Is your passport collecting dust? Want to go on a trip but worried about stretching your dollars? Well, what if I told you there are a number of exciting destinations beyond our borders where the greenback is as good as gold?
Mark Orwoll, International Editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, says, depending on where you go, the US dollar can offer a ton of bang for every converted buck.
Here are five countries the dollar goes further.
The local currency in this Central American paradise is pegged two-to-one to the U.S. dollar and the conversion won’t disappoint. A full culinary experience in a mid-price restaurant costs less than 20 dollars per person. And you can find lodging here for as little as $50 a night.
“Belize is so affordable that it’s fast becoming a retirement hotspot. In some circumstances you could live there tax-free and ultimately live in the country for less than $25,000 year,” says Orwoll. Argentina
Head on further south and the U.S. dollar will be met with similar VIP treatment in Argentina. It’s capital Buenos Aires is known as the Paris of South America and luxury-seeking travels can find 4-star hotels for less than $75 a night.
Food in Argentina can be very affordable too. Orwoll recommends heading to Cafayete, a popular town in Argentina's wine region, and you'll find a place there called La Casa de Empanadas where they make more than a dozen varieties of empanadas off the city's main square. “Two people can have dinner there for just $17,” says Orwoll.
Another country where the dollar goes farther is Taiwan. While hotel prices across Asia have jumped by an average 4 percent year-over-year, rooms in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, have fallen 10 percent. The Regent Taipei, one of the top hotels in the city, goes for roughly $250 per night. And you can book a 4-star hotel for as little as $100-$125.
“Tips are generally not expected in Taiwan, either,” says Orwoll. “At better hotels, you might give the bellhop a dollar per bag, but otherwise, taxi drivers don't expect tips, and restaurants add a small service fee in lieu of a tip, so that's a nice way to save some money.”
While the economy is going through a rough patch, tourism remains strong in Greece. In Athens, hotel rates have dropped 15 percent since last year. For example, at the Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort, the Taste of Athens Package costs less than $200 a night. It comes with daily breakfast, free tickets to ancient sites, and free shuttle service to and from the hotel.
Poland could be Europe’s best-kept budgeting secret. The country has some of the cheapest five-star hotels in the world and travel rates are expected to fall 20 percent this summer after the Euro Cup soccer finals.
And we’d love to hear from you. What are your travel plans this year, and how do you plan to save?
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