Last October I highlighted the best places to travel on a weak dollar – inexpensive gems for those of you carrying weak currencies and looking to make the most out of your money. One year later, the dollar is still plummeting while some traditionally weak currencies are leveling up with the greenback.
Quite a bit has changed in the global economy over the last year and it’s time to update the list. Places were your currency won’t go as far as it used to, food and hotel prices are increasing, and getting overloaded with tourists.
- Czech Republic – This former ‘cheap’ destination was discovered by citizens of the Eurozone in the early 1990s and since then has seen it’s tourism numbers nearly quadruple. With 1.5 million Germans alone visiting for vacation or shopping sprees for an average of 1 week and a stable government in a volatile region, the Czechs have been able to nurture their tourism industry.
- Using the Economist’s interactive foreign exchange map you can see the Koruna gaining on the dollar. In 2010 (or 2011) the country will adopt the Euro, when prices will skyrocket.
- The Czech Republic can still be considered a good place to travel on a weak dollar, but not the one of the best – especially with Slovakia and Slovenia so near by and at half the cost.
- Turkey – As Darren of Travel Rants and Colin note, food and drink prices in Turkey along, its west coast and major cities are almost equivalent to the prices in the US. Among the booming Turkish economy and tourism industry you can still find good deals however along Turkey’s Black Sea coast and eastern cities like Van or Kars.
- A cheaper alternative to Turkey is Northern Cyprus, which offers you Turkish culture and food along a low cost section of Europe’s Mediterranean coast. You’ll just have to fly or sail through Turkey to get there.
- Thailand – Formerly where people went to discover southeast Asia, it is now almost synonymous with travel to the region. Thailand has really opened up tourism in the region making cheaper places like Cambodia, whose currency is tied to the dollar, better alternatives.
- Venezuela – Political instability in Venezuela may make it difficult to find flights there and many airlines are already cutting back. This increases your upfront airfare costs which aren’t worth it when there are cheaper alternatives like frenemy Colombia, which Big Travel Web considers “the best kept secret of the Caribbean“.
- According to Big Travel Web, “[Colombia has] finer beaches, friendlier (& more polite) people, a better tourism infrastructure, is a better value, plus a far wider range of tourism attractions in additional to stereotypically Caribbean ones“.
- Russia – Both St. Petersburg and Moscow (where 80% of travelers go are Russia) are ranked as two of the most expensive cities in the world, on par with Los Angeles, Madrid, and Florence. The cost of living has increased dramatically in Russia over the past year as well as food and hotel costs. Keep in mind that a visa to Russia averages $170 for Americans, which is a complicated process and you may need help to cut through the visa red tape.
Ones to watch out for: Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Morocco. These places are still kind to your dollar, but probably won’t be within the next 1-2 years.
The countries listed above are still great places to visit, but are no longer members of the ‘weak dollar’ group. They’ve moved on and evolved – good thing there are other countries to take their place. Next Thursday I’ll list the new best places to travel on a weak dollar.
Americans looking to save even more on travel should check out the best places to travel on a weak dollar – the US edition.
[photo by: Cayusa]
I was just in Brazil(North and South) in July. I don’t think it was kind to my dollar or even nice.
@ Fly Girl:
Brazil is quickly making it’s way off the ‘weak dollar’ list. How did you like your trip and what did you find expensive (food, hotel)?
As a traveler I want the dollar to go as far as possible but, as a person, I’m glad that these countries are doing better and that their economies are doing well. I hope that the citizens of those countries are also reaping the benefits and are not sidestepped, or suffering, in the process.
Having said that, thanks for the tips – Turkey is on our list, as is Thailand and Argentina, but now I can look at some of the alternatives you listed as well.
I completely agree and I think that tourism helps developing countries gain better standards in living. If the government in a particular country is effective, usually the people reap the benefits as well.
I can say, for the most part, this is the case in the Czech Republic, Turkey, and somewhat Thailand. This isn’t the case in either Russia or Venezuela.
I have been traveling Southeast, Eastern, and the Black Sea Coast in Turkey for more than a month now, currently in Central Anatolia—I have been getting by on about $30 a day. The hotels are closer to an average of Jordan, just slightly higher.
The killer expense is transportation. The West of Turkey will be more expensive, although, October is slow season.
Keep in mind most hotels will bargain with the price during low season.
Egypt and Syria is 50 to 60% cheaper than Turkey.
I will put your link on my blog, feel free to do the same if you like what you see.
Turkey is still the kind of place where you can find great deals, if you avoid the tourist-heavy spots. But you can still find good deals even along the popular Aegean coast.
Many times travelers miss out on different flavors of the country – Trabzon, Van, Sivas, etc.
I enjoyed reading your blog – especially the stories about Egypt and Syria, which I hope to really dive into later this weekend. Check back on my links page, Clearly Enlight will be there soon.
When visiting Prague in ’07 I found an almost hilarious difference in prices between the Old Town area, heavily frequented by tourists with the old square (and Prague Castle,) versus neighborhoods opposite the river and a few subway stops south in Prague 2 where I stayed. (off I.P. Pavlova)
Old town’s food prices were ridiculous – and the style and food glammed up and solely geared towards the British and U.S. visitors. In more local neighborhoods I visited delis, cafes, and really good restaurants for about 1/3 of the Old Town prices. And great beer.
Its obvious but sometimes forgotten: It pays to stray…
The minimum distance to get good deals away from heavily tourist-frequented areas is usually ridiculously small – 2-5km or less sometimes.
we are based in the UK and we will be in Asia including Thailand in few weeks. With the pound be lately as weak as ever, altough Thailand remain still cheaper than the Europe standards, we have been adviced not to excpected to be as cheap as we thought
You’ve got it exactly right, most of these places are still cheap – just not *as cheap*. Depending on where you travel around Thailand you’ll still be able to get a good deal.
We’ll check your blog to keep up with your travels 🙂
Slovakia and Slovenia both use the Euro.
Didn’t at the time of this writing but you’re right, they do now. I’m planning an updated version of this list soon which will reflect the changes. Thanks for pointing that out.
Your welcome. Cool, can’t wait to see the updated version.
Chile and Uruguay is probably cheaper than Argentina and Brazil.
1.00 USD(United States Dollars) = 503.800 CLP(Chile Pesos)
1.00 USD(United States Dollars) = 19.6140 UYU(Uruguay Pesos)
1.00 USD(United States Dollars) = 555.400 CRC(Costa Rica Colones)
1.00 USD(United States Dollars) = 7.87760 MAD(Morocco Dirhams)
1.00 USD(United States Dollars) = 3.80800 ARS(Argentina Pesos)
1.00 USD(United States Dollars) = 1.78050 BRL(Brazil Reais)
Yes, that’s why they’re on the ‘soon to be *former* best places’ to travel on a weak dollar. Although all of them would be good places to travel if you’re carry dollars, and have similar inflation rates (although Argentina’s is highest).
Can’t wait for your new list!