How to stretch your dollar further this summer

The dollar has strengthened this year compared to many countries worldwide, meaning your travel budget can get you further than in previous years!

Hayley Berg - Jun. 9, 2022

Summary

The dollar has strengthened this year compared to many countries worldwide, meaning your travel budget can get you further than in previous years! 

  • Top destinations for budget savvy international travelers this year will be Chile and Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway and Denmark), where your dollars are worth more and airfare is lower than 2019 prices. 

  • Today, one dollar can purchase ~0.94 Euros marking one of a handful of times in the last 20 years the Euro and Dollar have been close to parity.  For travelers to Europe this means your budget will stretch 15% further than last summer and 6% further than at this time in 2019! 

  • With record high domestic airfare this summer, travelers can trade in domestic destinations for incredible international trips at the same price, or less. Travel to Iceland, Dublin, Lisbon or Stockholm for the same or just $50 more than a round trip flight to Hawaii!

 Quick Tips to stretch your dollar further

  • Notify your bank and credit card companies before leaving the country to ensure you’ll have access to your funds, and understand any fees associated with using your cards or an ATM abroad.

  • Plan ahead! Many banks will allow you to order local currency before a trip, and will usually offer a better exchange rate than an airport cash exchange service and won’t charge additional fees you might incur using ATMs abroad.

  • When possible, pay in the local currency (including when you use your credit card!) when making purchases abroad to ensure you’re getting the best exchange rate and price.

  • Stay off the beaten path! Tourist heavy cities and towns are likely to have inflated prices for food, accommodations and more. Head somewhere more local, off the beaten path, to find restaurants and shops offering lower prices.


With domestic airfare rising by 30% compared to 2019, surging gas prices and inflation concerns, Americans are looking for ways to stretch their travel budget further this summer. Looking to take an epic international vacation this year without breaking the bank? Hopper has rounded up the best destinations to make your travel budget go further this summer. 

Stretch your dollar further around the world

The dollar has strengthened this year compared to many countries worldwide, meaning your travel budget can get you further than in previous years! Top destinations for budget savvy travelers this year will be Chile and Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway and Denmark), where your dollars are worth more and airfare is lower than 2019 prices. 

For those looking to explore some of the cultural capitals of Europe, experience the northern lights or explore fjords carved over the course of 2.5+ million years, Scandinavia is a budget friendly region this summer. Airfare to Sweden, Denmark and Norway is lower than 2019 levels and the dollar has appreciated >15% in each country in the last year, making Scandinavia a top budget friendly destination this year.

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10 countries where your dollar will go further this summer

Travelers looking to explore South America are in luck! The dollar has appreciated by 20% in Chile and by 25% in Argentina, meaning trips to Buenos Aires, Santiago, Patagonia and more will be even more affordable when you’re in-country.

Europe for budget savvy travelers 

The dollar has strengthened relative to the euro over the last 12 months, which means travelers can stretch their dollar further on trips to Europe this summer. Today, one dollar can purchase ~0.94 Euros marking one of a handful of times in the last 20 years the Euro and Dollar have been close to parity. For travelers this means dollars will stretch 15% further than last summer and 6% further than at this time in 2019!

How

Inflation across the Eurozone, energy insecurity as a result of the war in Ukraine and slower export volume to regions in Asia where lockdowns have persisted have all weakened the Euro relative to the US Dollar this year. Simultaneously, global financial slow downs and concerns about recession have made the US more attractive to investors, further propping up the dollar compared to the Euro.

In addition to a stronger dollar, airfares this year can make Europe more attractive to American travelers when compared to other US destinations. Airfare to Europe has risen by just 13%, compared to a 30% increase in domestic airfare over the same period. 

Airfare
Based on the latest week of airfare data ending May 31st 2022 compared to the same week in 2019.

Flexible travelers should head to Croatia, Portugal, Ireland or Greece to make the most of low airfares this year. Airfare to Portugal has dropped 11% compared to 2019, while airfare to Croatia has dropped 8.4% over the same period. Visiting destinations in Ireland and Greece will cost travelers about the same they paid for the same trips in 2019, with airfare increases below 1%.

Where
Based on the latest week of airfare data ending May 31st 2022 compared to the same week in 2019.

Airfare to Iceland will cost less this year than a round trip flight to Hawaii, and travelers can visit Dublin, Lisbon, or Stockholm for just $50 to $100 more!

Where

Travelers looking to fly to Europe this summer should plan to fly in late August, or wait for the low prices offered during the shoulder season from September through October. With summer vacations over and Europeans back to work in September, demand typically drops during this period, resulting in lower airfares. Americans can expect to pay as much as 30% less than peak June prices if they plan to vacation in Europe in September or October. 

Destination swaps to stretch your travel budget further

Though Europe is an attractive destination for summer, airfares are still on average $300-$400 higher than domestic fares, making trips across the Atlantic out of budget for many Americans. For travelers on a tighter budget, swapping destinations is one of the best ways to stretch your travel dollars even further!

Airfare to destinations in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean has not risen as rapidly as domestic airfare, resulting in attractive prices to top destinations in and around the Gulf of Mexico. 

Airfare
Based on the latest week of airfare data ending May 31st 2022 compared to the same week in 2019.

With domestic airfare soaring, savvy travelers can plan vacations to bucket list destinations like Cozumel, the Bahamas and more for the same price, or less, than some popular domestic destinations. Check out these swaps to make the most of your travel budget!

Domestic

Quick tips for big savings

  • Notify your bank and credit card companies before leaving the country to ensure you’ll have access to your funds, and understand any fees associated with using your cards or an ATM abroad.

  • Plan ahead! Many banks will allow you to order local currency before a trip, and will usually offer a better exchange rate than an airport cash exchange service and won’t charge additional fees you might incur using ATMs abroad.

  • When possible, pay in the local currency (including when you use your credit card!) when making purchases abroad to ensure you’re getting the best exchange rate and price.

  • Stay off the beaten path! Tourist heavy cities and towns are likely to have inflated prices for food, accommodations and more. Head somewhere more local, off the beaten path, to find restaurants and shops offering lower prices.

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