Want to make your money work harder for you in 2016? The U.S. dollar remains strong throughout much of the world, but here are five destinations where you’ll find especially attractive prices for hotels, souvenirs, and even flights this year:
While everyone knows that the dollar has been strong versus the Euro, few people noticed in January when the dollar hit a 12-year high versus the British pound; that Michelin-star dinner or bespoke suit will be almost 20% cheaper than it was just two years ago. Also, with so many new luxury hotels opening in London, competition is fierce, especially outside of high season. Jonathan Epstein, our Trusted Travel Expert for England, Ireland, and Scotland, points out that rates are lowest in August, when business travel to the city dries up—but with free museums, long days, and lovely weather, it’s the perfect time to take your family. Many properties are even upgrading his clients as soon as they book.
To get the best possible trip, use Wendy’s trip-request form to contact Jonathan.
Stuart Rigg, our Trusted Travel Expert for Australia, attributes the continent’s excellent value this year to a combination of factors: a favorable exchange rate (10% better than a year ago), increased competition among airlines flying there from the U.S. (with new service from Los Angeles on American Airlines, and from San Francisco on Qantas), and low-season deals: In the Whitsunday Islands, where temperatures are in the upper 70s and and scuba diving conditions are ideal during the antipodal winter, both the One&Only Hayman Island and Qualia resorts are offering savings of up to 25%.
To get the best possible trip, use Wendy’s trip-request form to contact Stuart.
Since the Rand has devalued by about 40% against the dollar since last year, South Africa is a steal this year, according to Julian Harrison, our Trusted Travel Expert for Southern Africa. Tintswalo Safari Lodge, one of his favorites near Kruger National Park, cost $635 per person per night in 2015. This year, in spite of a 10% increase in rates, that same room is going for $435 per person per night.
To get the best possible trip, use Wendy’s trip-request form to contact Julian.
Three years ago the Canadian loonie was equal in value to the U.S dollar. Today it’s dropped by almost one-third. Every meal you eat will cost 10% less than it did at this time last year, and savings like that add up over the course of a week. If you book an itinerary in advance through a Canadian travel firm, you’ll save on arrangements priced in Canadian dollars. For example, Jill Curran, our Trusted Travel Expert for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, arranges a five-night exploration of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula—with opportunities to view this spectacular, unspoiled coastline by boat, by kayak, and on foot—that costs $142 less (for two travelers) than last year.
To get the best possible trip, use Wendy’s trip-request form to contact Jill.
The rupiah is also down compared to the dollar. Since hotel rates in Indonesia are quoted in dollars, this won’t affect your accommodation expenses, but it does mean that intra-island fares have come down quite a bit—and the cost of all that island-hopping can really add up. For example, a round-trip ticket from Bali to Yogyakarta on Garuda Indonesia (the country’s most reliable carrier), which cost $256 a little over a month ago, is now $189. Prices for overseas flights are also at an all-time low, reports Diane Embree, our Trusted Travel Expert for Bali—in some cases, 50% less than what they cost a year ago.
To get the best possible trip, use Wendy’s trip-request form to contact Diane.
What are your tricks for finding good value abroad?