Need a vacation from inflation? Plan a trip to one of these affordable destinations where the U.S. dollar stretches significantly further than it does at home. Insurance site HelloSafe analyzed the spending power of the U.S. dollar around the world using The Big Mac Index. The Big Mac Index is a method of comparing currencies that was invented in 1986 by The Economist.
The Big Mac Index uses a standardized product (McDonald’s Big Mac hamburger) that is available in almost every country in the world. “The idea of the Big Mac Index was to give an idea of each country’s power purchase parity,” says HelloSafe. “The Big Mac hamburger is among the world’s products the most widely distributed and can, therefore, serve as a reference. Same product, same brand, but different price.”
Editor’s Note: Russia and Ukraine respectively ranked as the number one and number six destinations where the U.S. dollar goes furthest in 2022, however, we did not include them in this list as they are not options for tourists at this time given the ongoing war.
Big Mac Price: $1.85
One U.S. dollar can be exchanged for approximately 16.77 Turkish Lira, meaning a vacation to Istanbul or Cappadocia can be quite affordable. There are great deals on flights from the U.S. to Turkey at the moment, with fares under $500 from New York City and even Los Angeles.
Combined with Istanbul’s cheap hotel prices (you can find a 4-star hotel for less than $50 a night), Turkey is a dream destination for the budget traveler.
Big Mac Price: $2.35
Made up of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia offers plenty of variety for the adventurous vacationer. Head to Sulawesi for pristine white beaches and colorful dives, or Bali for a party scene. Flights to get to this far-flung destination will be pricey, but low on-the-ground costs will make up for it.
This famously affordable vacation spot offers 4-star hotels for as low as $12 per night, so why not stay awhile?
Big Mac Price: $2.38
Diverse Malaysia has a destination that will suit every type of traveler. See skyscrapers in glittering Kuala Lumpur and then head to the jungles of Peninsular Malaysia in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the elusive Malayan Tiger.
You’ll be able to sample Malaysia’s globally influenced cuisine without breaking the bank, as a meal in a restaurant generally costs less than $10. Hotels are equally cheap, with a night in a 4-star hotel available for under $20.
Big Mac Price: $2.39
Romania has been an under-the-radar destination for a while, but the secret is out—the country’s stunning castles, gorgeous mountain hiking trails, and affordability draws a steady stream of tourists looking for European charm without the high prices and crowds.
If you can be flexible with dates, this is another destination on the list that will be cheap to fly to as well. When you arrive, a 4-star hotel in Romania’s vibrant capital city, Bucharest, can be found for only about $50.
Big Mac Price: $2.54
With 4-star hotels available for $65 a night, and a meal costing less than $3, India has been drawing budget travelers for decades. One USD is equivalent to approximately 77 Indian Rupees, putting the currency conversion squarely in your favor. From busy Mumbai to chilled out Goa, there are so many different regions to explore in India. Fortunately, domestic transportation is also cheap, whether you choose to take the train or fly.
Big Mac Price: $2.57
Splurge on a luxury safari in Kruger National Park or have a cool and cheap urban getaway in Cape Town—South Africa can cater to every budget. With a big focus on outdoor activities and nature, you can spend your vacation days doing things that won’t cost you a penny, like a hike up iconic Table Mountain. After, a celebratory Castle Lager will only set you back $2.
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