately, would you be able to recommend as to whether choosing tour packages offered by travel agencies would work out better vis-a-vis travelling on our own?

Since it will 4 of us travelling, what would be the best mode of transportation, metro trains or cabs?

Thank you so much!!

 

    Sheryl,

    Yes, you almost certainly want to book your tickets as early as possible. Generally speaking, the longer the flight, the earlier the cheap tickets start getting expensive. And if you are flying on a low-cost airline such as Air Asia, it’s always best to book ASAP.

    Singapore is very easy to visit on your own and I’m sure you’d save money doing it that way. The public transportation system is cheap and punctual, and taxis are relatively cheap as well. The Metro is safe, just like everything in Singapore, and it tends to be faster than taxis as long as there are stations near both ends of your trip. I’m sure you’ll have an easy time of things. -Roger

     
Jess says:

Hi Roger,

Great website! Have just recently found it and am hooked!

Wanted to ask your advice as you seem to be the bearer of all knowledge! My partner and I have two weeks off between the 20th October and 5th November and roughly £1,600 between us to spend on travel and accommodation primarily but we also want this to help cover daily costs (but not all of this as we’ll have some spending money). We are based in London and fancy going somewhere that’s mild/ warm weather and that is not the expected! We fancy the idea of travelling around a bit too (either car or public transport) rather than staying in one location for two weeks, we’d prefer to do some exploring.

All ideas would be welcomed as we have many and we’re finding it hard to narrow it down!

Many thanks,

Jess

 

    Jess,

    I’m happy you found this website too.

    That is a pretty limited budget for over two weeks like that so either you’ll have to find a cheap place in Europe or an even cheaper place in Asia. I’m not sure if you’ve seen these yet, but the first thing I will suggest is having a look at my article on cheap destinations with great weather in October, as well as my article with the best Asia destinations in October. The Asia article has more suggestions in different price ranges.

    I’m not sure if it’s on that first list, but have you considered Morocco? That could fit what you are looking for. Marrakech is the most popular stop for tourists.

    One complication is that many of the cheapest places (that are still great) on earth are in southeast Asia and most of that region is very rainy in October and November. Hopefully this helps to at least give you some ideas. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Jess says:

Hi Roger,

Thank you for your speedy response – I really appreciate it.

Yes, we were mainly thinking of Europe or Asia, but probably thought Europe was a better bet so that our budget isn’t gobbled up by the flights.

We were considering Morocco, but wasn’t sure how easy it would be getting around (either by public transport or by car)? This concern was also the same for Turkey, alongside some general political concerns.

In regards to the rest of your list, Portugal, Greece or Croatia could be a good choice. We were also thinking about Bulgaria and to rent a car to drive around and possible visit Macedonia at the same time. Or possibly rent a car in Cyprus.

Any further thoughts would be great! Jess

In regards to the rest on your list,

 

    Jess,

    Morocco is actually very easy to get around in since they have a surprisingly good train system connecting all the major cities. You could fly into Casablanca (but don’t stay there) and then hop a train to Marrakech or Fes or wherever else, and then take trains to other places.

    Turkey could also be great, and not only am I a big fan, but I actually lived there for 13 months in a small town near Antalya on the Mediterranean a few years ago. They have a very efficient bus network, but the distances between the better places are pretty far, so some people fly instead. You could fly into Istanbul and then see the amazing Cappadocia and then Antalya, with great weather the whole way. However, as you say, most people are avoiding Turkey at the moment, even though there appears to be no risk to tourists who are doing touristy things.

    Portugal and Greece could be good, and both of those are fairly cheap. Croatia would also be great. I actually rented a car there so I could visit the stunning Plitvice Falls National Park on my way from Split to Zagreb. And you could also visit Lake Bled and the Karst mountains in Slovenia as well. My experience in Bulgaria is only a few visits to Sofia, which I like (and it’s crazy cheap), but I haven’t been elsewhere or to Macedonia. I think that would be a good choice though. That whole area is great value and you should get great weather in October. I haven’t been to Cyprus either. I’m not sure how much this helped, but feel free to ask if you have other questions. -Roger

     

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