Powerful Passports/Eternal Spring Locations/Best Electronics Value

Nomadico issue #40

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.

How Powerful Is Your Passport?

We love to see throwback websites that do one thing only and present the info in a way that’s easy to comprehend. That’s what you get with the PassportIndex site, where one click can tell you which countries you can get into easily with your passport. With a USA passport (tied with New Zealand in the power rankings) you can get into 173 countries without a visa. That’s one less than S. Korea and many developed EU countries. The king is now the UAE passport, which allows visa-free entry into 181 nations. Extend a warm welcome to anyone you see from any Middle Eastern or Horn of Africa country that’s been at war in the past few decades though: many of them have 45 options or less. – via Mark Frauenfelder

Cost Advantages of a Temperate Climate

I just paid my monthly electric bill in my Mexican highlands city at 6,500 feet and it was a fairly average one of $8 per month. Meanwhile, people living in Playa del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta can easily be on the hook for 20X that amount because of air conditioning costs that drive up the consumption-based price per KWH. We don’t need a closet full of coats, gloves, and boots, but it also rarely gets hot enough to get sweaty. You can find a climate like this throughout Latin America by hitting the right altitude, but popular places tagged as “eternal spring” include much of interior Mexico, Boquete (Panama), Medellin, the coffee region of Colombia, and the highland cities of Ecuador and Peru.

Yes, Hotel Prices are Higher

It’s not your imagination if hotel prices seem crazy high, especially in vacation spots. Out this week is a study from Digitrips showing that hotel prices across the globe are higher than they were in 2019 before the pandemic. The one exception is Asia, where most countries were slow to welcome back tourists and still haven’t fully recovered. Rates in Tokyo and Bangkok are down 20%. Prices in Europe are up 25% though and in the USA they’re up 33% compared to four years ago.

The Best Electronics Value for Travelers

When evaluating the function-to-price ratio of electronics, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better value than the Kindle Fire 8 tablet and e-reader, currently going for $59 at Amazon. (Not a typo!) You can read Kindle books, play games from the Google Play store, and watch videos downloaded from Netflix or Prime that are stored on your own micro SD card. If you have Prime, you’ve got a steady stream of free books, magazines, music, and more available every month. You have to charge it much more frequently than a dedicated Paperwhite e-reader, but it’s a small price to pay for this much functionality on the road.


© 2022