9 Dream Destinations Where the Dollar is Strong
But for the rest of us, it is much easier to take advantage of the power of the U.S. dollar by vacationing in places with weaker currencies.
Here are nine places where you can stretch your dollar for an unforgettable vacation:
Yet Argentina remains a great deal for U.S. travelers, especially outside of Buenos Aires, where the prices are most affected. You can still eat a delicious grain-fed steak dinner with a bottle of Malbec wine for under $20 per person, a fraction of what you'd pay in the United States.
[InvestingAnswers feature: How I Prepared for a Year of Travel, Part 1: Saving]
2. Czech Republic
While the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, it has yet to adopt the euro, instead they still use the Czech koruna. That is good news for American travelers, as the dollar is much stronger against the koruna than the euro.
It's a great time to visit Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe where you can still drink some of the best draught beer in the world for under $2 a pint and stay in a 4-star hotel for under $135 a night.
There has never been a better time for Americans to visit Iceland than now. Not only has tourism suffered since the 2010 volcanic eruption, but with a debt crisis of their own, the Icelandic krona has suffered against the U.S. Dollar.
This all means you can lounge away the day at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa for around $40 or get an hour-long massage for $70.
While Iceland is still one of the more expensive destinations on this list, it is a beautiful location at a great price.
[InvestingAnswers feature: How I Prepared for a Year of Travel, Part 2: Working Overseas]
India has captivated visitors for years and plane fares aside, has always been one of the most affordable places to travel in the world. At the end of 2011, the dollar hit a 5-year high against the Indian rupee and while it fell back a bit at the beginning of the 2012, the dollar remains strong in India.
India is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, but you can still get four-star hotels in Mumbai for under $125 per night and hire a driver to take you out of the city to explore the Taj Mahal and other treasures for under $50 per day.
The vast animal migration through the Maasai Mara Reserve and the exotic beauty of the African plains has always drawn tourists to Kenya. However, safety has been a concern in recent years and terrorist groups remaining active in the country prompting the State Department to issue a travel warning.
Yet from a financial standpoint, Kenya is a great value. The dollar hit a five-year high against the Kenyan shilling in October 2011 and remains strong. You can get a budget, three-day camping safari with food, park fees and transportation for $560 per person.
Now a democratic republic with much of the political instability in the rear view mirror, Nicaragua is emerging as a major tourist destination and retirement destination.
Retirees get serious bang for their buck in Nicaragua. The dollar has been on a constant upward trend against the Nicaraguan cordoba oro, making it one of the most affordable destinations in Latin America.
You can buy a two-bedroom home in Tola or Popoyo steps from the beach for under $160,000 or a 2,000 square foot, three-bedroom ocean view home in San Juan del Sur for under $200,000.
Tourists can stay in Nicaragua’s luxury hotels for less than $200 a night.
Even with dazzling Black Sea resorts, medieval castles, churches and towns and the majestic Carpathian Mountains, Romania is one of the most overlooked countries in Europe.
While Romania is a European Union member, they have yet to adopt the euro and still use the Romanian leu. That fact makes it one of the best deals in Europe, as the dollar has been much stronger against the leu than the Euro. Travelers can stay in a replica of Dracula's castle from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel for $75 per night and take advantage of great deals in Transylvania and beyond.
The mystique and modernism of Istanbul make it one of the most inspiring and popular cities in the world for tourists. Outside of the big city, ancient ruins, Mediterranean and Aegean resorts take center stage for travelers looking for history or relaxation.
The prices in Turkey are also enticing and with the value of the dollar still strong versus the Turkish lira after highs at the end of 2011, Turkey is a great value. In fact, travelers can land an all-inclusive five-star spa hotel in the historic Mediterranean city of Antalya for under $115 per night with great seafood meals for under $10 per person.
The dollar has steadily gained value against the Vietnamese dong for the past five years. Coupled with how inexpensive Vietnam already is, this currency difference makes Vietnam one of the most affordable destinations in the world.
However, Vietnam is more than just cheap. It's a fascinating country of busy cities, pastoral countryside and plenty of adventure. For around $20 per night you can nab a clean, modern hotel in the main tourist area of Saigon or get a full pedicure and manicure for under $5.
The Investing Answer: Booking a dream vacation can be a creative way to make the dollar work in your favor. You can get incredible value and still enjoy beaches, castles and even safaris. If that's not enough to inspire you to book a trip, remember that the memories you make will truly be priceless.