Americans love a good deal and will put a lot of work into finding discounts, scouring the internet for the best flight or hotel deal or using their credit cards to get 2% in reward points – yet the majority of them miss out on the chance to save up to 40% on their next vacation! Continue reading to find out how you can save a bundle on your next trip with little effort, other than reading this post!
All you need to take advantage of these great savings is – a passport! Yes, you can only find them abroad, because they rely on the strength of the US Dollar. The Dollar has greatly appreciated in value in the last year when compared to the currencies used at some dream destinations! It has appreciated as much as 40% compared to the Brazilian Real, 20% compared to the Australian Dollar, South African Rand or Indonesian Rupiah and more than 10% to the Euro or Malaysian Ringgit over the last year alone.
Why not go to the beaches of Bali instead of Hawaii? Or visit great cities like Sydney, Cape Town, Rome, Paris, Helsinki or Rio de Janeiro at a steep discount – instead of high prices in New York or San Francisco. Why not explore the wildlife of Borneo in Sabah or Sarawak instead of Yellowstone?
Flights from the US are less impacted by the exchange rates, but they are fortunately very low for current booking. And once you get to the destination, prices at restaurants, hotels or local services will be much lower than last year and usually take some time to adjust. Eventually, the rising import prices in these countries will drive up some prices, so don’t wait too long to take advantage of the strength of the Dollar.
To take advantage of those local prices, you are best off by booking and buying locally: Packaged vacations might not reflect the exchange rate differences as much. Check the local versions of a web site or contact your desired hotels directly to make sure you get the best room rate. You can do the same for local flights – it can be a lot cheaper to book a local discount carrier in the local currency, than adding a segment to your international ticket! At your destination, go out and enjoy local restaurants, massages and tours – it will be cheap for you and you’ll help the local economy. You can have a massage for as little as $4/hour – so tip generously, it’s good karma!
I do recommend to read up on the current situation of the country – some of the exchange rate differences are not due to macro-economic changes (like for many emerging economies), but due to the political or security situation – you don’t want to end up in a conflict zone to save some money! I consider all the countries in the table above safe to travel and you can read reviews on this blog – or find them soon: I took advantage of the exchange rate differences on my Cape Town to Victoria Falls Adventure, my ASEAN Explorer trip as well as my Baltic Explorer trip. I have also planned a trip to Argentina and Brazil for the Southern Summer – and the hotel rates are much lower than anything I’ve seen in a long time – when converted into US Dollars!
So, it does pay to check the Business News before planning your next dream trip – you can find some bargains thanks to the strong US Dollar, as long as you are willing to look abroad to take advantage of these deals – and all of those discount coupons and reward cards still work for you! Save some money or enjoy some luxury without the price tag while it lasts!