World’s Best Cities/Car Alternatives/Dry Bags for Laundry

Nomadico issue #67

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.

Bargains in “The World’s Best Cities”

In this year’s World’s Best Awards from Travel + Leisure, their readers (and PR firm ballot-stuffers) decided that they’re really budget travelers at heart. Of the 25 best cities, 16 are in countries that have been featured in at least two editions of my book The World’s Cheapest Destinations. Mexico leads with 5 of the 25 (including Oaxaca at #1 and Guadalajara’s debut at #23). Then you’ve got India (Udaipur and Mumbai), Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Portugal (Lisbon and Porto), Indonesia (Ubud), Turkey (Istanbul), Laos (Luang Prabang), Morocco (Marrakesh), and Cambodia (Siem Reap).

The Demise of the $20K New Car

Want to increase your disposable income in a hurry? Move to some city where you never have to buy a car. It now takes over 42 weeks of median household income to cover the average cost of a new car in the USA, per July data supplied by Cox and Moody’s Analytics. Only one new model’s selling price was under $20K and average loan rates are above 8%. Meanwhile, a month-long transit pass will cost you $132 in NYC, $121 in Tokyo, or $80 in Paris. In cheap cities, it’s less than a tank of gas: around $30 in Budapest or Sofia, for example. To reach the average monthly used car payment of $516 in the USA, you could spend $17 every single day of the month on Uber or Lyft.

Versatile Dry Bags

More than a year ago, reader Trevor sent a tip that I somehow never got around to using: carry a roll-top dry bag with you and it can double as a laundry bag. Not just to stuff your dirty clothes in, but to actually wash your clothes in when the sink is too small or you don’t have a drain stopper with you. Then if you go into the elements where water is involved, you’ve got a dry bag to protect your valuables. Some PVC ones are thick and bulky, but you can find lightweight ones that are easier to pack from Sea to Summit and Osprey on Amazon.

No More Excuses: Get Outside

For the older readers on this list: your body can probably do more than your excuse-generating mind says you can. This 93-year-old grandma just finished her quest to visit all 63 U.S. National Parks.


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