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What a $30 club sandwich in Geneva tells you about travel

June 17, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
  • The priciest club sandwich in the world costs $30.45 in Geneva, Switzerland, according to Hotels.com's Club Sandwich Index.
The priciest club sandwich in the world costs $30.45 in Geneva, Switzerland,… (Hotels.com )

If you have a hankering for a club sandwich in Geneva, expect to pay $30.45. Hungry in New Delhi? You'll fork over $9.11.

Those are the results of the Club Sandwich Index. It's the second year the online booking site Hotels.com has created the index, which compares a number of cities' average cost of the chicken, bacon, egg, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich as a cost-of-living indicator for travelers.

Paris, Oslo and Stockholm came in second, third and fourth at $27.45, 26.72 and $23.12, respectively, and New York's price of $17.51 ranked 13th of the 28 locations surveyed.

The club sandwich isn't the only food index out there -- and it really isn't about the food either. The index shows the strength or weakness of currencies at a particular point; for travelers, food-cost comparisons are a useful indicator of where their dollars will go farthest.

For example, the Wall Street Journal in February produced a Starbucks grande latte index that compared the cost of a 16-ounce coffee. It cost $9.83 in Oslo and more than $7 in Stockholm, Moscow and Zurich, while Starbucks fans in New Delhi and Mexico City paid $2.80 and $3.22, respectively -- far lower than the $4.30 New Yorkers paid.

The Economist magazine has created a Big Mac index since 1986 as a "lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their 'correct' level," according to the magazine's website.

Check out the interactive Big Mac index map that allows you to click on countries around the world to find the highest Big Mac price. Big ouch for Venezuela, where the burger will set you back $9.08 -- might as well grab a latte in Oslo.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com

Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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