TL; DR; version: Users are given the possibility to write stories about certain activities they took part in. The price of these activities can vary, so it would be a good idea to give them the option of specifying how much it cost them approximately. What is the best way to ask for a price range of something?
We're building a website where users would be able to write stories regarding certain activities they took part in (mostly related to travel).
It would be very useful for us if the users could also somehow explicitly write how much the whole endeavour approximately cost them. This way, we could, for example, make a search filter that finds only ones that were in a certain (wider) price range.
Initially, we wanted this simply to be an input box where they could write a number, but I can see two problems with this approach that may encourage users to simply skip it altogether:
Having the possibility of freely writing any number gives the impression you're expected to be precise, which can be difficult for these things and really isn't needed - all we need is an approximation.
The currency people express things in may vary. While we could have a dropdown box with all possible currencies, I feel that this too would make everything unnecessarily complex, considering we only really need an approximate.
Our second idea was to simply have a dropdown box with several levels, such as Cheap, Moderate, Expensive etc. This, too, isn't ideal since:
This is quite subjective and whether a person considers something cheap or expensive depends on too many factors, such as personal preferences, standard of living, income etc.
On the other hand, if each of these "levels" has a precisely defined range (for example Moderate - from $50 to $100), it's quite challenging to define these ranges. Should Expensive constitute of things above $100, above $500 or above $1000? How to decide this initially?
Is there a simple solution to this problem (or possibly any arguments we overlooked regarding these two ideas)?