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My name is Scott and I like to travel. There I said it, wow that does feel better. There is probably a program for my affliction somewhere. I am what I would consider a Normal Guy. I am a native Arizonan, sometimes we are called “Zonies”. I am in my mid 40′s and enjoy a great life. I am self employed and have a wonderful daughter and Partner. Although I would say my life is a fairly normal one, I am also quite lucky in that I have the ability to travel and enjoy the world, I enjoy learning about other cultures and experiencing the world around us. I want to be right upfront about the type of travel I enjoy and the type I don’t. You will probably not ever read a story of about me backpacking my way through the serengeti during the height of summer, nor will you probably read any stories of me sleeping in the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton in Paris. I am not a budget traveler, nor am I an uber luxury traveler, I fall somewhere in the middle, where most people fall I believe. I started this blog for the sole purpose of sharing my stories, my views and my excitement for traveling around this world with my friends, family. However it doesn’t stop there for me, I also wanted to make friends with others around the world, those who travel and those who dream of travel. Blogs and Websites evolve over time, mine will no doubt expand over time as well please come back and see what has taken place. However if you have come to my blog to schedule a flight or a hotel, this is not the place.

Top this!

Zurich, Switzerland

Top 10 lists sometimes drive me mad!  They are usually so arbitrary or subjective.  I read them and wonder who decided this list, and why?  If your a regular reader of travel sites and travel blogs, or anything else on the internet there isn’t a week that goes by that someone doesn’t write the 10 best haunted houses, or the top 10 most fascinating hotels near a body of water that have only single rooms and face north, you know something like that.  I am thinking about writing a Top 10 list titled, the Top 10 worst Top 10 Lists.  They drive me mad I tell you just simply mad.

Oslo, Norway

When I travel abroad there are usually two questions that immediately pop into my head; Where do I want to go?  And How much money am I going to need?  Not always in that order either.  Come on I am sure those same two questions come up in your mind as well.  After all  you need to decide where to go in order to know how much money you might need, or is it you need to know how much money you have to decide where you can go?  You can see my dilemma.

Sydney, Australia

So imagine my surprise when the I ran across the Top 30 most expensive cities around the world.  For some reason this one caught my eye, perhaps it’s because I’m in the planning process of travel for 2012 and that nagging little line “How much money will I need” just won’t go away.  This list may or may not surprise you, some old stalwart locations are here like always, Tokyo, New York, London and Paris but surprisingly they aren’t the most expensive cities.  What is a surprise are the cities that are at the top of the list.  Interestingly, of the top 30, I’ve visited 3 of the cities this year, Barcelona, Madrid and Amsterdam lucky for me those cities were in free fall, I didn’t notice any savings though.  I plan to visit another which is higher up on the list next year, Vienna.   I guess I better put those pennies in the bank quickly.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

The rankings are produced from the Swiss-based UBS Prices and Earnings report.  It compares the average “Shopping Basket” of 122 goods and services.  This is done every three years and adjusts for inflation, GDP growth and changes in foreign exchange rates.  It is a pretty consistent list with consistent measurements to keep track of the ups and downs of various cities throughout the world.

Oslo retains the title of “The Worlds Most Expensive City”, while a number of their Scandinavian neighbors such as Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki also make the top 10.  So it might be a good idea to avoid that region for a few years, or save more now for your pending trip.  It’s the movers and shakers on this list that catch my attention, for those that have dropped significantly, is it time to plan a visit?  And what about those that have risen significantly, is it time to put them on the back burner?  Dublin and Madrid have dropped 10 spots since 2009.  I guess my trip to Madrid was timed just right, now about Dublin, you may have to wait a bit.


Or how about those that are scorching their way up the list, Auckland up 21 to #24, Rio de Janeiro up 22 spots to #26, or Sao Paulo up 23 to #19, or perhaps you fancy Toronto up 22 to #9 or the big mover and shaker, Sydney up 31 spots to #7 since 2009.  Wow, you poor folks in Sydney have been hit with the higher costs of life, I sure hope you have had the benefit in your pay checks as well.  It would seem that we maybe seeing those cities who have benefited from the Global Financial Crisis, if benefit is the right word.  Of course this isn’t a Top 10 list of “Best Livable Cities” thats a different list.

Well here is the actual list, check it over because there won’t be another list compiled until 2014.  So when your planning your next big trip, check out the list, maybe you can save a few bucks here and there.

Rank 2011 Cities Rank 2009

1               Oslo                        1

2               Zurich                   2

3               Geneva                  4

4               Copenhagen         3

5               Stockholm           16

6               Tokyo                     5

7               Sydney                  38

8               Helsinki                7

9               Toronto               31

10             Singapore           24

11             Vienna                  8

12             Paris                     9

13             Luxembourg     14

14             New York City   6

15             London               21

16             Munich               11

17             Montreal             32

18             Frankfurt           13

19             Sao Paulo           42

20             Dublin                10

21             Brussels              20

22             Rome                  17

23             Lyon                   18

24             Auckland          45

25             Barcelona         22

26             Rio de Janeiro 48

27             Dubai                  19

28             Istanbul              34

29             Amsterdam       23

30             Madrid               20







Trivia Question:  What do the top 10 have in common?

And don’t forget a penny saved, is a move up the list.

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