Highest Inflation/Lowest Tipping %/Cheapest Apartments

Nomadico issue #36

A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of A Better Life for Half the Price and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. See past editions here, where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you.

Countries With the Highest Inflation

We’re seeing inflation steadily tick down in many countries as supply chain issues ease, but there are plenty of variations due to local financial policies and how much importing a country does. This report with a world map is from December, but the places you might not want to hold onto the local currency for very long include Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Venezuela, and Syria, all above 100%. For more popular destinations, the highest were Argentina (88%), Turkey (85.5%), and Sri Lanka (66%). Reporting inflation below 5% were Ecuador, Bolivia, China, and Japan.

Tipping Percentages Around the World

“How much should we leave as a tip?” It’s a common question for international travelers and nomads. The best advice is to ask the locals, but this tipping map of the world is a good start for restaurants, hotels, and taxis. Just remember that there are variations within a country (NYC and Los Cabos servers expect more than Wichita and Zacatecas ones do) and the norm in Michelin-star restaurants is not the same as the norm in simple places where regular workers eat. In some countries it’s zero, but “in nearly one-third of the world, a 10 percent restaurant staff tip is considered adequate.” – via Mark Frauenfelder

The World’s Best Apartment Rental Value?

Malaysia is far from poor, a poster child for development success in the past half-century, but the country is a terrific value when it comes to apartment rentals. Because of speculation and over-building, prices are a bargain even compared to other capitals in Southeast Asia. An amount that wouldn’t get you a closet in the world’s expensive cities will get you a modern, multi-bedroom apartment with a view, in a complex with a swimming pool, elevators, a gym, and 24/7 security. When I searched for apartments of 1,500 square feet or more for $900 or less per month in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, I got 548 results, many of them furnished. And hey, the food is really good too…

Two Rugged but Lightweight Carry-on Bags

Experienced travelers know that if you’re trying to travel light, wheels and a handle are going to add 4 to 5 pounds before you even start packing. Two rugged bags I’ve used a lot when ditching the wheels and going carry-on only are the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 and the 45-liter Tortuga backpack that is built for light-packing long-term travelers. List prices can top $300 but both are independent companies with a lifetime guarantee on what they sell. I’ve had my Tom Bihn one for 12 years and it still looks great.


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