Lodging Price Differences/Reducing ATM Fees/Cheap Sink Stopper

Nomadico issue #77

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.

City Lodging Price Differences

In a reminder of how dramatic the difference in lodging prices can be between cities, it was interesting to see the side notes in this WalletHub report on the most popular winter getaway destinations for Americans. “Among cold destinations, Chicago, Illinois, has the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $39, which is 3.5 times lower than Worcester, Massachusetts, the city with the highest at $135. Among warm destinations, San Antonio has the lowest price for a three-star hotel room, $50, which is 3.9 times lower than Honolulu, the city with the highest at $196. 

ATM Fee Differences

Speaking of variable costs, on two different continents this year I’ve experienced ATM fees that varied from a pittance to a fortune, sometimes within a block or two. In Sarande, Albania the highest fee was 9 euros, while at the second bank it was 4.5 euros, then at the one we ended up using, zero (admittedly a rare occurrence that was probably a mistake). In multiple locations in Mexico this year, my favorite bank has been less than US$1, while one down the street routinely charges $9. If your card doesn’t reimburse local ATM fees, it can pay to hit the “cancel” button and move on.

Remote Work vs. Poverty

After I read this interesting article about how remote work could shift the world’s GDP map over time, I went and looked at my last few years of Fiverr payouts for various tech and graphics jobs I’ve needed to get done. Almost none of that money has gone to people in the richest countries and it turns out I’ve paid workers in 14 nations. That includes some that don’t normally come up in these outsourcing discussions, like Panama, Sri Lanka, Moravia, and Egypt. Multiply that times thousands of just Fiverr/Upwork customers and then add in big companies recruiting abroad to get a hint of the potential. It starts looking a whole lot better for raising family standards of living than IMF loans and siphoned-off NGO aid.

Cheap and Useful Sink Laundry Item

In Part 2 of “What I should have packed in my carry-on,” on this last month-long trip, I neglected to bring a flat rubber sink drain stopper, even though there was a good chance I’d need to do some sink washing of clothes along the way. You can usually find one locally in a dollar store or kitchen store, or get a two-pack in a variety of colors for less than $6 on Amazon.


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