American travelers hoping to cash in on the strong U.S. dollar will find excellent value abroad in 2017. With the greenback at a 14-year high, your dollar will take you places you only dreamed of in years past. Here are the 10 countries where your dollar goes furthest in 2017.
After Brexit last year, the British pound hit a 31-year low against the U.S. dollar when it plummeted to $1.21, and the currency is still in a slump. A boost in airline routes and a drop in airfares helped the U.K. secure a spot on Travelzoo’s list of 2017 Wow Deal Destinations, and according to the list a luxury five-star London hotel now costs 24 percent less than it did two years ago.
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If you’ve ever dreamed of soaking in the thermal wonders of Budapest, the City of Baths, this is an affordable year to do it. Global Business Travel Association’s 2017 Global Travel Price Outlook projects a room rate drop of 1.6 percent in Hungary and 2.4 percent in Eastern Europe. Food is a bargain in Hungary right now, too: A meal for two at an average restaurant costs around $19 at current exchange rates. And, Hungary’s currency is undervalued by 39.6 percent compared with the U.S. dollar. That means everything in the country is essentially 40 percent off.
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Greece’s financial recovery continues to lag, and that’s keeping prices lower than in other Western European countries. There are plenty of free ancient sites to visit throughout the country, and food stalls and small cafeterias offer cheap eats. An average day in Athens costs U.S. travelers just $67, according to some calculations.
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With the Russian ruble undervalued by 57.5 percent compared to the U.S. dollar, your greenback stretches far enough for you to afford an epic Russian experience. When you apply The Economist magazine’s 2017 currency comparison index savings percentage to all of your travel expenses, you’ll see great value across the board.
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Americans haven’t seen exchange rates against the Chinese yuan this strong since 2008. The 2017 Big Mac Index shows the currency is undervalued by 44.1 percent. That’s a significant exchange-rate savings for Americans who’ve waited patiently for a more affordable time to see the Great Wall.
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The Japanese yen continues to slide against the resurgent U.S. dollar, at last putting the Asian country within reach for many American travelers. As of January, the yen was undervalued by 35.6 percent versus the comparatively strong U.S. dollar in The Economist‘s 2017 Big Mac Index.
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For travelers eyeing a carefree all-inclusive trip on the beach, this is the year to find the deal thanks to a strong U.S. dollar. Mexico, facing a new world in which NAFTA tenets are no longer hallowed, is watching its currency lose ground when it’s already undervalued by 55.9 percent against the U.S. dollar.
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The U.S. dollar hasn’t been this strong against the Peruvian sol in 10 years, making 2017 the year for that Machu Picchu dream trip. Travelzoo included Peru on its 2017 Wow Deal Destinations list and highlighted the recent trend of East Coast travelers making a weekend getaway of Machu Picchu due, in part, to the shared time zone and time-saving red-eye flights.
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Of the countries listed here, you’ll likely get the most bang for your buck in Malaysia. The currency of this Southeast Asian beach destination is undervalued by a whopping 64.6 percent, according to some estimates. A three-day trip for two will run about $627, including meals, taxis, tours, and hotel. Backpackers can swing a trip for even less.
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After losing 25 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in 2015, South Africa’s currency made gains last year … but is still undervalued. The South African rand weighs in at 62.7 percent less value than the U.S. dollar. Cape Town ranked third on TripAdvisor’s latest TripIndex, which ranks the 10 least expensive international cities based on the average cost of a three-day summer trip for two.
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