Not everyone keeps up with the financial markets or the global economic environment, I get it! I try to keep up with the stock market but I end up with a whiplash week in, week out. Investors are more emotional than a two year old baby! However, there are two things that make this year stand out. I’m sure that by now you know that gas is cheap these days. No need to even mention it, I know you are enjoying all those savings at the pump. But what I really want to talk about is the strong US dollar rally against many foreign currencies and what that means for your travel budget. If you’re like me and are planning to travel abroad this year, then your dollar is going to stretch a lot more, a L O T more! Its like going to your favorite clothes store and finding out they have a big sale storewide! In this case, your savings are practically worldwide.
View from Hotel Suisse in the French Riviera, Nice, France
Europe is about 30% cheaper, with the EURUSD pair at 10 year lows. This would be my first choice and where I would recommend you to go. Lots of countries to visit within the Eurozone, all unique and excellent choices, especially if you are not a seasoned traveler and are looking for the comfort that developed countries offer. Plus, you get to enjoy the sightseeing, and the latest food trends.
Sushi Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan
For those of you that love the concrete jungle and asian food, I highly, highly recommend Tokyo, Japan. When my wife and I went, the USDJPY pair was 80:1. These days, its around 120:1. That’s 33% cheaper! Tokyo is clean, has awesome food, the people are very polite and will go out of their way to help you out. Fashion is taken to a whole new level, there’s definitely some anime influence in the way people dress. If it happens to be your birthday while you’re eating out at a restaurant, then you’re in luck! Everyone get’s into it you and you will definitely feel special!
View of the Sydney Opera House from the Harbour Bridge, Australia
Another great choice, but a very long flight, is the land down under, in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is crazy expensive, so the recent 20% year over year FX depreciation might help soften the blow a bit. Go to the Rocks by the Opera House and have a drink just like a scene in 007. And please, dress up, you want to look stylish in this part of town!
And finally, for those more adventurous, go try out Russia or Ukraine. Remember that scene from the movie Euro Trip? When they got to Bratislava with only nickels and dimes in their pockets and partied like rock stars at the club drinking Absinthe? Well, its not that cheap, but you get the point!
So what’s your choice? Let me know what big plans you have for this year, travel safe!