Where You Should Travel While the Dollar Is Strong

Patrick Surry - Jan. 31, 2016

Summary

  • This year, the US dollar buys about 20% more foreign currency in many countries

  • In many of these countries, flight prices from the US have also dropped due to competition with foreign air carriers as well as cheaper oil

  •  The top value is Russia where the dollar buys twice as many rubles as last year, and flight prices have dropped almost 25%. Round trip airfare from New York to Moscow can be had for under $400. Pack your warm clothes and soak up the culture (and the vodka)

  • If visiting Russia isn’t on your bucket list, the entire Euro area is almost 20% cheaper this year

  • Other countries in Europe that maintain their own currencies that offer a great value this year include Sweden, Norway, and Iceland

Analysis

Traveling to a foreign country usually involves the hassle of changing your hard-earned dollars into a different currency, and constantly having to “do the math” when making purchases abroad. In the past year or so, the dollar has been having a great run against many international currencies, so there are some great places you can visit at a significant saving.

Between Feb 1, 2014 and Feb 1, 2015, the US dollar bought almost 9% more of the median international currency.  In the top quarter of countries, your dollar will stretch 19% farther. In addition, flight prices have dropped in many of these markets due to competition from foreign carriers as well as cheaper oil.

Table 1 shows some of the best options to explore if you’re looking for a great deal and would like to stretch the value of your dollar.  

Country Currency with annual change in value per $ Good flight price from the US with annual change Recent flight deal
Russia Ruble RUB -50% $675 -22% New York - Moscow $382
Sweden Krona SEK -21% $823 -2% New York - Stockholm $613
Norway

Krone NOK -19% $824 0% New York - Oslo $596
Madagascar Ariary MGA -18% $2079 -7% New York - Antananarivo $1528
Colombia Peso COP -17% $498 -1% Ft. Lauderdale - Rio Negro $253
Czech Rep. Koruna CZK -17% $1017 6% New York - Prague $700
Euro Area Euro EUR -16% $949 3% New York - Milano $657
Morocco Dirham MAD -13% $995 3% New York - Marrakech $720
Iceland Krona ISK -13% $772 -2% Baltimore - Keflavik $647
Japan Yen JPY -13% $1050 -7% Honolulu - Tokyo $645

Table 1: Foreign countries where the US dollar has appreciated most over the last year showing typical flight prices from the US and a recent great deal for each.

Methodology

The data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution Service (GDS) data sources which includes billions of trips per day. Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases. We used national currency data from ISO 4217 and analyzed year over year exchange rate data from https://openexchangerates.org/.

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