Traveling With a Strong Dollar
February 23, 2023
Categories: Destinations, Travel Tips,
In the midst of the many economic woes of today—inflation, rising energy prices, high unemployment—there’s one bright spot for Americans. The dollar is the strongest it’s been in two decades. With a little research, now could—surprisingly—be the best time to travel to places where the dollar is strong.
It all depends on where you go…and where you’re from.
If you’re an American, now is a great time to travel, especially to countries like Europe, China and Japan where your dollar might not have stretched as much before.
The dollar is strong against the Euro and the pound, making now a great time to book that dream trip to Paris or enjoy shopping in London.
“Flight searches for winter travel to Paris are up 85% compared to last year, and London is also hot, with searches up 40%” according to Expedia, as reported in Money.
Your bang for buck might go the furthest in Turkey, according to a study from Travel Lens, as reported in
“Turkey is the country where the value of $1,000 has increased the most since before the pandemic: up
227.55% versus the local Turkish lira.”
Bloomberg reports that the weak Japanese Yen combined with low inflation and the loosening of pandemic restrictions have made it an ideal time to travel to Japan, especially for tourists from the U.S.
Budget even better
If you’ve been a budget traveler before, the strong dollar makes budget travel even more advantageous. The low-cost destinations you loved before are cheaper than ever. Trips to Discover has a list of 20 destinations to visit while the USD is strong—most were already quite affordable but tourists will find it even easier to stretch their dollars these days.
Where you’ll see the savings
Unfortunately, tourists everywhere can’t escape the rising costs of transportation. Flights are running high due to inflation, so most travelers won’t realize any deals until they’re on the ground.
“The savings is in the ancillary spending like ground transportation and sightseeing tours,” James Ferrara, president of InteleTravel, told Forbes. “The big win is in shopping and dining where conversion rates can mean savings in the hundreds and thousands. Meals in London feel like 50% of New York costs. The same with buying designer clothes or even having them made.”
The New York Times helps us break down the savings further:
“A 5-euro glass of wine in Rome in 2008 might have cost about $8, compared to $5.20 today. A 100-euro rental apartment in Paris that is $104 this summer might have been $158 when the euro peaked. And a 60-pound ticket to London’s hit revival of “Cabaret” costs $73 now, while a similarly priced show last summer would have cost $85.”
Leigh Rowan, the founder of Savanti Travel in San Francisco shared these three tips in the article to help you maximize the exchange rate:
- Pay with a credit card with no foreign transaction fees (determine this by calling your bank);
- Withdraw cash abroad, if needed, via an A.T.M. in the local currency (and skip the currency exchanges at airports, which offer poorer rates);
- Always select the local currency on a credit card purchase if offered a choice between it and U.S. dollars.
Tourists coming to the US: a different story
If your main currency is not the USD, you may want to avoid trips to the United States for now. The strong dollar combined with inflation is making travel to the U.S. very expensive.
British tourists are especially hard hit by the combinations of a weak pound and high inflation, Reuters reports.
“Everything is pretty expensive for us,” said Valerie, a 47-year old university administrator speaking with Reuters about her trip to San Francisco. “We’ve been buying food from grocery stores rather than having sit-down meals because when you change it to the British amount, it doesn’t seem worth it. It’s really a lot of money.”
If you’re not from the U.S. but still want the benefit of a lower exchange rate, consider Argentina. The Argentine government created a new, lower, exchange rate for tourists last fall that makes it even cheaper to visit, while hopefully helping reduce robberies, Afar reports. The exchange rate is available to tourists who use credit and debit cards, rather than cash. Argentina hopes this will discourage robberies of tourists and improve the economy.
More Savings with Global Rescue
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