Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Most Overpriced Destinations

According to the Website Smarter Travel (,) the following are the most overpriced places in the world: Oslo, Norway; Zurich, Switzerland; New York City; Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; London; Las Vegas, NV; Monte Carlo; and Singapore.

Their choices are based on up-to-date information, and for each place they offer suggestions on how to reduce costs. I have only visited four of these places, since I tend to avoid high-priced destinations whenever possible--I've been to Zurich, New York, London and Monte Carlo.

In addition to the recommendations of Smarter Travel, I would suggest these things for the cities I know. In Zurich, stay at the Foyer Hottingen if you can--it is restricted to women and married couples, and eat at grocery stores such as Migros rather than the very pricey restaurants. Zurich is a pretty city but there isn't a lot to see there, so minimize your time in town and head for a less costly Alpine village.

In New York, visit in January or late August if possible, when hotel rates are at their lowest. Or stay at a place like the Leo House (see the post for Jan. 26, 2014) or at a hostel if you are visiting at other times. Eat mostly at coffee shops for low prices and a taste of the real Noo Yawk.

Visit London over Christmas or in July or August and stay at one of the many residences associated with the University of London or other educational institutions. Get takeout from grocery stores or eat at the least costly ethnic restaurants, which are usually Indian or Chinese.

I haven't been to Monte Carlo for a long time, so can't think of anything other than Smarter Travel's suggestion to stay elsewhere, such as Nice, and visit the principality on a day trip by train or bus.

As for the other places on the list, perhaps wait a while unless the place is really on your must-see list. In the case of Oslo, visit the more picturesque and less costly Stockholm instead, or possibly Helsinki. According to Smarter Travel, prices in Oslo are 20 per cent higher than they are elsewhere in Western Europe.


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