There are still places you can go with US dollars and get a great deal. The list is changing and 5 former best places to travel on a weak dollar are no longer on the original list. Places like the Czech Republic, Thailand, and Turkey can’t really be considered cheap destinations, but many of their neighbors are filling in the gaps.
- Romania – Visit the coast of the Black Sea for less than either Greece or Turkey can offer. From Bucharest stop off in Brasov, a well preserved medieval town centrally located between ski resorts, the Black Sea, and Moldova (also friendly to your dollar).
- Northern Cyprus – Although you’ll have to fly through Turkey, Northern Cyprus is one very cheap section of Mediterranean coastline, along with Croatia.
- Nicaragua – TravelHouseUk says Nicaragua is the “poor man’s Costa Rica.” Flights to Managua are cheap and your dollar goes a long way there. Don’t fall into the ‘resort’ trap though, and explore the 6,000 year old city of Huellas de Acahualinca, active volcanoes at the Volcán Masaya National Park, and the largest protected rain forest in Central America, Reserva de Biosfera Bosawás.
- Some parts of Nicaragua, especially the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) may be dangerous. Follow these tips on staying safe abroad and consider a guided tour if traveling alone.
- Indonesia – Beautiful beaches, a year-round tropical climate, and over 17,000 islands to explore, this moderate Muslim country is being embraced by Europeans increasingly but still devoid of Americans. Don’t let outdated State Department travel warnings deter you however, the country is relatively safe and you’ll get approximately 9,000 rupiah to the dollar.
- Cambodia – Thailand has become a bustling tourist destination driving the costs up. Cambodia, right across the border offers similar beaches, food, and hiking opportunities for about half the price. The Cambodian currency, the Riel, is based on the dollar.
- Colombia – As Big Web Travel tells us Colombia is a Caribbean gem which remains relatively undiscovered by tourists. Consider also combining your trip to Columbia with a frenemy boat trip to Ecuador, whose currency is also tied to the US dollar which makes it a bargain.
- Iceland – Within the last two weeks, Iceland’s three major banks have failed, the krona has dropped 25% against the dollar, and its economy is on the verge of bankruptcy. Flights to Iceland have already begun dramatically dropping since then as are food and hotel costs. Right now you can get a round-trip flight (from the US), with hotel included for 3 nights starting at $500.
- Don’t expect the deals to last for more than a year or two however, Iceland is poised to likely make a strong economic rebound.
Africa is notoriously missing from this list, although there are plenty of countries on the continent that I’ve covered before like South Africa and Morocco. Many former places to travel on a weak dollar have given rise to their bordering neighbors. Turkey too expensive? Check out Azerbaijan, or Vietnam instead of Thailand.
You will always be able to find a good deal in any country by moving out from the big cities, beach towns, and tourist traps and living like a local.
EDITED [10/15]: I almost overlooked Iceland, needing some travel income to help their ailing economy.
Awesome, you listed three places on my list.
Note that Iceland is typically inexpensive (relatively) in winter…
@ Taylor Davidson:
If you don’t mind me asking, which three?
@Anil Indonesia, Cambodia and Iceland…
Sounds cool, Cambodia and Indonesia are high up on my list as well.
in cambodia, everything is priced in dollars. it can get quite expensive as you spend a dollar for everything….especially when you add in drinks!
I can imagine, drinks are expensive. The nice thing is, the more you drink the more you forget how broke you are 🙂 It has wonderful other effects as well…
Romania and Nicargua are two places I’ve been eyeing in recent months.
I’ve severely neglected Central America – probably because it’s ‘so close’ to the east coast of the US.
There are great 3-5 day deals down there these days from the east coast of the US, including NY.
Avoid the black sea if you go to Romania and rather go and visit some great places like Lepsa, Valea Prahovei, Slanic Moldova. Bulgaria has very good offers if you want to go and see the black sea..most Romanians go there :p If there is someone who wants to come, you can mail me…I live here, in Romania 🙂
Why avoid the Romanian Black Sea coast?
Because of very poor services and inflated prices. That is during the season, during the off-season you can’t have too much fun, and services are even worse than usual. 🙂 An important % of Romanian tourists choose to travel to Bulgaria (there must be a reason for that 😉 )
Thanks for the insight 😉 If the Romanians are leaving their own country to see the same coast line there must be a good reason.
I wonder if it’s economic, but I guess it could a variety of factors..
Doesn’t India appear anywhere in your list ?
India could easily be added to the list – it is a cheap destination, but not so much an up and comer in my opinion.
Is the dollar weak? Not if you’re from UK it’s not…. speaking of Iceland, someone tried to auction the country for £10 on ebay a few weeks ago… the ad got quite quickly taken down though!
@ Big Travel Web:
The dollar is down almost 14% against the Pound in the last year, check out this useful currency tool from the Economist:
Azerbaijan is not cheap.
1 US dollar = 0.79 Azerbaijani manat
Certainly much cheaper than neighboring Turkey if you’re carry dollars and more so Euros these days.
Really? Prices are cheap even though the AZN is stronger than the USD and other dollars?
USD to AZN exchange rate:
That exchange rate doesn’t look good though.
Since I wrote this post the cost of oil has helped the manat against the dollar but within the country prices vary greatly. As a general comparison to the prices in western Turkey, it’s certainly less expensive.
I can totally vouch for Nicaragua as cheap, beautiful and safe. Colombia is beautiful and safe but unfortunately no longer cheap.
It has really taken off of late, I think north South America is seeing a major tourism industry boom.
Interesting list … would have not guessed that Iceland would be in it.
Makes sense when I read your explanation.
It’s not nearly a good deal now as it was when I originally posted this article but the Euro’s weakness today helps many visiting travelers now.