Monday, December 22, 2008
Cheap Travel? Where?! 5 Affordable Destinations...
So with the unfolding global economic crisis, several currencies are tanking -- some rapidly, some not so fast. The U.S. dollar is down against just a few currencies this year, but overall, many destinations have become bargains for U.S. travelers, the biggest of which I will list on this blog for those interested in planning an affordable vacation.
1.) ICELAND - The country which, without any doubt, has suffered from the credit crisis more than any other, so it's no surprise that this is a budget destination now, due to a rapidly falling Icelandic krona. Actually, the exchange rate looks to have stabilized at about 120 kronas = $1, but when I was there back in June, it was about 75 kronas : $1, which means that Iceland is now much, much cheaper. It will still be somewhat pricey, though, since this country used to be the world's most expensive travel destination, but at least it has become much more affordable. I suggest traveling there from May to September, since, due to its northern geographic location, the country does not receive much daylight in winter time. Conversely, in the summer time the sun barely goes down, especially from June to August. The only question is: what will be the exchange rate come then? Icelandair.com is offering great promotions out of several U.S. cities, since its planes are half-full now, as Icelanders cannot afford to travel to Europe or even the U.S. at this exchange rate.
2.) SOUTH KOREA - The won has been in the range of 1,300-1,450 : $1 these past few weeks, which is a bargain, compared to the 950 : $1 that it averaged less than a year ago. Tailor made suits and general costs have thus come down by at least a third, so planning a trip to South Korea would be a smart choice.
3.) MEXICO - The peso is down, so anyone planning a spring break vacation in Cancun can expect local costs not to hit the U.S. consumer that hard in dollar terms. :)
4.) AUSTRALIA - Talk about a currency collapse... Having been almost at par with the U.S. dollar back in the spring, the Australian dollar has fallen to the range of 1 USD = 1.50 AUD as of recent. In other words, the currency has fallen by half, meaning now is a great time for U.S. dollar earners to go and spend their greenbacks at the Land Down Under.
5.) UNITED KINGDOM - The pound, or sterling, is at a multi-year low against many currencies, and the U.S. buck is not an exception. At a rate of 1 GBP = 1.50 USD, prices in the U.K. finally don't appear that ridiculous to Americans anymore. Not that it is cheap there, but, hey, dollar-wise, rarely has there been a better time to go.
P.S. The above photo of Reykjavik, Iceland, is courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/aevar/407156201/ .