Where Your Travel Dollars Are Still Worth Something

As I noted a couple months back, a strong dollar was fun while it lasted, but the strength caused by the worldwide economic panic has subsided. The euro is back to being worth 1.5 dollars officially (less at a real exchange booth) and it could drop more.

This is all the more reason to spend your travel budget in The World’s Cheapest Destinations. You will burn through $1,000 in a week or two without trying in much of Europe, but that could easily last you more than a month in Southeast Asia or Central America—two months while traveling fairly well if you’re sharing a bed and cabs with someone else.

I’ve said it many times before in this situation and will keep saying it: if you’re American or Canadian, most of your best bets are in Latin America. Why is that? Well first of all, some of them tie their currency to the U.S. greenback. Panama and Ecuador even use U.S. dollars as their own currency. Others, like Honduras and Belize, peg their currency so closely to the dollar that they might as well use ours.

The other reason is that America trades with America, so what happens in Europe is not so much of an influence. Some currencies vary wildly, such as Brazil’s and Chile’s, but in most of the Americas things stay very stable.

There are some countries in Asia that have currencies that closely follow the dollar as well, some cheap and some not. The cheap ones include India, Malaysia, Nepal, and Laos. Thailand doesn’t tend to vary more than 10%.

On the flipside, the good times are over for the greenback in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Europe. They’ve been bad and stayed bad in Japan. (Go to Korea instead.) If you’re heading to those spots, better have a big cash reserve in the bank or make it a short trip.

  1. michelle

    Hey, which country is the cheapest to fly to in south america?

    Could you email me back please.


    • tim

      Often Colombia since it’s the closest and Spirit flies there. But sometimes you see good deals to Peru or Ecuador too—which are even better deals on the ground once you get there.

  2. Tyson

    Spirit is amazing…I recently looked at a flight from Chicago (yes, Chicago) to Guat City for under $400.

  3. al

    First of all who ever you are dont come to my Beloved Belize and find only negative things to say about it,you took pictures of the worst seats that was not in use in the bus station,you criticize our transport system,what you need to do is to tell the people that we are the only english speaking Country in this reigon,our Country is very cheep to live and retire,if you want to retire on a farm there is farm land available at very reasonable cost and also on the coast line choose where ever you want to enjoy a wonderful peaceful life in this beautiful Country of ours that they called BELIZE

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