Hey, it’s the new year, ya know? There’s gotta be some dynamite new tools for travelers you’d think. All this social networking that’s seeking a focus has to gather up some light sometime and start a fire…or something.
Well, here’s a good idea: Expatistan. No, Expatistan is not a dusty country where there are camels; Expatistan is an machine that tells you what it costs in a country you’re thinking of moving to. I suspect it could be used to give travelers some idea of the money they’ll dole out while staying in a foreign city. Anyway, the thing seems to grab your locality from your IP address so you can type in the name of a foreign city and compare costs. I found out, for example, that Rome is 34% more expensive than Sacramento. Now, I don’t live in Sacramento, but heck, I do know what it costs for a hamburger there. So, I know I’ll spend about a third more in Rome. Cool.
This thing can harness all of us tied to our computers. You see, we can make the machine run better by feeding it with the data from our own localities, like transportation costs—or the cost of that burger.
So get with it. Try Expatistan.
Then there’s World Taxi Meter. If the site looks as clean and simple as Expatistan, that’s because there’s been some commingling of talent between the two, as far as I can tell. In any case, the World Taxi meter is meant to tell you what a taxi journey should cost in the city you’re traveling to. Cool, especially for those of you who think every taxi driver in the world is out to grab every last remaining bit of odd currency out of your wallet and then some. There’s even a widget available to put on your website so your visitors can spend all day figuring out the cost of a taxi ride in Gumbutistan (tell the driver to watch out for longhorn camels).
And, same deal, the site will get bigger and more accurate when you report your own findings. Try World Taximeter
Ok, the last thing isn’t a neat machine, database, or a small box filled with showgirls that can kick up a storm on demand, then deflate and go back in the box before you get in trouble with the missus. No, it’s just my personal reflections on Italian hotels. You know—how I find them, when I reserve them, why they don’t have free wifi, and why the stars don’t make sense to you. It’s here: How to Find a Place to Stay in Italy
Have fun planning your vacation.