What A Buck Buys You Around the World

Depending on where you are, your dollar can either get you a street food meal or a small bag of carrots from the supermarket

In France, it’s possible to buy a chouquette for just a buck.

You’ll see titles like this one lining shelves in the travel section of bookstores around the world: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring; South America on a Shoestring; Europe on a Shoestring.

What A Buck Buys You Around the World (Slideshow)

Granted, there are many ways to travel, and the shoestring budget of many a backpacker across the globe isn’t for everyone. Some travelers may prefer going on organized tours, some may prefer staying at all-inclusive resorts, and others have the luxury to stay and dine at some of the world’s best hotels.

While it may not be much, the shoestring budget is an indicator of how far we may be able to stretch our dollar in countries across the globe, which then got us thinking: Exactly how what can a buck buy you around the world?

In the past, we’ve looked at how much five dollars can get you in different countries around the world, but what about just a dollar?

Some countries, like those in Southeast Asia, allow you to get plenty of bang for your American buck. Southeast Asian countries are rich in street vendors and markets where your dollar can get you an array of street food from a couple of fried sweet potatoes on a stick in the Philippines to a bánh mì sandwich and a beer in parts of Vietnam.

Then there’s the countries that assault our wallets, like Australia, where finding something for $1 USD, which equals about $1.15 Australian, is laughable. Not even water bottles go for a buck in Australia, but we managed to find a few goodies (hint: you’ll need to pay a visit to the supermarket) that you can score for just one greenback.

In putting together our article, we used the XE Currency Converter to find the current exchange rate for the U.S. dollar in various of countries around the world. From there, we turned to both social media and personal experience to gather suggestions and put together a list of what a dollar can buy you in countries around the world.

Is there anything you disagree with, or anything we may have missed? Let us know by Tweeting @TheDailyMeal with the hashtag #whatabuckbuys and let us know!


Talk to anyone about visiting or living in Australia, and they’ll most certainly tell you one thing right off the bat: It’s an incredibly expensive country, no matter which city or state you’re in. Water bottles come no cheaper than about $2.20 AUD, so a buck won’t get you too far here considering that $1 USD equals just about $1.15 AUD; however, one U.S. dollar will get you a few snacks in one of the country’s leading supermarkets, Coles, including a pack of Coles Fresh Carrots Pre-Packaged 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, or Coles Scotch Finger Biscuits 250 grams, or 8.8 ounces. Other than that, good luck trying to find something that costs just a dollar in Australia. 



In Colombia, the arepa, a small, savory corn cake which has deep roots in the cuisine of the indigenous people and colonial farmers, is an important part of the country’s culinary fabric. Made of corn mesa and eaten with all kinds of toppings and fillings, arepas can be used to create a sandwich and are commonly eaten for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. And the best part about them: they can easily be bought for a buck from street food vendors.