Ever wondered if you could purchase anything decent for under a pound in the UK? Do you think that we are rip off Britain, well PUN have sent two researchers of around the world to see what they can buy for 80 Pence, there's nothing quite like playing FTSE underneath the table.
We're Going to Miami...
USA $1.27 = 80p
Its been a while since I've simply crossed the pond, admittedly I did head off to the touristy area of South Beach, Miami yet I was still very surprised by what my money could(n't) buy.....
Years ago, Brits used to flock to the USA for shopping sprees, at a time when the exchange rate was an amazing 2:1, i.e., practically everything bought in the US was half the price of what it cost in the UK.
Today however, is a very different scenario. Prices in the US are now more or less the same as the UK. In fact, once Sales Tax (US VAT) and gratuity are added, prices can often be even higher than London's prices.
Gratuity tips are widely recognised and accepted as part of the pay for any service orientated jobs in the US. It's a very different culture to the UK, yes we leave tips, generally 10%, and especially if the service received was good, or even a fair one.
However on Miami, South Beach it was actually an obligatory 18% gratuity plus 12.5% Sales Tax, making for example, an average priced, $10 glass of wine actually costing just over $13/£8.50!! Irrespective of how the 'service' was delivered!
Although it may appear I've completely digressed from my assigned task, I merely wanted to point out how expensive it has become in the US, in particular in tourist areas. I'm told in the outskirt areas of Florida such as Fort Myers, prices are still very reasonable and cheaper than the UK.
Anyhow, on Miami Beach, apart from light snacks, drinks, gum etc or shopping in the $1 shop... Where you can buy bits and bobs such as toiletries, electric/technology cables, stationery, household items, small items of clothing etc (think UK £1 shop)... There really isn't much you can purchase for $1.27.
That said, the best value for money in Miami, appears to be public transport. It is incredibly cheap compared to the UK, which is appearing much more expensive than anywhere else in the world (ok an exaggeration, but definitely places we've travelled)!
Bus journeys are just $1 for senior citizens and children (although $3 for adults). There's also a free, yes FREE monorail transport network, which is the best way to get around downtown Miami. It’s very similar to the UK's tramlines, but it runs overhead.
And finally, a great way to get around Miami Beach, as well as being fast, convenient and green is the Deco Bike. At just $1 for 15min, it’s an amazing sharing and rental bike system, i.e. picks up a bike on one side of town, drops it off at another! So from South Beach, I hitched up my maxi dress cycled over to the buzzing Lincoln Road and enjoyed an evening dinner in the sunset, at $120 for two!!! But I did get a free rose...awwww.
Article by Dawne B / 28th June 2012
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