10 Most Expensive Places to Visit
Thanks to the struggling economy, the word "vacation" has become taboo -- so taboo that a substitute word, "staycation," was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2009. Although the web is bursting with deals and advice on vacationing on a dime, let's be honest: There are some cities that are, in one word, expensive.
To separate the reputed budget-busters from the truly expensive cities, UBS Wealth Management Research, a Swiss-based global financial services company, conducts a regular Prices and Earnings report, the most recent of which was published in August 2011. The study, which covers 73 of the world's major cities, analyzes economic factors such as currency strength, plus the price levels of travel basics like hotels, food and transportation.
The good news is that vacationing here in the U.S. has become a much more budget-friendly option, while some of the world's most prevalent tourist spots are edging their prices down into the affordable realm. Still, there are several cities that frugal travelers -- no matter how bargain-savvy they may be -- should avoid. Based on the Prices and Earnings report, here are the 10 cities most likely to devour your travel budget.
Average Hotel Price: $204 per night
While the U.S. and Europe are battling an economic crisis, Singapore is flying high. According to UBS' Prices and Earnings report, 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.
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.