State Department per diem allowance points you to cheapest countries

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Determined to take a foreign vacation despite the decline in your investments? The U.S. government provides a dandy tool to help you uncover destinations where your dollar can bring you a bargain, and which ones will leave your wallet flat as Kansas.

The tool in question is the chart of per diem rates for traveling government employees. The government establishes a standard per diem rate based on local expenses relative the U.S. For example it will pay:

  • Albania: Max lodging rate, $103, meals and incidentals, $51
  • Azerbaijan: Max lodging rate $219, meals and incidentals, $98
  • Rural Bolivia: Max lodging rate $46, meals and incidentals, $31
  • Copenhagen, Denmark: Max lodging rate $251, meals and incidentals $165
  • Hyderbad, India: Max lodging rate $297, meals and incidentals $90
  • Maldives: Max lodging rate $159, meals and incidentals $93
  • Qatar: Max lodging rate $227, meals and incidentals $114
  • Senegal (except Dakar): Max lodging rate $62, meals and incidentals $68

If you're in the market for an adventure, this site will help you get a sense of the relative costs. I wouldn't, however, take these figures as a reflection of the actual cost of your travel; you may choose better or lesser lodging than that budged for a government employee, or eat more frugally or sumptuously. The site should help you determine, however, where your dollar will go furthest.

Thanks, Money magazine

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