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Maximizing value when the dollar is weak

The news came yesterday, in an email from a stunned coworker: "I was playing around on XE.com and it looks like the American dollar now is actually weaker than the Canadian dollar."

And it's true. We've talked in the recent past about the dismal dollar-to-euro conversion rates, but when Canadian currency overtakes the U.S. dollar, you know things are getting bad.

However, there are still destinations where the dollar is strong. A few websites recently have pulled together lists of such places:

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Frommers.com's "Where Does the Dollar Do Best?" is a great recurring series that tracks which destinations currently give you the most for your money. The monthly column estimates potential travel costs at nine destinations, tracking items such as a night at a local hotel, bus fares, movie ticket prices, and the average cost of a cup of coffee, among others. Not limited to international locations, this series also shows you where you can travel affordably stateside.

World travel blogger foXnoMad has tracked "The Best Places to Travel on a Weak Dollar," and currently suggests China, Morocco, and Venezuela as great value destinations.

IndependentTraveler.com has a good variety of resources for money management while traveling abroad, including articles on getting the best exchange rate, using ATMs overseas, and credit card strategies.

And don't forget good old XE.com, which allows you to check exchanges rates for pretty much every currency under the sun. Even while you're abroad it's an easy and free way to track conversion rates to wherever you're going next.

(Editor's Note: SmarterTravel.com is published by Smarter Travel Media LLC, a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, which also owns IndependentTraveler.com.)

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