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The Stretch-Your-Dollar Travel Planner

Getaways in twenty countries (including this one), where the beleaguered dollar still has legs.


A boulder-strewn cove in Colombia's Parque National Tayrona.  

When a bottled water in London sets you back $5, an ordinary croque monsieur in Paris runs $15, and a dollar bill in Québec City buys only $1.02 CAN (thanks for nothing, Canada!), the appetite for international travel pretty much disappears. But it doesn’t have to. The Mexican peso has barely budged over the past five years; Belize politely pegs its dollar to ours at a two-to-one ratio; Ecuador now accepts only greenbacks; and even euro-zone countries are affordable, if you take a chance on group travel, or stay away from the major cities. We’ve gathered data on well-priced destinations in both hemispheres, from Argentina to Tunisia to Laos. Our list isn’t comprehensive—we left off Costa Rica, whose plunging currency has been canceled out by exploding tourism—and we kept in some countries, like Morocco, that are still great values in spite of their exchange rates. We asked an expert on European travel to recommend six dollar-friendly regions across the Atlantic. And because the most rewarding places don’t necessarily require a passport or a primer on international monetary policy, we suggest a few domestic getaways as well. A weak dollar shouldn’t mean a weak vacation.

Mexico & Central America
Yes, good exchange rates. But also spewing volcanoes, ultralight air tours, and languid afternoons, just you and your hammock.
North Africa
The ruins! The souks! The windsurfing! Take a breezy, aromatic, culturally rich escape to the top of the continent.
Closer to Home
No customs hassles, no confusing coinage, no pocket translators, no currency calculators. Just bring a debit card and a sense of adventure.
South America
Sip Malbecs in the foothills of Mendoza, walk Incan flagstones in the Bolivian Andes, and pick up some new moves in Medellín.
Southeast Asia
Nowhere else does such postcard perfection (jungle waterfalls, black-sand beaches, Buddha-filled caves) come so cheap.
The Continent, Off the Grid
An expert picks six European jaunts with a high luxury-to-cost ratio.

Contributors: Grace Bastidas, Ondine Cohane, Arianne Cohen, Katie Goldsmith, Adam Graham, Farhad Heydari, Katie Knorovsky, Hugo Lindgren, Rebecca Milzoff, Suzanne Mozes, Janelle Nanos, Kate Nerenberg, Carrie Nieman Culpepper, Tammy Portnoy, Sandra Ramani, David Sax, Lisa Selin Davis, Laura Siciliano-Rosen, Emma Sloley, AnneLise Sorensen, Ethan Todras-Whitehill, and Alexandra Zissu.


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