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SMART TRAVELER

Vacation spots where the strong dollar buys more

Take advantage of the greenback's surge while you can

Published: August 22, 2015 08:00 AM

The dollar’s surge in purchasing power has been pushing travelers to take that Eurozone trip before winter settles in. But while the strong dollar buys 22.5 percent more euros than it did around this time in 2014, many vacation spots outside of the European Union will yield even better savings.

Savings often come at the price of safety. For example, though a U.S. dollar buys 75.4 percent more Russian rubles than it did in early August 2014, the U.S. State Department warns of continuing terrorist attacks, high crime rates, and potentially violent demonstrations in the popular tourist destinations of St. Petersburg and Moscow. 

But for now, the strong dollar can let you benefit from cheaper vacations on nearly every continent without skimping on personal security. Check out these dollar-friendly countries.

Learn how to get the best deal on your vacation with our Travel & Vacation Guide. And check out our luggage buying guide and brand reviews before you shop for new bags.

Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

The currencies of the Eurozone’s northern neighbors have fallen a bit further in value than the euro, relative to the dollar. In Norway, a dollar buys 31.7 percent more kroner than it did in early August 2014. The dollar’s value has likewise increased by 26.3 percent relative to the Swedish krona and 22.6 percent relative to the Danish krone.

In Scandinavia, you can use the exchange rate savings to tour cities such as Stockholm and Copenhagen, go skiing and try to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in Norway or take the kids to Legoland in Denmark. 

Australia and New Zealand

Head down under, where the strong dollar now buys 26.5 percent more Australian dollars and 29 percent more New Zealand dollars than it did a year ago.

In Australia, splurge on a show at the iconic Sydney Opera House, a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef or explore one of the country's many sprawling state parks. With summer coming to New Zealand, relax on one of the nation's numerous beaches, hike the dramatic landscapes where "The Lord of the Rings" films were shot or take a dip in the natural hot springs of Rotorua

Brazil

Worth 2.26 reals in August 2014, the dollar now buys 3.5 reals—a 53 percent increase in just one year. Use your savings to take samba lessons in Rio de Janeiro, delve into the rich history of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil’s first colonial capital, or voyage up the Amazon River. 

Taking a trip?

If the strong dollar has spurred you to book a vacation, tell us what you've planned by adding a comment below.

Mexico

The Mexican peso has seen a drop in value relative to the dollar similar to that of the euro: 22.5 percent over the past year. The country’s Mayan Riviera, the stretch of Caribbean cost on the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula, is lined with couple- and family-friendly beach resorts. For a break from the sun and sand, use strong dollar savings for a full day at one of the Xcaret eco parks between Cancun and Playa del Carmen or visit the fortified Mayan city of Tulum.

Madagascar and Tanzania

Many African nations—including Morocco, Ghana and South Africa, all major travel destinations—have seen their currencies dive relative to the dollar. But the savings in Tanzania and Madagascar trump them all: the dollar now buys 32.7 percent more Malagasy ariaries and 27.1 percent more Tanzanian shillings than it did in August 2014.

That makes this the year to climb Mount Klilimanjaro or go on safari in one of Tanzania's national parks, like the Serengeti or Lake Manyara. Madagascar's national parks are a wonder of exotic wildlife; world-class beaches abound on islands like Nosy Be and Ile de Sainte Marie.

Lydia O'Neal

 

 



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