Many parts of the world have long been too costly for mere mortal men. But, a recent shake-up in the global economy has opened up many previously inaccessible destinations. Here are four vacation-worthy countries with the best exchange rates for Americans traveling in 2017.
If there’s one destination on almost every traveler’s bucket list top five, it’s almost surely New Zealand. The landscape of this real-life Middle Earth is vast, rugged, and impossibly beautiful. There’s a reason it’s among the world’s most Instagrammed destinations. Outdoor- and nature-loving travelers needn’t look further than Queenstown which likely offers more adventure opportunities per square mile than anywhere on earth. That the exchange rate between the New Zealand and US dollars is at near five-year lows doesn’t hurt.
Check out: Auckland is routinely ranked one of the most livable cities in the world. With one visit, you’re likely never to want to leave.
Despite what the mainstream news has been reporting in the last few years, Mexico remains quite safe overall. The country’s ongoing, drug-related crimes largely target gang members, not tourists. But, the fact that many would-be travelers to Mexico continue to be scared off by such reports, plus an exchange rate that’s the best it’s been in a long, long time make it one of the best bets for travelers seeking a budget-friendly warm-weather getaway.
Check out: The country is best-known for its stunning beaches. But, Mexico City is also one of the world’s fastest rising stars in the culinary world.
In general, Europe is quite cheap right now. Relatively speaking, Portugal has long been one of the most affordable destinations on the continent. Now, more than ever, it’s a hotspot for travelers of all stripes. The country boasts some of the most beautiful and rugged coastlines, the beaches are world-class, and it’s fast become ground zero for some of the world’s most brash designers and architects. And did we mention the wine?
Check out: Lisbon, which is one of the most underrated cities in all of Europe.
South Africa has long been a favorite among The Manual staff. While many destinations claim to have “something for everyone,” South Africa is the rare breed that actually delivers. Roundtrip airfare from the U.S. can be pricey, although the government-owned South African Airways spends considerable effort to lure American travelers and great deals can be found. Plus, once in-country, travelers can enjoy an exchange rate that’s near the best in a decade.
Check out: Cape Town is the obvious choice for good reason. Especially for medium-term travelers with two weeks or less, it’s easy to shark dive, tour wine country, experience a safari, and explore Africa’s most cosmopolitan city — all in just a few days.
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