8

There are quite some question type "is $3000 enough for two weeks in Europe", "is $300 enough for train itinerary in Central Europe" etc.

There are two issues with these, one is ambiguity of $ sign (USD/CAD/AUD etc), which has been mentioned in Rules for prices - do we have them?

But another issue is that to answer the question you must convert local currency to the currency of person asking question. Which I find counterproductive, as exchange rates vary in times, making answer obsolete within few months. Also it's less useful to other users, who might be using yet another currency.

So should question about prices and trip budgets always be in local currency or at least major currency used in the region?

12

There are two separate issues in this question:

  • We didn't seem to have reached a consensus the last time around on how to format currencies, so perhaps it's a good idea to do so now. I think we need to be practical about it, without setting a rigid policy. Basically, leave it to the user to specify the currency in their preferred way (be it ISO 4217 code, currency symbol or proper name), and interfere to clarify ambiguities such as USD/CAD/AUD. Additional designations can always be edited in the question, and by all means do so if you think there's a chance for ambiguity.

    Less popular currencies specified as a code only will benefit if their proper name is provided as well, for example ALL (Albanian Lek).

  • For the second part of your question: local prices should be in local currencies, where possible, but for less known ones, a purely informative exchange rate in a major currency would be useful. For example, I have zero vague idea how much Thai bahts trade for these days, but an estimation like 1000 THB (~26.5 EUR) would be helpful, even if not terribly accurate. Exchange rates should be provided for convenience only.

  • I like this actually, enforcing clarification if $ is mentioned, and maybe an estimate IF it's useful or relevant. The problem with estimates for exchange rates is that exchange rates vary. – Mark Mayo Apr 4 '13 at 0:05
6

I think that as long as it is clear an unambiguous, it is okay. That goes for the codes as well as for the currencies used.

It could be a good practice to ask prices in local currencies. On the other hand, some local currencies are "exotic" and not very telling for many users. In such cases it could be a good idea to quote prices in a major international currency, such as Euros, British Pounds or US Dollars.

Information about prices is anyway obsolete after some months. The fact of using a local or a foreign currency does not change anything. Moreover I believe that price levels should not be taken literally or too seriously. They give an indication of what's happening. In that sense they are illustrative.

  • 2
    Let me give you counterexample: lets say you have a train ticket, which used to cost €35 in November 2012 would be £28. 3 months later price would be still €35, but it that's £32. So that's 15% difference just on the exchange rate in just 3 months. OTOH, inflation is around 2%. Annual. – vartec Apr 4 '13 at 8:25
  • Read the last paragrsph. It would apply in such a case. Don t take prices too literally – user3470 Apr 5 '13 at 8:42
  • Still, I wouldn't agree that's the case in most developed countries with price inflation in lower single digits. – vartec Apr 5 '13 at 9:25
  • Inflation is an aggregate indicator. Even if it generally low it can be high for some items such as tourist accomodation or transport. – user3470 Apr 5 '13 at 10:55

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