At first it sounds silly; use the cost of McDonald’s Big Mac to gauge purchasing power in different countries. What first started as a humorous approach to addressing the pricing discrepancies between countries for similar goods, has been taken more and more seriously by economists.
See for yourself which countries have the cheapest Big Mac, an indication that your dollars will go further.
Anecdotal evidence based on my experiences abroad is inline with these findings. I felt like I was getting more value in certain countries – After travelling through parts of Turkey, I discovered that I spent much, much less than I budgeted. While a trip to Europe ended with a blown budget.
Before my next trip, I will use the Big Mac Index to help create my travel budget.