The pummelled U.S. dollar is getting a bit of a break this week as troubles in European economies start to look more serious. Still, it’s nothing to get excited about when it takes $1.90 to buy one pound sterling instead of $1.99. That pint or London cab ride is still going to cost you dearly.
The dollar has been falling elsewhere for quite some time as well. Just look at this chart from fxtop.com showing how the buck has fared against the New Zealand dollar since 2001:
My new column for Tripso is out today, 5 destinations where your dollar hasn’t been hammered yet. This one isn’t a rundown of places that are necessarily the cheapest, just countries or islands where the U.S. dollar is either the official or pegged currency. All of them highlighted are in this hemisphere, with no jet lag to deal with and no trans-Pacific flight prices.
If you looked at a chart like the one above for Ecuador or Panama, for example, it would be a straight line, like the heart machine reading of a dead man. Those countries use the greenback, so there’s never a fluctuation. In the Bahamas or Bermuda, they print their own money for show, but the value is always 1 to 1 with the U.S. dollar. Others peg their own currency to the buck, so things stay stable. Here’s a chart for Belize:
I’m in the midst of starting updates for the third edition of The World’s Cheapest Destinations. This one is going to be tricky because your outlook on what’s a bargain is going to vary greatly depending on where you’ve been saving up money the past few years—the U.S., or elsewhere. U.S. travel to Paris is down 14 percent this year, but the Europeans and Middle Easterners have picked up the slack.