TripAdvisor TripIndex Room Service

Asia Travel is by far the most rewarding experience  – especially to places like south India, Indonesia, Sir-Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. China.

Once you get there, it is the cheapest place on the world to stay comfortably for a month with money spent on 10 Starbucks Venti Caffé Mocha Cappuccino per day. I am serious – you can live comfortably (good room, delicious food – breakfast, lunch and dinner), conveyance, and money to spare.

March 2014 release, amounts in British Pound Sterling. 1.7 US Dollars = 1 British Pound.


This report indicates

Europe as a whole dominates the most expensive list laying claim to six of the top ten. Helsinki in Finland and Oslo in Norway take first and second place respectively while Zurich, Stockholm and Paris are placed fourth, fifth and sixth. Seoul is the only non-European city to be named in the top five most expensive destinations.

Travelers looking to bag a bargain should head south to Africa where three of the continent’s destinations feature in the top five places offering the best value – Tunis in Tunisia, Cape Town in South Africa and Marrakesh in Morocco. In Europe, the least expensive city destination for room service is Budapest, where a full set of basket items will cost over a third of the price of the equivalent items’ cost in Helsinki.

London is often considered one of the world’s most expensive destinations, but when it comes to the common costs incurred once checked-in to a hotel, the capital actually provides better value than many rival European cities. This year, the capital city is ranked 13th place in the priciest list – making it a cheaper option than New York, Paris or Tokyo. On average, London is more than two times cheaper than the most expensive destination, Helsinki, for each TripIndex Room Service item. In London, a club sandwich is £11.90, bottle of water £0.42, peanuts are £4.67, a can of coke £2.85, mini bottle of vodka £5.82 and to dry clean a shirt is £6.00. All together the basket of items costs £31.66 in London

Jakarta best value for room service and room rates combined.

While Tunis is revealed as the number one destination for best value room service, when you consider the cost of room service and room rate combined, at £111.87, the North African destination drops down to eighteenth place in the league table. With a total combined cost of £71.02, Jakarta, Indonesia replaces Tunis as number one destination for value overall.

In the most expensive list, it seems that pricey room service and pricey hotel room rates go hand-in-hand as eight of the costliest destinations remain in the top 10. This time however, New York City replaces Helsinki as the most expensive with a total cost of £258.35 compared with Helsinki’s £173.25, taking it down to eighth place in the league table.

Happy Traveling

Things to consider in Credit Cards for Travel

Traveling with a Credit Card is more advantageous than traveling with Cash for one simple reason: Loss of Cash is immediate and permanent, where as unauthorized charges, loss of Card can be dealt with after the fact.

So what are the most important basic things that we look for in Credit Card?

1) Points that can be converted to air miles or hotel points.

2) No foreign Transaction fees.

I personally have a wide variety of cards based on my travel needs.

For domestic travel – i have my Hyatt visa signature card.

At present it has 0 USD annual fee and 73 USD per year after the first year.

2 Free nights when you sign up. this is very good deal for international travel. Say for instance you want to travel to Paris in December.  And you want to stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome a category 6 hotel of Hyatt. it will cost you 812 USD per night. You can stay two nights for free!

5000 points can easily get you a Orlando hotel (3-4 stars) hotel with Hyatt. I presently have around 40,000 points which can use it for 8 free nights at any Hyatt in the USA

One bonus night free every year (this will take care of the annual fee)

For international travel –  i just can’t say enough about this card – i think it is the best travel Credit card ever. It is the Visa Signature card from Chase – the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP)

With the Signature class from Visa – the benefits are huge (Roadside Dispatch Rely 24 hour toll-free referral dispatch for emergency roadside assistance services like towing, fuel delivery, emergency card replacement, lost luggage reimbursement etc.).  In addition to that CSP offers 1point to 1 point transfer with no transfer fees (

Transfer points to participating frequent travel programs with no transfer fees and at full 1:1 value – that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points. Travel programs include British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Amtrak Guest Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport, Priority Club Rewards, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards. )  THIS is extremely valuable. Just imagine – Air Cost is the most expensive item for international travel.

Now for the best part – Because this is holiday season – thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, festivus we are bound to spend. 40,000 bonus points with CSP if you spend 3000 USD in three months. Since my local HUB zone is United, and i plan on traveling to  south Asia (United Airlines south Asian countries : Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam). I can get a saver award for 65,000 points on United. That’s shaving off 800-900 dollars on my ticket. a 55-60% discount!!!

Happy Journeying


How much does one pack on international travel?

This question has been bothering me a lot lately. If i want to make a trip that would last say 2 months across Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. How much do i pack?

The question has a straightforward answer if you want to stay in star hotels and just see the regular tourist attractions (this is absolutely fine, if time pressed) for example Savoy Yangon is a great hotel. It is small and has a character to it. Or the Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort in Bangkok.

But what if, you are like me, and want to take the road less traveled, or the not-so-beaten path, or the one through villages that showcase things/people/cuisine/places not shown on TV, not wrote about in brochures features Burma or Thailand.

I confess that it’s difficulty and risky. You don’t know what to expect and where to stay. There is no internet – just your trusted camera and your wits about you.

But, that’s what a life of adventure awaits for those who dare : a chance to experience and live with people not like you, who eat things that you have never dreamt of, who have a different take on life: people who seem to enjoy life with little materially compared to you and I.

But what should i pack, if i am backpacking like this or traveling light. here is the list

1) 2 good backpacks – one 50 L one 25 L (I cannot over emphasize this: Backpack carry everything you need. 50 L for traveling on a bus, train etc. and 25 L once you get to a town, village, cultural icon and want to spend a few days there )

2) A rain Jacket and rain pant (my backpacker teachers at Sierra Club really drilled home the point of the importance of staying dry)

3) 2 pairs moisture wicking hiking shirts.

4) 2 Pair sturdy Jeans.

5) Toiletries,and basic first aid. Antihistamines, pain medication.

6) Ear- plugs (important when having that snoring neighbor in a hostel )

7) Head lamps, sunglasses, luggage locks (always get TSA approved)

8) protein bars (for those long walks) – i personally keep 4-5 for those real, real emergencies (Not a daily thing)

9) Your camera, and laptop

Please let me know If you guys/gals think anything else.

Happy Journeys