A Better Time Now to Travel With Dollars

It’s been a topsy-turvy past 18 months for the world’s currencies and for the moment anyway, the U.S. dollar is back up again. If you’re up for a winter trip to Europe, your travel dollars will stretch a lot further than they would have at most times in the past five years.

The official exchange rate right now is 1.37 dollars to the euro, which compares to 1.50 or even 1.60 that many Americans have encountered when heading across the Atlantic. If you haven’t been watching the financial news, this is happening because Greece is about to go bankrupt and a few other countries (Portugal, Spain, Ireland) are also in precarious shape in terms of servicing their debt load. This is dragging down the euro, along with every currency tied to the euro.

What this means for you the traveler is not that Europe is suddenly cheap, but that going there won’t sting you as badly as before. The pound sterling is at 1.56 to the dollar, down from a harsh 2-to-1 ratio not so long ago. The even better news is, the greenback is up in some of the cheap destinations as well, including Hungary (dollar up 6.2% since Jan. 1), Bulgaria (up 4.8%), and the Czech Republic (up 4%).

Destinations that had been getting pricey have eased back down a bit, including Australia, New Zealand (down 5.6% since Jan. 1), Chile (down 6.8%) and Brazil (down 8%).

Of course if you travel to The World’s Cheapest Destinations the fluctuations don’t matter so much since your money will go a long way to start with, no matter what your home currency is.

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  1. Steve

    I took a group of 17 to Paris last January. I needed to purchase Museum Passes for each person at 64 euros each and the exchange rate was 1.47. Therefore, the passes cost me $1,600. Today, those passes would only be $1,490. That to me, is a significant savings.

  2. Alex

    It’s been topsy-turvy past 18 months for the world currencies and for the moment anyway the US dollar is back up again.

  3. chrissie

    I was thinking of planning a trip to cancun, but after reading this I think I,m going to go to somewhere in Europe instead. Possibly Paris. Thank you, this was very helpful. Saving money is never a bad thing!

  4. cusco

    Peru is a good country to visit. You can pay a lot of things in dollars, so when the dollars is low, this is a good!


    Need suggested destination to travel in the summer months – but not interested in beaches or resorts.

  6. Alex

    I live in Los Angeles and dont want to do the usual “Vegas Trip” or Drive to “San Diego”. What are some ideas of cool places i could go with about 600 bucks? Are paris, hawaii, canada or europe options with that much money or a little more?

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