Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Countries Where the U.S. Dollar Stretches Far in 2019

by Brook Wilkinson | January 26, 2019

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:


Giza Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt. Photo: Shutterstock

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


View over the mausoleums and domes of the historical cemetery of Shahi Zinda through an arched gate, Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

View over the mausoleums and domes of the historical cemetery of Shahi Zinda through an arched gate, Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Photo: Shutterstock

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


Galata Tower and the street in the Old Town of Istanbul, Turkey

Galata Tower and the street in the Old Town of Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Shutterstock

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


Gaucho on horseback, Argentina

Gaucho on horseback, Argentina. Photo by Aldo Sessa

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


Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City.

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. Photo: Billie Cohen

The U.S. dollar is near a ten-year high against the Mexican peso. Learn what’s unspoiled and up-and-coming in our Insider’s Guides to Mexico CityPuerto Vallarta, the Riviera Maya, and Los Cabos.

Jan 2015: US $1 = 14.60 pesos
Jan 2019: US $1 = 19.23 pesos


Beautiful Trancoso beach near Porto Seguro in state of Bahia, Brazil

Beautiful Trancoso beach near Porto Seguro in the state of Bahia, Brazil. Photo: Shutterstock

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

United Kingdom

Hidcote Gardens in Chipping Campden, Cotswolds, England

Hidcote Gardens in Chipping Campden, Cotswolds, England. Photo: Jonathan Epstein/Celebrated Experiences

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

South Africa

Fanny african black - white penguin on the beach of Atlantic.The boulders and algae. Boulders Penguin Colony National Park, South Africa.

A penguin at Boulders Beach penguin colony, outside Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Shutterstock

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


Gros Morne Western Brook Pond fjord, Newfoundland

Gros Morne Western Brook Pond fjord, Newfoundland. Photo: Maxxim Vacations

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.


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1 Comment

  1. Christine

    Where in the world can you move with your US Dollar and have the value be more : what country can you move to and retire and survive on the money you bring?

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