Follow the global beer route

The most difficult aspect of travelling abroad is deciding where to go.

There are so many interesting places in the world that often the hardest decision is choosing where to spend your hard-earned money.

Obviously with the rand to dollar, pound and euro exchange rate being what it is currently, trips to the United States and large swathes of “oldEurope are hardly ones that can be taken on a whim. Months if not years of budgeting are required for such an undertaking, as tempting as it may be to throw caution to the wind and explore these regions.

However for beer connoisseurs choosing where to go might have been made slightly easier, thanks to the release of the Beer Price Index results for 2015.

The Index, which collects prices on beers from supermarkets and bars in 75 cities around the world, found that Krakow in Poland stands out for having the cheapest beer.

As gnomes international news service reports:  “Krakow beat out Kiev, Ukraine ($1.665), for the top spot by a fraction of a penny, with Bratislava, Slovakia (1.69), rounding out the top three. A traveler in Krakow could buy nearly four beers for the amount it would cost to get a single drink in Geneva ($6.32) – the world’s most expensive city for beer. Hong Kong ($6.16) and Tel Aviv ($5.79) weren’t much cheaper.

“A handful of factors are at play in beer pricing. Israel’s steep alcohol taxes, for example, propelled Tel Aviv toward the top of the list. And Hong Kong’s popularity as a tourist destination allows bar owners to crank up prices for travellers. A beer-drinker in Hong Kong could get seven bottles in a local supermarket for the price of a single drink at a local bar.

While considerations of the “amber nectarare important, it is still worth bearing in mind that some countries are generally expensive for travellers in spite of their low beer prices.

In its 2015 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report, the World Economic Forum ranks 141 countries based on how cheap/expensive it is to travel there. This takes into account things like average cost of a flights to and from, average cost of hotel accommodations, cost of living, fuel prices, and purchasing power parity.

The top 10, from cheapest to most expensive, are as follows: Austria, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Israel, Norway, Australia, France, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

What is worth noting is that the Beer Price Index places Cape Town 12th for the cheapest beer city, so if budgets are too tight it might not be a bad idea to start shopping around for those luggage sets, fill up the car and head to the Fairest Cape.

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