12 Places To Travel While the U.S. Dollar Is Strong
By Ordinary Traveler
The value of the U.S. dollar has been steadily rising in recent years, and now is the time to take advantage of it. Cash in those vacation days you’ve been saving, and head to one of these top destinations where you can get the most bang for your buck!
Istanbul: the only place where two continents connect in one city. Get to experience both Europe and Asia by ferrying across the Bosphorus and wandering around the best of Turkey’s colorful markets. With an exchange rate of 1 US dollar to 2.93 Turkish Lira, Turkey is one of the cheapest destination on our list! Moderate daily budget: $56
Visiting the picturesque Scandinavian countries is always a good decision, and this time normally pricey Sweden is within reach. Jet off to Stockholm, Gothenburg or the islands of West Sweden, where there are too many beautiful sights – and people – to take in all at once. Sweden uses the Krona, which exchanges at 8.23 krona per dollar. Moderate daily budget: $167
Get a taste of Austria’s renowned live entertainment at Vienna’s famous State Opera House, or wander its cobbled streets and settle into a cozy bookstore or café. You won’t want to miss the culture this place has to offer! Austria is one of the many countries here that use the Euro for currency, which currently has an amazing exchange rate of approximately 1 USD to 0.89 Euro. It’s time to hit up Europe! Moderate daily budget: $110
If you’ve been dreaming of stuffing your face with authentic Italian pizza and pasta, there’s no time like the present! Italy also uses the euro, and much like Greece it’s economy (and prices) are slowly but surely on the rise – don’t wait. Moderate daily budget: $137
The value of the Japanese Yen is down in comparison to the dollar (1 USD to 105.89 JPY), so this normally pricey destination can now be a reasonably affordable vacation. Whether you’re looking forward to the gorgeous gardens or cherry blossoms during springtime, or want to explore the Harajuku district of Tokyo known for its outlandish style and ultra-trendy fashion, there’s something for everyone!
Although Japan is known to be pricey for tourists, the low currency exchange rates have started to rise so take advantage of them now. Moderate daily budget: $125
You’ve got your fair share of winter activities to choose from (ever try dogsledding?), but Canada offers just as many year-round attractions as well. With the quaint French villages of Quebec, puffin viewing in Newfoundland, and kayaking with whales on Vancouver Island, you’re bound to fall in love.
If you plan to wait for a winter getaway, don’t miss the Northern Lights of Canada’s northern territories like the Yukon. Conversion rates equate to approximately 1 USD for every 1.29 Canadian dollars. Moderate daily budget: $115
The Sydney Opera House, stunning beaches, kangaroos, Great Barrier Reef – Australia has it all. Head out to the land down under for some awesome waterfall and wildlife experiences, because this is most definitely a place you’ll want to visit now. US dollar exchange rates will be similar to Canada’s, at about 1.35 Australian dollars for every US dollar. Moderate daily budget: $96
Whether it’s the historic ruins, museums, beaches, or food that draws you to Greece, you won’t be disappointed – plan your trip now while the economy is down and catering to tourists! Mainland cities (like Athens) will likely be quite a bit cheaper than the islands (Kos, Santorini), so keep that in mind when planning your trip. The euro-to-dollar conversion rate still stands at about 1 USD to 0.89 Euro. Moderate daily budget: $81-$139
Enjoy the strong dollar and happy travels.
A note from Live Learn Evolve folks....
It’s a big decision. Even leaving your comfort zone for a brief 20 minute jog once a week is a struggle for some and in those cases a life shifting experience like travelling may be the key to breaking that way of thinking, the way that promotes retreating, the withdrawal back to unhealthy routines. This leads us on to reason number one:
1. SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR COMFORT ZONE
By not taking risks, you never really discover your true self. It’s only ever about doing what is safe and easy but how will you ever know what really makes you tick if you’ve never tried it. Travel will push you into a flurry of seemingly uncomfortable situations like forcing you to meet new people with completely different lifestyles and cultures or navigating your way around a mountain where no one speaks your native language..etc.
2. TIME SLOWS DOWN
A regular routine builds strong neurological connections that over time allow for us to automate activities almost seamlessly. Think about that journey to work where not a thought is spared on the direction, forced into the present only by an obstruction. “I’ve been working here 10 years and I don’t know where the time has gone” – that’s not for me. An ever changing horizon continually breathes new experiences and with in those we truly live in the moment, we are gifted with the present.
3. GAIN IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVES
With nothing but your backpack filled with essentials you venture out into new cultures without access to the usual facilities and material objects you might usually take for granted. Many people live in the type of poverty that is truly unfathomable until you experience it first hand. As a westerner I will never forget the first time I drove through Brazilian slums and without going into detail, I can assure you that television is not the same. Statistics are numbers and individual stories remain unheard.
4. WE ARE NOT GUARANTEED OLD AGE
Travelling is often postponed with the intentions of ‘becoming a responsible adult’ or ‘building up a real life’ in the mean time. Some even say they are savouring the opportunity for retirement. Without injecting too much personal opinion, that’s just the views of society’s norm being expressed by those who are already deeply conforming. It is your choice to live how you wish. But, if I don’t live to my forties, fifties or sixties, I can safely say that I have no regrets. Choosing to buy experiences over external objects has transformed me in so many way that I am sincerely grateful for.
5. AND THIS…
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
With a bit of advance planning, there is no reason why anyone should pay much more than the interbank sterling-euro rate for their travel money.
Look over a recent market survey conducted by Fair FX. Be careful out there. Contact www.foreignmoney.com before you travel.
Travel money provider Spread over interbank rate for euros on £1,000 transaction*
Moneycorp, Bristol Airport 14%
ICE, Birmingham Airport 13%
Travelex, Manchester airport 13%
Moneycorp, Stansted airport 13%
Travelex, Heathrow airport 12%
ICE, Gatwick airport 10%
Barclays branch, central London 5%
Lloyds branch, central London 4.5%
NatWest branch, central London 4.5%
HSBC branch, central London 2.2%
Source: Fair FX/FT Money research
What has caught analyst attention of late has been the inability of the US Dollar to rally, despite data prints confirming the US economy to be in rude health.
This has ensured that the Dollar has not been able to drive the likes of EUR/USD and GBP/USD lower while at the same time maintaining just enough strength to ensure upside is limited.
Citi cite insufficient hawkishness or rate hike intention at the US Federal Reserve and the US Dollar being previously overbought by investors as reason for the currency’s lacklustre display.
However, in the medium- and long-term, increasing fiscal policy and hike rates by the Fed are likely to push the USD higher.
Two Reasons to be Bullish on the US Dollar:
- Increasing fiscal spending: Trump advocates increasing fiscal spending and infrastructure and tax cuts, which may underpin US and global economy. It may make the Fed tighten monetary policy more quickly, which may support USD.
- Fund inflows into the US: US corporations have around $1.2 trillion overseas. If Trump cuts corporate tax, fund inflows back into the US may underpin USD.
USD may have 6% upside against major currencies for the coming 6-12 months.
With rising political risk in Europe and USD likely to strengthen in the medium and long term, Citi say the EUR may be undermined.
EUR may drop to 0.98 for the coming 6-12 months.
Meanwhile, GBP may be undermined amid large UK fiscal and current account deficits and as the Bank of England may not hike rates until late 2019.
"GBP/USD may drop to 1.15 for the coming 6-12 months," say Citi.