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Getting from here to there is only part of the travel calculus now. In the face of the dollar's declining value abroad, expenses on the ground can be a shock to some. To demonstrate where you'll get the most bang for your buck, this monthly index compares the cost of common consumer goods around the world. Prices are listed in U.S. dollars. Conversions are calculated through www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi.

Belize City, Belize (Source: Belize Tourism Board; www.travelbelize.org)

  • Movie ticket: $5
  • Bus/subway fare: 50¢ bus
  • Cup regular coffee: $2
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Belikin $2 (bottle)
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $10
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $20 - $60
  • Exchange rate: $1US = 1.97 Belize dollars

Berlin, Germany (Source: German National Tourist Office; www.cometogermany.com)

  • Movie ticket: $7.75 - $9.43
  • Bus/subway fare: $2.58 - $3.36 (subway or bus)
  • Cup regular coffee: $3.36
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Berliner Pilsner $3.23 bottle
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $34.25
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $107.25 - $200.29
  • Exchange rate: $1US = 0.773865€

Cape Town, South Africa (Source: Cape Town Tourism; www.tourismcapetown.co.za)

  • Movie ticket: $4.44
  • Bus/subway fare: $1.65 bus
  • Cup regular coffee: $1.15
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Castle Lager $1.65 bottle
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $24.68 - $32.90
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $98.72 - $131.63
  • Exchange rate: $1US = 6.07759 South African rand

Chicago, IL (Source: Chicago Office of Tourism; www.cityofchicago.org)

  • Movie ticket: $8.50
  • Bus/subway fare: $1.75 (subway or bus)
  • Cup regular coffee: $1
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Goose Island $3.50 pint
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $40
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $130
  • Exchange rate: $1US = $1US

Kathmandu, Nepal (Source: Nepal Tourism Board; www.welcomenepal.com)*

  • Movie ticket: $2.75
  • Bus/subway fare: 10¢ -- 29¢ bus
  • Cup regular coffee: 36¢ - $1.45
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Everest $1.30 bottle
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $7.98
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $25 - $50
  • Exchange rate: $1US = 75.15 Nepalese rupee

*In October, 2004, the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory against nonessential trips to Nepal. See http://travel.state.gov/travel/warnings.html for details.

Louisville, KY (Source: Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau; www.gotolouisville.com)

  • Movie ticket: $8
  • Bus/subway fare: $1 bus
  • Cup regular coffee: $1.50
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Bluegrass Brewing Company $3.50 pint
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $29
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $139
  • Exchange rate: $1US = $1US

Montréal, Quebec (Source: Tourism Québec; www.bonjourquebec.com)

  • Movie ticket: $7.95 - $11.13
  • Bus/subway fare: $1.99
  • Cup regular coffee: $1.31
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Unibrue $4.77 - $6.36 pint
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $27.81 - $31.79
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $78.66 - $142
  • Exchange rate: $1US = 1.25859 Canadian dollars

Nadi, Fiji (Source: Fiji Visitors Bureau; www.bulafiji.com)

  • Movie ticket: $3.03
  • Bus/subway fare: 43¢ bus
  • Cup regular coffee: 61¢
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Fiji Gold $2.30 bottle
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $19.41
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $121 - $242.68
  • Exchange rate: $1US = 1.64826 Fiji dollars

Rome, Italy (Source: Rome Tourist Agency; www.romaturismo.it)

  • Movie ticket: $9.04
  • Bus/subway fare: $1.29 subway
  • Cup regular coffee: 97¢
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Moretti $2.58 bottle
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $77.52
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $116.28
  • Exchange rate: $1US = 0.773865€

Singapore (Source: Singapore Tourism Board; www.stb.com.sg)

  • Movie ticket: $4.28
  • Bus/subway fare: 49¢ - $1.09 subway
  • Cup regular coffee: 43¢
  • Bottle of local beer in a bar: Tiger $2.57 bottle
  • Moderate three-course dinner for one (without alcohol or tip): $9.12 (hawker centers) - $21.88 (sit-down restaurant)
  • Room for two in moderate (3-star) hotel: $91.73 - $244.43
  • Exchange rate: $1US = 1.64590 Singapore dollars

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