As we all start thinking about trips for the months ahead, one factor to consider is: Where is the U.S. dollar strongest? Exchange rate isn’t the only element that determines the cost of a trip (a short tourist season, for instance, will drive up prices, while a large number of hotels increases competition and tends to lower rates). Moreover, the cost of traveling in a destination can be very different from the cost of living in that destination. Still, exchange rates are helpful indicators of how much to budget for the things you’ll be doing alongside locals—eating where they eat, shopping where they shop, taking public transit, and so on.
So where in the world is the U.S. dollar relatively strong right now? Here are 10 appealing travel ideas for you:
Egypt unpegged its pound to the dollar back in 2016, and since then it has bought you more than twice as much as it once did. Read our Insider’s Guide to Egypt, and learn what a WOW Moment inside Nefertari’s Tomb looks like.
Jan 2016: US $1 = 7.83 pounds
Jan 2019: US $1 = 17.90 pounds
Similarly, Uzbekistan allowed its som to float in 2017, and it has since lost more than half its value against the dollar. Find out what you can see and do along the Silk Road in our Insider’s Guide to Uzbekistan, and learn why it’s great for kids and teens in Uzbekistan is the Family Vacation Idea You’ve Been Missing.
Jan 2017: US $1 = 3,245 som
Jan 2019: US $1 = 8,381 som
Turkey’s economy suffered in 2018, and the value of the lira has plunged. Hear why we think Turkey should be on your list this year in Where to Travel in 2019, Before Everyone Else Gets There, then check out our Insider’s Guides to Istanbul, Cappadocia, and the Aegean Coast.
Jan 2017: US $1 = 3.53 lira
Jan 2019: US $1 = 5.52 lira
Now is the moment to discover Sri Lanka—and not just because a dollar will buy quite a bit more than it did just a year ago. Read about Wendy’s family trip there in This Beach Resort Figured Out How to Connect with Local Culture and What Your Kids Get Out of Giving Back: In Their Own Words, and learn more in our Insider’s Guide to Sri Lanka.
Jan 2018: US $1 = 153.15 rupees
Jan 2019: US $1 = 182.79 rupees
Argentina has been a fabulous value ever since the peso slid a whopping 30% back in 2015, and the last year has seen its currency weaken even further. Besides bargains, what else awaits you there? Read our Insider’s Guides to Buenos Aires and Mendoza wine country to find out.
Jan 2018: US $1 = 18.62 pesos
Jan 2019: US $1 = 37.62 pesos
Jan 2015: US $1 = 14.60 pesos
Jan 2019: US $1 = 19.23 pesos
Time was when travel to and in Brazil was prohibitively expensive for most travelers; today it’s a whole other story. Learn what you’ll find there in our Insider’s Guides to the glamorous side of Rio de Janeiro, the charming seaside village of Trancoso, the otherworldly Brazilian Amazon, and, for the ultimate extravaganza, Five-Star Brazil: Best Things to See and Do.
Jan 2015: US $1 = 2.58 real
Jan 2019: US $1 = 3.88 real
The pound hit a 31-year-low against the U.S. dollar right after the Brexit vote in 2016, and it remains not far off that nadir today. Make no mistake, London is always an expensive city—but the U.K. is a better deal now than it was for decades. Read our Insider’s Guides to London, Scotland, and the Cotswolds, as well as Do’s and Don’ts for Your Trip to London, which Wendy’s then-14-year-old son wrote in 2016 right after Wendy took advantage of the post-Brexit values and booked a family vacation there.
Jan 2016: $1 = .68 pounds
Jan 2019: $1 = .79 pounds
The rand has fluctuated quite a bit against the dollar in the last five years, looking strong as recently as a year ago. It’s weakened since then, so carpe diem. Here’s what awaits you in Cape Town and the Winelands, and here’s our Insider’s Guide to South African Safaris.
Jan 2018: $1 = 11.89 rand
Jan 2019: $1 = 14.38 rand
Canada may not be quite the steal it was three years ago—when one U.S. dollar equated to 1.45 Canadian—but the greenback still goes far, especially if you remember the days when it was at parity with the loonie. To better appreciate the range of delights in Canada, read our Insider’s Guides to British Colombia and Newfoundland. Wendy jumped on the amazing exchange rate and rushed her family to British Columbia for their summer vacation a few years ago. You can read about their adventures in We Had the Best Family Trip in Whistler and We Never Put on Skis and I Can’t Believe We Did This: Mountain Climbing in Whistler.
Sept 2017: $1 = 1.21 Canadian dollars
Jan 2019: $1 = 1.36 Canadian dollars
Be a smarter traveler: Read real travelers’ reviews of Wendy’s WOW List and use it to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter @wendyperrin, and Instagram @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.