Yes, I’m a travel addict.
Yes, I do lots of research online prior to departing.
Yes, cost of travel is a consideration when I’m planning and booking my travels.
Which brings me to the constant annoyance of dated cost data.
Why oh why is it so hard to find up to date cost data for traveling to various regions in the world?
You’re left to peruse Google in hopes of finding a somewhat recent blog post from a travel blogger who happens to be kind enough to track, and blog about, their expenditures in Chiang Mai, Beijing, Rome, or Barcelona (or wherever you are going next).
Even if you do manage to find a great resource about the specific destination, there are two likely problems. First, the information is dated the second it gets published. It could be from 9 months, 3 years, or even 5 years ago. Costs change over time, some regions more so than others as a result of inflation (like Argentina) or currency fluctuations. Second, the traveler publishing the data is unlikely to be the exact same travel profile as you. If I find cost data from a 45 year old couple, that’s largely irrelevant to me given that I’m a single 30 year old male.
There is, however, a second option for determining a budget for a specific destination. Find someone with similar travel habits who has just visited the location you’re headed towards. But short of having a massive network of travelers to tap into, and know where they’ve all been recently, this approach isn’t likely to work for many people.
Accurate travel cost data for your travel profile really shouldn’t be so hard to find.
Where do you go to research travel costs? Does it work most of the time? All the time? Do you find it accurate?
And yes, I have a pretty good idea on how to solve this travel problem — but would love feedback on what type of traveler you are and what your thoughts are on the “accurate travel costs” problem outlined here so as to incorporate your feedback into an even better product down the line.