Doing the cost.htm assignment …


Europe has been my number one place that I would like to travel to outside of the US. However, in this assignment, we learn about other potential travel places around the world that would cost a lot less. Essentially, I could visit more places at a cheaper cost. It has made me evaluate other parts of the world more. Egypt sounds beautiful, but I never thought about going there so early. The Big Mac index is pretty interesting. I never knew they had something like that, but it makes perfect sense!


I think the worst part of each assignment is finding the cheapest flight. I actually find it kind of fun to search different sites to get the better deal, but for some reason I'm usually lucky enough to find the least expensive on my first or second try! But then it makes all of the other research I do for flights feel pointless and annoying.


I can feel I get more used to the .htm files with Microsoft Word systerm. It's getting much easier to complete each assighment than the beginning, still need a couple hours though. And I found this class is really helpful with my future travelling, I got to know more useful websites than I thought.

I finished the Cost assighment after reading all those materials, the Big Mac Index gave me a preveiw of world's economy. And also I know how to use to check daily costs in different cities after doing this assighment.


I'm travelling while doing this assignment, so I am tolerating less than optimum internet access and working on my patience skills.  I chose Egypt as one of the less expensive contries to travel to.  I want to experince a Mediteraean trip.  Egypt is on the Mediteranean.  I'll see how this works out!  I found hostels for lodging in other countries, but failed to find hostels in Egypt.   Most of the cost information I found was in blogs.


I had a difficult time with the big mac conversion, until I found the website that broke it down for you.  I found the rest of the assignment to be fairly easy, and feel I am getting better using the htm formatting in notepad.  I felt it was appropriate to use images in order to show the cost of the hostels, I found a variety of web sources which took into account the daily average cost for visiting that specific country.  I enjoyed the quote at the end and felt you need a proper balance of travel and education at the university level (explained in detail at my webpage).



This is how I interpreted the instructions in the Cost assignment to determine how the Big Mac was overvalued in Norway and undervalued in Malaysia.  Is this correct?

The price of a Big Mac was $5.79 in Norway.  The price of a Big Mac was 3.57 in the U.S.

The price of a Big Mac was $1.92 in Malaysia. The price of a Big Mac was 3.57 in the U.S    


After reading the articles, I decided on India and Guatemala as my choices to travel to, because they were some of the cheapest and most interesting places that I would like to travel to. India was actually one of the lowest countries on the Big Mac Index and you could live off of $20 a day. Although they are the cheapest, they are very low on the global peace index ratings. I think as long as I stay with a tour group though I would be safe. 


Trying to find the cheapest countries to travel to makes me want to travel; it seems that traveling to somewhere like Thailand is cheaper than taking a vacation in the U.S., it also appears that a trip to Thailand is safer than being in the U.S. The Global Peace Index was probably the most interesting part of this assignment to me; it took away a certain perception I had of Thailand being a violent country. The GPI did have any areas highlighted, such as homicide and terrorist acts, and Thailand rank high of the overall GPI as being a safe place to travel. As far as the quote, I think that this class is an example of why the quote is not accurate; without this class I never would have considered traveling to Thailand, due to my preconceived notion that Thiland was high in violent crime. It was because of a history class that I tool at Macon State College that caused me to have a desire to move to the mid-west when jobs became scarce due to the recession; if it had not been for that class, I would not be here in Omaha NE. I think that educational institutions can change certain perceptions that we may have or teach us things that make us interested in an area or subject that we may have never considered.



I do believe that there is truth in what Leffle says about traveling. I personally have traveled the world and found that because of it I am more diverse and have a better understanding of where people come from and why they are the way they are. I have learned alot about people and have been able to see all sides of the spectrum if you will. I think that there is truth in what he says. I do however disagree in some aspects because a classroom does just that as well. IT may not do it on a wide scale but that depends on who you are and how active you wish to be. We actually have a great opportunity by living in the U.S. because of the variaty of individuals and cultures we have living in the U.S. We can get alot just by opening your mouth and saying hi to your neighbor and as well being active in school activities. 

Do I believe that shool is a waste of time? No I do not. I do however believe that some of the things that we have to do in a University are not important. There are classes that we are made to take that do not pertain to our degrees. I feel that as a student, we take the classes that are required of us and do not really learn as much from them because we were not mayber as interested in them as the university thought us too be. I do believe that college is a great place to learn how to learn. This is a way to be taught new methods and or possiblities and then in term giving us the opportunity to take it upon ourselves to read more into detail. Overall I think the theories are correct, it just really depends as to who is the one doing it. It's all in the eye of the beholder. 


The hardest part of this assignment was figuring out the Big Mac Index. I used the wikipedia site, and plugged in the figures I found on that site for Malaysia and Norway into the example rather than trying to follow the confusing instructions. I think I figured it out, but I didn't look at the other site that some of you are talking about using.

The rest of the assignment I feel went a little better. Picking out 10 countries as "the cheapest" was a bit of opinion and comparison between the links and Leffel chapter. However, as Leffel points out, I think it is important to note that these are "the cheapest" countries that are not a dangerous option; thus they are the "cheapest, safest" options, not necessarily the cheapest by cost.

For the Eastern Hemisphere country, I chose Hungary. I found that, though you could travel in several Southeast Asia countries for cheaper on a day by day basis, the airfare to get there was much more. For the Western Hemisphere, I chose Guatemala. Again, the cost of the flight to get there was the determining factor (the further south, the higher the airfare). Almost all the countries on my "cheapest" list were countries that the links said you could travel in for under $25 or $30 a day, so they were all relatively equal on that part.

However, I found that Hungary was in the top 20% on the GPI while Guatemala was in the bottom 20%, so if I had to chose one to go to, I would probably choose Hungary, even though the total cost I found to go there was about $200 more.

As for the quote, I used my own experience to describe why I didn't agree with the quote. Last spring, I took a comparative criminal justice class that took a two-week trip to the UK at the conclusion of the semester. It was great! I felt that I truly got a whole perspective by having both the classroom time and the travel time. If I hadn't had the classroom time, there are several things I wouldn’t have noticed or understood when we were traveling. Similarly, while we were traveling, it really gave light to what we had been studying, and we learned even more than we had in the classroom. So, all in all, I feel that having the two together is what really makes learning fun, long-lasting, and valuable.



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when I sat down to do this equation I personally had a lot of trouble, I asked my husband to assist me and after 20 minutes or so this is the equation we came up with

As for the quote I thought it was a trick question however, I do believe experiance is the best teacher and so I would agree with the quote but I do believe that you need a good eduaction to get a good job.



I enjoyed reading the section from Leffel's novel and using it as a reference for the cost assignment.  Reading that you can buy a round of beers for $7 USD at a bar definitely caught my attention, almost to the point of the 'deer in headlights' look, where I had to re-read it a few times...  Interesting tidbits like this continue to increase my interest in traveling abroad.  When looking back on the read as well, some of the countries I can easily see as being on the list as cheap places to travel around.  I understand when traveling cheap or to a third-world country, there are going to be trade-offs as far as cleanliness of bathrooms and other areas, but some things I just have a tough time giving up. 

As for the Big Mac Index, I find it to be an interesting concept for making the exchange rates a little easier to understand.  As for finding a Big Mac for $2 in certain countries...count me in!  I just wish it was like that here in the States.  When completing the equations, I had to compare my answers with the Economist link, just to make sure I was doing the under/overvalued part correctly.  All-in-all, an interesting assignment.



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I found that my two best destinations were Vietnam and Costa Rica. If given the choice, I think I would chose to travel to Costa Rica, I imagine it would be beautiful. I found the Big Mac Equation to be confusing, and I'm not sure if I did it right but I gave it my best shot. Uploading the files has gotten much easier for me. I used the snipping tool to cut and paste the images onto my document. I used multiple sights to search flights, but the ones that I have the most luck with are StudentUniverse and The dollar conversion rate was a big determining factor in my destination choices.



I started the assignment today and found a very good page on The Economist website. It explains the Big Mac index slightly different than the Wikipedia article so it may help if you are are having trouble understanding it. More importantly, the website lists Big Mac prices from January 2013, which is probably the latest information you will get for a comprehensive source. It also has the overvalued/undervalued currency calculated for each country so you can check your work. This idea is very interesting! Before I was considering planning my trip for Scandanavia, but after doing this assignment I think I'll plan for Southeast Asia instead!

Oh, and here is the link to the latest Big Mac Index information

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