The Best Places To Travel On A Weak Dollar – US Edition

October 24, 2007 by Anil Polat  

We’ve recommended some of the best places to travel on a weak dollar and many of you pointed out the comments that you don’t have to leave the country to do so. There are plenty of places around the US you can visit to make the most of the falling currency. Here is a list of 8 great places to visit and make your short dollar go a long way.

  • Chicago – Although O’Hare is a United Airline hub, travel to and from this city is inexpensive. TravelZoo is loaded with holiday airfares you can take advantage of – and if you go in the winter you’ll find discount on hotel prices as well. Visit the Sears Tower, the (free) City Art Gallery, or go ice skating in Millennium Park.
  • New Orleans – The city is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and tourism dollars are welcome here. Aside from Mardis Gras, there are plenty of music and theater festivals to attend during the mild winters. Keep in mind that some of the places you used to be able to visit are still inaccessible due to Katrina, check out the city’s Web page before you plan you trip.
  • Detroit – Let’s face it, this lively city doesn’t get any love from potential tourists. Visit Henry Ford’s home and museum in nearby Dearborn and get some good Middle Eastern food while you’re there. Easily accessible via train and MegaBus, you can even split the trip with a vacation to Chicago. Stop by Detroit’s Riverfront before you leave though.
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  • Phoenix – Many of you may disagre, but if you want to fill you vacation with variety, Phoenix is the place for adventurous travelers. Take a ride up to the Grand Canyon and see the desert on your way, go whitewater rafting in the Colorado River, and stop by Lake Havasu on your way back. There is hiking in the White Mountains in the east of the state and I haven’t even begun to focus on the city itself!
  • Portland, Maine – Take a sailboat ride in Casco Bay and shop in the city’s Old Port when you get back. Those of you in the holiday spirit can make it just in time for the Christmas tree lighting in Monument Square. The Downtown Arts District is where you can stop by the Space Gallery, Portland Symphony, and the Children’s Museum of Maine.
  • Seattle – Don’t believe the hype about the rain – it gets less than New Orleans annually. Buses in downtown Seattle are free between 6am and 7pm daily and it takes less than an hour to walk the length of it. Go up the Space Needle (duh) then the Experience Music Project right next door. Do not miss the Underground Tour of the old Seattle the current one was build on top of.
  • Montana (the entire state)Yellowstone National Park is free to all, and has 9 regions in Montana alone. The state will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, has decent skiing, fly fishing, and a 75 mph speed limit 😉
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I’d love to hear more opinions from folks around the US. There are plenty of free things to do in many cities overall and flights to and from mid-major cities are cheaper in general. Use FareCast to get an idea if you should wait or buy now to get the best deal on plane tickets or take the bus. If you plan on driving, sleep at airports along the way to save on hotel costs.

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  1. Melvin says:

    Think the USA got more expensive since then? Even though the US dollar is getting weaker. Any of us Americans admit they can’t afford to travel within the US?

    I’ve talk to Australians, Canadians, British and other Europeans. They have all admitted they can’t afford to travel within there own countries.

    • Audrey says:

      This has nothing to do with what you are all talking about, FYI. I live in Seattle and trust me, the busses are not free at all, but you can get free transfers and they go pretty much anywhere you want in Seattle and the surrounding cities. If I was going to Seattle some really cheap and fun things to do are as follows: go walking on the Pier and Pike Place Market. I would go up to the observation desk at the Space Needle but not to eat at the resturant, it’s very expensive. I’ve never been to the Experience Music Project and it’s not super pricy but not cheap either – I would like to go and see how it is. The underground tour is okay and I think it’s pretty cheap but if I had more money I would go to Tillicum Village – it’s more expensive but you get a great salmon dinner cooked by Indians and a great boat ride on the Puget Sound. They are open May-Sept. Yes, the author of this page is correct Seattle really doesn’t get that much rain and if you come between July & August especially you will experience some of the best weather ever! Also, if you come during the summer months there are always different festivals and free concerts going on in various places. You also not miss going to Alki Beach in West Seattle, super fun! There is a board walk and you can rent bikes, skates etc. and get some excersise while you are in town – great for kids too, the beach is sandy and the water is cold. Alki is also the place where the founders of the city landed on their boat and met up with Chief Sealth. The night life in Seattle is unlike any other place I have ever been, Pionier Square has quite a diversity of acts so any kind of music you like is probably there, just ask someone on the street and they will tell you. Seattle has so many things to do and yes, the author is correct it must be one of the least expensive places to visit and also so many things to choose from to do. That is my 2 cents, I hope that it helps someone with their vacation plans.

      – A

      • Anil P. says:

        Hi Audrey,

        Thanks for the comment. I was talking about the ride free area from 6am-7pm.

        I completely agree about the Pier and Pike Place Market and you’re right, eating in the Space Needle is expensive but just getting up there isn’t too bad. You made some other great suggestions there too, just shows how great of a city to travel in Seattle is. It’s my favorite in the US and certainly one of the cheaper options as far as cities in the US goes.

    • Anil P. says:

      Well, the dollar has gotten stronger, it’s not as weak as it once was. Compared to Europe though the US is quite a bargain, depending of course where in the country you travel. Western Europe is expensive and getting more so, not easy to travel very cheap there.

      • Melvin says:

        Yep, the Euro is now the currency of choice. By 2014 – 2018 all of Europe will have adopted the Euro except for Swizterland, cause the Swiss France will be as strong as the Euro and will work together. Don’t know about Russia, but i hear the Russian rubie is getter stronger.

        If someone wants to travel like a king/queen with US dollars it be best to head somewhere like Columbia, Madagascar or Vietnam

        1 United States Dollar (USD) = 2057.76174 Colombia Pesos (COP)
        1 United States Dollar (USD) = 1984.52138 Madagascar Ariary (MGA)
        1 United States Dollar (USD) = 18519.85601 Vietnam Dong (VND)