NEW YORK, N.Y. – It’s peak summer travel season and many Americans are looking to scratch destinations off their bucket lists. Some destinations can give travelers added value this season due to favorable exchange rates. Political and economic climates have given the U.S. dollar a strong advantage in several countries this year, making certain destinations more affordable than they typically are. RewardExpert - a free service that helps users take full advantage of credit card and travel rewards - released a report ranking Destinations Where Your Dollar Takes You Further in 2018.
The report analyzes ten countries where the dollar has increased in value, and ten countries where the U.S. dollar exchange rate is unfavorable this summer travel season. RewardExpert additionally evaluates the average expenses a traveler may incur in each destination and provides an overall affordability ranking of all twenty of the examined destinations.
“Some countries on our list, like Switzerland, are by no means considered affordable overall,” says RewardExpert co-founder Vlad Tyschuk. “However, if you’ve had your heart set on visiting the gorgeous Swiss Alps while enjoying balmy weather, this summer may be a great chance to cross this destination off your list.”
Key findings from RewardExpert’s analysis include:
- Turkey is the top destination where Americans can get the most bang out of their travel buck. In the last year, no currency has devalued more than the Turkish Lira. The U.S. dollar is worth 28.39 percent more this year than it was last year.
- On the other end, Thailand is the destination where the U.S. dollar is particularly weak this season. The value of the dollar has plummeted against the Thai Baht from mid-2017 to mid-2018 on the strength of Thailand’s export economy and steady tourism revenues, resulting in its worth being 5.85 percent less than it was this time last year.
- If overall affordability is your concern regardless of exchange rates, Nepal is a great destination to consider this summer. Aside from the cost of airfare - which can be considerably mitigated by taking advantage of credit card rewards - expenses in Nepal are dirt cheap. Plus, the dollar is worth 5.1 percent more in Nepalese Rupees.
- Switzerland is the most costly destination in terms of expenses. While exchange rates work in favor of the American traveler this summer, with the dollar increasing in value against the Franc by 1.65 percent over the course of the last year, costs of goods and services in Switzerland are the highest out of all twenty countries on the list.
“Certain destinations will always be on the pricier end,” says Tyschuk, “which is why savvy travelers know to seize the opportunity and visit these countries when their dollar will stretch further. Conversely, some destinations give travelers less value for their dollar; hold off on visiting these countries to save up for a more budget-friendly vacation down the road.”