Best Value Destinations for 2016
January 22, 2016 by jenn
It’s been a few years since Rolf inspired us all to the possibilities by taking off on a full, ’round the world adventure with no baggage. You’ve been dreaming since then, haven’t you? Well, 2016 is your year!
For Americans, especially, the travel is a better value than it has been in ages. Why? The dollar is really, really strong right now, compared to lots of other places. That makes your budget stretch that much further. Places, like Canada, that were previously comparable in cost, are now like getting 40% more for every dollar you spend, and price tags on hotel rooms and meals haven’t leapt up to compensate for the currency drop.
The Euro is still strong and there are value destinations for European travelers this year too. Even Australia and Canada, where the dollars have taken a big slide this year, still stack up very well compared to places like Argentina and Kazakhstan. If you’re willing to get creative, you can take some amazing trips on a shoe string budget this year, or plan an entire RTW itinerary based on the places that your dollar stretches the furthest.
Here are some of the unexpected places that are a great value this year:
There is no better time for Americans Europeans to visit Canada than now. With better than a 40% exchange rate, Canada becomes a first world budget destination. Cheap flights from major European cities to Toronto and Montreal make it almost worth a long weekend getaway.
You read that right: The entire country of Canada is like a 40% off sale.
What does that mean? Here are some examples of average prices, converted:
Average price of Hotel in Vancouver, CA = $123.95 = $85.51 USD
Average price of Hostel in Vancouver, CA = $27.81= $19.85 USD
Average price of Hotel in Montreal, CA = $115.37 = $82.41 USD
Average price of Hostel in Montreal, CA = $22.38 = $15.99 USD
There are more than 10 reasons to visit Canada now. It’s home to some of the best skiing in the world, in the Rocky Mountains, at Banff. See the polar bears, at Churchill, and some of the greatest falls of them all, at Niagara. Feel the old world charm of the country’s European roots in Quebec City, or dive even deeper into the indigenous history of Canada through the world class museums in Vancouver, Toronto (it’s cooler than you think) and Ottawa. Discover indie travel in Canada for just $60 a day!
In August, the Tenge plummeted against the Euro when crude oil prices dropped and the government introduced a free floating exchange policy. Overnight, Kazakstan became a budget destination for Europeans. The KZT has continued to lose value against the EUR and it looks “good” for travel values into 2016.
Kazakhstan isn’t a country that’s on most people’s travel radar. Why? Because it isn’t easy and the tourism industry is emerging. Roughly five times the size of France, but with only about 17 million people, it’s a country of contrasts. The people are highly educated (this is where the Russians blasted their rockets from) and yet the infrastructure is slow to develop. Discover how you can travel independently in Kazakhstan for $50 USD a day.
It’s been a rough year for Nepal, with devastating earthquakes, followed by a barricade that is keeping fuel out of the country along the border with India. Prices for travelers with US Dollars are low, low, low and make this awesome destination even more of a bargain than normal.
This is a great time to show your support by spending your travel dollars into the economy in sustainable ways. Add Nepal to your travel itinerary for 2016.
Burma is back. It has become a hot destination over the past couple of years. As the political situation stabilizes and Burma begins to open its doors to the world, the intrepid are heading there before it becomes a standard stop of the Southeast Asia tourist trail. The Australian dollar is worth more this December than it was at the same time last year, giving travelers one more reason add it to their trips.
Of course the American Dollar is still widely used alongside local currency. If you decide to take greenbacks, make sure that they are as close to pristine condition as possible. If you’re in Southeast Asia already, Cambodia is a good place to stock up, as the ATMs there dish out USD upon request. Clean $1 bills are preferred.
It’s easy enough to travel in Burma for $45 a day, and at that price it will be hard not to fall in love with it. If you’re captivated by Burma, then perhaps you want to look into how to plan an extended trip in Southeast Asia and spend a few months exploring the rest of the region as well.