The value of the dollar is constantly fluctuating, especially in today's shifting economic and political climate. And these constant changes can cause stress for Americans taking vacations abroad.
To help navigate the tricky world of travel and currencies, RewardExpert, a free service dedicated to helping users get the most bang out of their buck, has identified 10 summer vacation destinations where your dollar takes you further — as well as the 10 spots you may want to avoid (at least, for the time being).
The website took into account a variety of factors that affect the exchange rate (the ratio that determines what your dollar is worth), and then compared exchange rates from this year and last year to find out where in the world you can buy more for less — and vice versa. RewardExpert considered all the things you buy when spending time abroad: drinks and desserts, day trips and hotels, transit and flights… the list goes on!
The No. 1 place to take the leap for a trip abroad? It's Argentina, where the dollar gets you way more pesos this year than in years past. That means more cash to explore the country’s diverse landscapes, from the Andes Mountains to coastal beaches, as well as the bustling city of Buenos Aires.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom took the No. 2 spot. Brexit and other factors are making the U.K. more affordable than before. It’s still not a bargain destination, but if you’ve always dreamed of seeing Buckingham Palace, riding the London Eye or soaking in the wonder of Stonehenge, now’s the time!
Sweden, Canada, Japan and Norway also all made the list for best value. Take the exchange rates as an invitation to indulge in the trip of a lifetime, and your wallet will thank you for choosing wisely.
Here’s the complete list of your best abroad opportunities:
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
On the other extreme, Iceland is the No. 1 place to avoid for a budget-conscious vacation. The beautiful, isolated island nation should perhaps remain just an idyllic image for a few years longer. Dinner and drinks at a midtier restaurant there could set you back upwards of $140. That doesn’t leave much room for dessert! The breathtaking landscape may not be worth a jaw-dropping bill.
Oddly, Poland also made the list even though RewardExpert confirmed that Poland is one of the cheapest vacation spots. Whether you’re interested in wandering through Warsaw, exploring national parks or absorbing the country’s history, it’s all inexpensive in Poland. But compared with last year, the dollar lost value, earning it a place in RewardExpert’s warning zone. Still, dinner and drinks in Poland, even at the nicest restaurants, won’t cost you more than $30!
Here’s the complete list of where your dollar won’t stretch very much:
- South Africa
- South Korea
- New Zealand
With all these numbers, shifts and currencies, one finding is clear: The best option for traveling abroad that won't take too much from your pocket is Mexico. Though it made the high-value list at No. 7, it ranks No. 1 under a less time-sensitive view. Our southern neighbor is also the best spot for cheap Airbnb listings and inexpensive shopping. Just a short trip away, Mexico may be the perfect spot for the budget-conscious traveler.