A few weeks ago, Will and I were discussing our next vacation. We don't have a date set (and the way things look we won't be able to go anywhere until next summer) but we started to consider our options. One of the biggest concerns about our next vacation is that it will need to be cheap, what with me being a student and all. Will immediately suggested we use the Big Mac index to help us make a decision. The Economist's Big Mac index is a light-hearted guide to how far currencies are from fair value. There's a lot of fancy language about purchasing-power parity but you don't have to understand economics to see that a Big Mac in the United States is $3.41 while a Big Mac in Thailand costs only $1.80.
Norway is definitely out for us next summer, with a Big Mac costing a steep $6.88, although Egypt, with Big Macs coming in at $1.68, is certainly on the table for discussion.
Just for the record, should there be any confusion, I would never buy a Big Mac on vacation. Will and I abide by very strict, self-imposed rules which preclude us from eating anything that we can find right here in California. It may always be a safe bet, but I just can't imagine flying across the United States to eat an appetizer platter at T.G.I. Fridays.