Back in 2013 , I wrote a blog post about how I would choose my next travel destination using “The Big Mac Index“.
For those unfamiliar, The Big Mac Index is an interactive map used to measure the purchasing power between two currencies by evaluating the prices of McDonald’s famous Big Mac sandwich in its restaurants across the world. The data is published every spring by The Economist.
In the 2013 index, South Africa and India’s currencies were undervalued by more than 50%, simply meaning you were most-likely to get the “most bang for your buck” in those countries that year.
Here’s what the 2013 index looked like:
In the 2013 post, I asked for input from readers, and many responded that I should visit Thailand, South Africa, Poland, and Cambodia. I am happy to report that I have since visited Thailand, South Africa, and Cambodia, and they all were excellent value destinations, so thanks for the great suggestions and inspiration to take those trips!
When analyzing the data, some prefer to use the adjusted index, because it takes into account that Big Macs may be cheaper simply because labor costs are lower. But to keep this post simple and aligned with the success I had with the 2013 results, I’m sticking to the “Raw Index” results.
I need your help again this year. With the strong dollar currency run-up, I decided to take a peek at what is on the newly-published 2015 Big Mac Index, and see how it compares to the 2013 list:
On the 2015 Big Mac Index list, the following countries have currencies that are the most undervalued (against the US dollar):
- South Africa (already visited)
- Indonesia (already visited)
Where do you think I should I go and why? Ukraine, Russia (need a visa), India, Malaysia, or Egypt? Part of me is leaning towards Russia and Ukraine, but I am also open to seeing other places.
Have you too used the Big Mac Index to help pick a travel destination?
Would love your input, and your help is always appreciated.