Let’s be real for a minute: The U.S. dollar isn’t at its best right now. But travel is becoming more accessible than ever, from the proliferation of design-forward budget hotels to low-cost airlines adding new routes between the United States and such destinations as Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong. So although the beloved greenback is in a bit of a slump, that doesn’t mean you can’t travel. Here are some sweet spots to spend your hard-earned cash.
The euro may be gaining strength against the dollar, but the exchange between the two currencies is still better now that it was 10—or even four—years ago, so Europe shouldn’t be off the table when planning your 2018 trips. The key is to stay off the beaten path. Head to Athens to experience its culinary revival by eating where the locals do. Abscond not to Mykonos but to lesser-trafficked islands like Naxos or Paros. Pro tip: Travel during the shoulder seasons, such as spring through early June or in September. The temps will still be manageable but you’ll miss the summer crowds.
After the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last year, the island has struggled to get back on its feet. But the Puerto Rico Tourism Company wants to make sure travelers know that parts of the island are open for business, including Old San Juan. This is a place where your dollars will go far in a number of ways—in terms of value, sure, but mostly it’s about helping a community and an economy continue to recover. There are also opportunities to participate in meaningful travel through the tourism board by volunteering in Rebuild Days.
Le Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech earned a lot of buzz last fall as one of the most anticipated museum openings in Africa, even landing on Architectural Digest’s list of Most Influential Buildings of 2017. But that’s not the only reason to make your way to Morocco this year. The dirham’s rate is still very favorable for U.S. travelers, despite the recent shift to a flexible exchange rate system. Now might be the time to go shoe shopping in Marrakech, sleep under the stars in the Sahara, or meet some of the locals of the medina.
Oh, Canada! Our friendly neighbor to the north recently celebrated its 150th birthday, and remains an underrated vacation destination for many of its Yankee brethren, despite the nifty currency exchange. But the country is beautiful and big—3.5 million square miles—rife with mountains, metropolitan cities, and some stellar spots to stargaze! Whether you want to surf or meet the people preserving the culture of Haida Gwaii, Canada has got something new for you in every season.
This Southeast Asian country has been on the backpackers route for some time, in part because expenses are low once you have made the long-haul flight. A stay in one of Hanoi’s most luxe hotels can set you back as little as $100, and a taste of one of the country’s most famous dishes runs around $15. Pair those with some stellar beach views or architectural delights, and you’re set for a great trip.
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Sara Button Sara Button is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience.