British, European Community and Japanese tourists continue to flock to the United States to enjoy the comparative strength of their currencies against a weak American dollar. That doesn't mean the American traveler can't take part in similar exchange rate benefits. Where to go? We take a look at where your dollar can still get a reasonable travel deal and be put to good use boosting tourism in a spots off the beaten track.
In Latin America, the dollar remains strong in certain enclaves. The downturn in the Argentinean economy makes Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan city filled with beautiful, fashionable sexy people who speak more than a dollop of English, a great vacation hot spot for the dollar conscious globe hopper. While Buenos Aires might still be the Paris of South America, Argentina also has an upscale beach community that some travelers liken to New York's Hamptons called Mar del Plata, some 400 miles East of Buenos Aires on the Atlantic Ocean. Nearby Brazil is still viable as a more-bang-for-your-buck getaway as well, with the $1 currently netting you 2.69 Reais.
Mexico, recently saddled by unemployment and unstable NAFTA trade laws that hinder economic growth, is also a favorable destination for U.S. travelers looking to take advantage of the exchange rate. Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Cancun and Mexico City are seeing a serious up-tick in tourism from the United States and other global departure travelers making off even better because of the devalued Peso.
Further south on the trail to Central and South American, smaller and lesser-developed countries such as Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua and Paraguay are luring American tourists with excellent deals taking advantage of their immature currency and national debts. Those countries, some of which were saddled with revolutionary conflict in the late 70s and early 80s, offer long vacations that include full-country tours, rental cars and fairly luxurious accommodations.
On the other side of the world, the dollar is always fixed in Hong Kong, meaning you can enjoy the same type of deals on Chinese New Year's Banquets, hand-made shirts and leisure suits at your favorite Hong Kong tailor, and deals on rubies and gems at the Kowloon's best jewelers. The dollar has also held steady in India, Bali, mainland China and business heavy Taiwan. Of course, the recent tsunami has hurt the South Asian economy, but sending them charity donations will impact the standing of the American dollar in hard hit areas.
On the great continent of Africa, the dollar is holding fine in mystical Egypt and Morocco, but taking a beating in the normally strong economy of South Africa. Kenya, whose government has recently quelled certain movements that hurt the country's excellent tourist standing, is another place the dollar fares well.
Don't forget Down Under. Australians love our American dollars. While you may not get the bang for your buck you get in Latin America countries, not many people come back from Sydney complaining about the exchange rate.
And, finally, don't forget that you can enjoy your days off traveling domestically here at home. Pick a point on the US map where you've never been and plan a trip; that way you won't have to bother with exchanging money at all.
Where are you traveling to stretch your dollars? Tell us on our Message Boards today.