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Santa Barbara, Ca

I'm a full-time rambler and contract designer with as many skill sets in my quiver as there are plane tickets in my passbook. I've worked in ornamental iron, jigsaw puzzle design, bookmaking, glass engraving, and a variety of other mediums. I'm currently living out of a backpack as I trek my way around the world.

Blog A Budget Travel Resource

Zak Erving


Roger Wade has saved my ass.

To be more specific, he’s saved my travel wallet from depleting more rapidly than it should.

Roger is the head honcho behind the website, a budget index that offers much more than convenient pricing guides to shopping and buying around the world: he has created the Backpacker’s Index, a breakdown of budget-friendly destinations around the world arranged by cost-per-day from lowest to highest. 

To compile these annual statistics, Mr. Wade typically adheres to a few guidelines: first, he only features major cities (over rural towns) because cities are usually the most expensive parts of a country. If you see a daily estimate for Copenhagen, for instance, you can be fairly sure that’s a measurable standard by which to estimate costs elsewhere in Denmark.

The criteria for setting a destination’s average daily cost are as follows:

  • The cost of a reservation at a centrally-located, decently-rated hostel
  • Three (3) budget meals per day
  • Up to two (2) public transportation fares (bus or metro)
  • One (1) cultural attraction (museum, exhibit, etc.)
  • Three (3) cheep beers (which Roger calls an “entertainment fund”)

After considering my own travel practices, I’m hard-pressed to think of anything that Roger might’ve left out of the average daily expenses. Granted, the average daily costs don’t include things like train tickets, taxis, airfare, and other airfare. Regardless, the Backpacker’s Index is an indispensable tool for any budget traveler. If you’re searching for vacation ideas under a set dollar amount, it’d be worth your while to check as soon as you can—you might get more than you bargained for.