The Big Mac is overvalued in the most expensive country by $1.03, and undervalued in the least expensive country by $3.76. By this rule, the cheapest countries for travel would be Egypt, Ukraine, Russia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The most expensive would be Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, and Canada.
Read the Leffel chapter and the other links provided to derive a list of the 10 cheapest countries for travel.
After reading the chapter and looking at the multiple links the 10 cheapest countries to travel would be: Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, India, Greece, Egypt, Peru, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Hungary.
I chose to go to Cairo, Egypt as the cheapest option in the Eastern Hemisphere. I found that this area showed up frequently on the lists, and seemed to be an easy bet for the eastern hemisphere. I tried other cities like Athens, in Greece, but the flights and lodging was more expensive. The airfare costs $948, while lodging is only $34 a night, for 20 nights this is $680. This brings the total to $1628. Thanks to priceoftravel.com I was able to estimate food costs. The hotel provides free breakfast, average lunch costs would round out to about $5.70 a day, and dinner costs around $8.40 a day. If you take this over the three weeks it is around $280 - $300.
I chose Guatemala City as my cheap destination in the Western Hemisphere. I tried multiple other cities in South America, knowing that Canada would be expensive, and this was my cheapest flight and cheapest lodging. I was able to find really cheap dorm lodging that would bring down costs substantially. The total for flights and lodging would only be $1036, and then adding food for three weeks of around $200 brings my total to $1250.
Consider the safety factor in the destination you have chosen. Take a look the Global Peace Index rankings (A ranking of countries based on the Peace Index begins on p. 8.) Which country would be the safest? Where is the United States ranked? Where do your chosen countries rank?
According to the index, Iceland would be the safest with the U.S. coming in at 121st. The countries I chose were Guatemala and Egypt, they came in at 111 and 142.
"You'll learn far more than you ever did at a university.
Remember the old days when people got a liberal arts education? They went to Oxford or Princeton to learn about history, politics, social studies, geography, religion, foreign languages, and economics. Well you'll learn far more about all those things by traveling than you ever can in college. Ask anyone in their 30's how much they remember about these subjects from their university classes. "Not much" will usually sum it up."
I think that the quote shoes that you can learn a lot from experience and living through something. Even though I am still in school, there are definitely classes that I have taken where I simply don’t remember any of it. This speaks to the quote saying many things just don’t matter in the classes that you take, there is a lot of filler, but you learn real life information by getting out in the real world and experiencing that for yourself.
Submitted by Noah DeMaria on February 21, 2019.