A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work. A vacation is like love - anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia.
Thanks to the struggling economy, the word "vacation" has become taboo in all honesty, there are some cities that are, in one word, expensive. Suggestion: it is always a good idea to be prepared before planning a vacation, do some research, find out which favorite destination of yours will require more of your hard earned money. Planning ahead can sometimes save you a lot of unpleasant surprises. Based on the Prices and Earnings report, here are the 10 cities most likely to devour your travel budget.
10. SingaporeAverage Hotel Price: $204 per night
While the U.S. and Europe are battling an economic crisis, Singapore is flying high. This destination in southern Asia -- which was ranked No. 24 back in 2009 -- snags 10th place on the current list of most expensive places. This steep price climb correlates with the increasing strength of the Singapore dollar. Although you can still find cheap eats and the occasional bargain hotel, don't expect that to last.
9. Toronto, Canada Beautiful, clean and with the gorgeous Niagara Falls. Awesome place, plus my aunts, uncles and cousins live there. So did my grandmother.
Average Hotel Price: $133 per night
It used to be the case that Americans living near the northern border would hightail to Canada to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate, but over the past few years, the tables have turned. Now that the Canadian dollar is roughly on par with our greenback, Canada's price tags have become increasingly cringe-worthy. Toronto is an excellent example: Since 2009, the metropolis has climbed from No. 31 to No. 9 on the Prices and Earnings report's list of the most expensive cities.
Average Hotel Price: $163 per night
So far, Helsinki has remained relatively untouched by Europe's economic crisis, clocking in at No. 8 on the Prices and Earnings report's list of pricey places.
Average Hotel Price: $172 per night
In 2009, Sydney was ranked 38th. Since then, the city has skyrocketed to seventh place, and that's due in part to the Australian dollar's steady rise in worth. Although the Aussie dollar is relatively on par with our own, Sydney's currency has strengthened while the greenback has struggled.
5. Stockholm, Sweden So far my favorite city of all Europe. A must for anyone interested in a beautiful European city. Would not mind going back.
Unlike its neighbor, Finland, Sweden has trumped Europe's recession. Stockholm's strong economy has not only allowed the country to weather the storm, but also to rise from the No. 16 spot in 2009 to fifth place Bargain travelers beware: Sticker-shock is a common side effect of a Stockholm vacation, while the unfavorable exchange rate only fuels the fire.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark We had a very nice time here during one of our summers. What I remember the most was the cost of a cup of coffee at the airport. Super expensive. Loved the city and the shopping was something else.
Average Hotel Price: $174 per night
Like Helsinki, Copenhagen's price levels haven't been affected by the European recession. Prices and Earnings most recent report shows that Denmark's capital dropped only one place. So while you may find this city's antique shops, intimate restaurants and cozy coffee bars comforting, your wallet sure won't. Travelers will find rates at their highest during the summer months when the weather is ideal for sightseeing. Discounts can be had in winter, but make sure to bundle up.
3. Geneva, Switzerland
Average Hotel Price: $268 per night
2. Zürich, Switzerland Arvid and I were here many years ago, from what I recall it was very cold. We were there during the winter.
Average Hotel Price: $224 per night
Zürich's residents also welcome Switzerland's generous salaries, surpassing Geneva by a few points on the expensive meter. Unfortunately for travelers, Zürich doesn't offer as many opportunities to nab deals. Prices jump during the summer as people pour in to savor the comfortable temperatures and enjoyable activities on Lake Zürich. During the winter, there's not much of a price break, as snowy weather draws skiers to the nearby Alps. Rates slump briefly in spring and fall, but not by much.
1. Oslo, Norway This is a must for us every summer. My favorite place in all of Norway.
Average Hotel Price: $169 per night
Oslo's prices may be staggeringly high, but at least they're consistent. Norway's capital has held on to the No. 1 spot on the UBS Prices and Earnings report's most expensive list since 2006. And it's not just hotels that will gouge travelers' pockets: In 2009, the New York Times noted that a bottle of water costs roughly $6 USD. Money-saving tactics -- like visiting in July or August when most residents are on vacation -- do little to curb the expense of an Oslo trip.
Vacation used to be a luxury, but in today's world it has become a necessity...When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money...
until next time...