The Best Places To Travel On A Weak Dollar

October 2, 2007 by Anil Polat  

The dollar has been hitting record lows against the Euro and even traditional dollar-friendly travel destinations like Canada, but that shouldn’t discourage you international travels. There are plenty of countries to visit where your dollar goes a long way, here are some of the best ones.

UPDATED [10/2]: Follow the interesting discussion about this post on The Consumerist.

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  • China – The USA Today reports that the Chinese Yuan, though currently 8:1 against the US dollar, the government there is thinking of revaluing the currency. Travel to China soon if you can to take advantage of the still-weak Yuan before it strengthens. Consider hiking the Great Wall of China, shopping in Hong Kong, or tour Tibet.
  • Jordan – With the end of Ramadan approaching you can enjoy Eid al-Fitr by following the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia. Visit Petra of Indian Jones fame in a country where your dollar will get you almost 2 times its value in the US. Finally, you can sunbathe at the Jordanian royal family’s favorite Mediterranean coast beach resort, Aqaba.
  • Micronesia – If scuba diving is your thing, the island of Yap in Micronesia offers several famous locations to see all types of marine life, including sharks and dolphins. No trip to Micronesia is complete without a manta ray dive, it’s the worlds best place to do so.
  • Venezuela – The exchange rate (despite the governments efforts) is good for those carrying greenbacks. Wikitravel has a great primer for travel to this northern South American country.
  • Armenia – This small nation nesseld in Asia has been working hard to boost its tourism industry. The 800 year old Geghard monastery built into the mountains of central Armenia or the ancient Garni pagan temple should get your archeology body parts harder than the stones used to create them.
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There are many other locations where you can have a great vacation and make your currency work for you such as Brazil, Turkey, Argentina and Russia. Make sure to get the best out of your dollar while you’re on the road, pack small inexpensive essentials, use Google to convert currency to scope your next trip, or consider an around the world ticket.

[photo by: avlxyz]

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  1. foxnomad says:

    $3 for a beer is decent in the US I suppose.

  2. colinnwn says:

    “InterContinental, runs less than $150. Once you get to the coastal islands on the Caribbean Sea, they might as well be paying you to visit. Price of a beer: $3”

    Wow it’s amusing the difference in cost perception in the US vs. the UK. In Dallas $3 for a beer is about par. I have a dive around the corner from me with $1 beer, but some pretentious places charge $6. $150/night would get you a really nice standard hotel room in all of Texas. Of course I am sure we don’t get paid as much as yall over there.

    And yes, I’m ashamed of Bush too, even back when Natalie Maines said it.

  3. The place: Nicaragua
    It’s a poor man’s: Costa Rica
    Nicaragua is radically less expensive than its once-cheap neighbor to the south (“once” being the operative word??the Four Seasons in Costa Rica charges upward of $400 a night, and Mandarin Oriental and St. Regis are both planning resorts there). Even during holiday season, the most luxurious place in Managua, the InterContinental, runs less than $150. Once you get to the coastal islands on the Caribbean Sea, they might as well be paying you to visit.
    Price of a beer: $3

  4. I would also add Argentina to that list.

  5. foxnomad says:

    @ Chris:

    It’s mentioned at the bottom.

  6. I found your blog via Google while searching for this topic and your post looks very interesting for me. Keep up the good work.

  7. Thailand is a double dipper, the high price of jet fuel and the protesters has killed the tourism there, so now is the best time.

    The Ukraine is suppose to be suffering from Hyperinflation problems, so again a double dipper.

    Better thought to realized that a great hotel on planet earth in developing countries cost less than 25 dollars per night and acceptable is often five dollars.

  8. foxnomad says:

    @ Andy S:

    Fantastic advice – I agree on Nicaragua; in general I think the whole of central America is largely ignored and a great spot with the dollar tumbling as it is.

    Indonesia, although it scares many Westerners is a great place for price, culture, and exotic traveling.

    I’d worry about exchanging money on the street though, you better be well versed in the culture and area. Probably better of getting a lesser deal at the airport for the inherent security of the trade.

    On a side note, I’ll be running a contest (details May 1) and would be looking for stories – like your travels in South America. Keep it in mind, I’m sure the prize will be worth the words.

    Hope you’ll keep visiting!

    Happy travels,

  9. Andy S. says:

    I would say Nicaragua as a place where you can really get a bang for your buck.

    I spent 1 month over there in 2007 on my 4 months Central American trip (included Mexico) and loved the value of the USD.

    I think I must have spent around $600 USD the whole month and I went out partying nearly every night. And that includes the flight to the isolated Isla de Maiz (Corn Island) in the Caribbean sea as well. Guatemala was great as well except in Antigua where prices are totally jacked up.

    Asia is still pretty cheap especially in Indonesia. Thailand is not the cheapest in the region but the quality of food and services are incredible amazing.

    Vietnam is depends on where you are. Cost of things in Saigon are much higher then the rest of the country.

    Burma can be cheap if you exchange your dollar on the street.

    Skip Singapore and Hongkong if you’re looking for cheap spot in Asia.

  10. Jason says:

    Croatia is like a cleaner, safer, cheaper version of Greece. If you’re looking for a Mediterranean spot, I’d put Croatia above Greece every time.

  11. aop1980 says:

    @ Tony:

    I think that entire region is worth a visit; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the Russian Black Sea coast make for interesting (and cheap) trips.

    @ Jezsik:

    Agreed on Brazil, it’s getting expensive. Cambodia would make a great (and cheap) trip too – but I don’t think Thailand is past the price point of this post.

    Thanks for the opinions!

  12. jezsik says:

    The value of the local currency is meaningless. Eight Moroccan dihrams for a dollar? Pah, I can get over a hundred Japanese yen for a buck! What *I* want to know is what countries tie their money to the dollar. Brazil and Thailand are more expensive today than five years ago. Cambodia, on the other hand, is still a travel bargain because they use the US dollar.

  13. aop1980 says:

    Per Jason’s comments, those of you looking to make your dollar go farther, yet stay in Europe, look at the Balkan countries.

  14. Colin G says:

    I just got back from Turkey (Istanbul and Kalkan) and I loved it. While it is not expensive, it is by no stretch of the imagination cheap.

    For food or lodging in Turkey, you will pay the equivalent after conversion from Lira to dollars, as you would for similar quality accommodation in most large US cities. Turkey is in fact much more expensive now than it was several years ago. The sinking dollar has not been kind to US travelers.

  15. foxnomad says:

    I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Czech Republic. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  16. Grant says:

    What about Czech Republic? Prague is a beautiful, vibrant, cosmopolitan European city and they won’t be converting to the Euro until at least 2010. It’s not the best conversion rate compared to some of these other places, but I spent the summer there in 2006 and I loved buying a half litre of beer for under 1 USD… for breakfast. 🙂

  17. aop1980 says:

    @ Colin G:

    You’re right, the economy has stabilized over the past 5 or 6 years. Istanbul is an expensive place, but you can get great deals in travel gems Van, Trabzon, and the like.

  18. Tony says:

    Armenia is a trip worth every penny. Amazing history, culture, and great historical sites, no one should miss….and best of all, your money will go a long way.