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20 Best Places To Visit Where the American Dollar Is Strong

The US dollar will go a lot farther in many places around the world than it does here at home. From the sunny beaches in Mexico to European gems like Poland and hotspots in South America and Asia, you’re spoiled for choice with places that are wallet-friendly. If you’re looking for a real travel bargain, consider one of these destinations where your dollar will really go a long way.

Vietnam Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Credit: Phu Quoc, Vietnam by bigstock.com


Vietnam, and much of Southeast Asia, is renowned as one of the world’s best travel bargains. You can easily get by on under $20 a day, including lodging, food, and attractions. There’s a long list of exciting cities to explore, and when hunger pangs hit, you can look forward to dining on a delicious bowl of Pho noodles for less than a dollar. And, the amazing cheap street food options are practically endless. Take advantage of the strong dollar by hiring a local outfitter to hike the mountains of the Central Highlands, or embark on an unforgettable river cruise. Of course, you can always enjoy lounging on the picture-perfect beaches of Phu Quoc Island for free.

Mexico The Hotel Zone district of Cancun, Mexico
Credit: The Hotel Zone district of Cancun, Mexico by © Jonathan Ross | Dreamstime.com


There’s really never a bad time to visit Mexico, the dollar traditionally goes a long way here. You can save money while enjoying idyllic beaches, world-class spas, and trendy nightclubs. With the dollar so strong, you might even be able to afford to stay at a hotel where five-star dining, infinity pools, and private butlers are considered standard amenities too. If ancient ruins and beautiful stretches of sand are your thing, head to Tulum for a fascinating and relaxing escape. Mexico City, the capital, is becoming increasingly popular too, with its culinary scene that combines tradition with innovation, along with a wealth of museums and a forward-looking art scene. There is a long list of destinations in Mexico considered budget-friendly.

Thailand Koh Samui, Thailand
Credit: Koh Samui, Thailand by Bigstock.com


One of the world’s most budget-friendly countries, Thailand has been a backpacker haven for decades, and today it’s still cheaper than ever with its alluring island destinations. Chiang Mai is the best bargain of all, where travelers can get by on less than $19 a day. This is also a place nicknamed the “land of smiles,” which means you’ll not only get to experience beautiful exotic scenery, but you’ll be able to do it among some of the friendliest, most welcoming people in the world.

Chile Torres del Paine National Park
Credit: Torres del Paine National Park by bigstock.com


An outstanding Latin America bargain, you can take advantage of the opportunity to splurge on excursions in Chile, visiting bucket list-worthy places like Patagonia or the Atacama Desert. Torres Del Paine in Patagonia is lush with forests, glistening lakes, and a maze of fjords and inlets, while the Atacama Desert is the world’s driest non-polar desert that’s home to Calle de la Luna, or “Valley of the Moon,” made up of giant sand dunes and stone formations that mimic the surface of the moon. In the colorful seaside village of Valparaiso, you can explore Bohemian neighborhoods, 19-century mansions, and a flourishing art scene that includes the gloriously restored landmark Palacio Baburizza and the Museo de Bellas Artes, showcasing European and Chilean artists.

Belize Ambergris Caye
Credit: Ambergris Caye by bigstock.com


The small country of Belize is one of the most affordable destinations in Central America, and it has some beautiful beaches just waiting to be explored. Ambergris Caye is the largest island that’s part of Belize and a favorite destination among divers. One of the largest coral reef systems is located near the island, which is a huge selling point for divers and snorkelers. The vibe here is very relaxing and laid back in the town of San Pedro, and there are many budget-friendly hotels and restaurants to indulge a bit without going broke.

Jamaica Ocho Rios in Jamaica
Credit: Ocho Rios in Jamaica by Lucky-photographer/shutterstock.com


Jamaica is a top destination for couples celebrating their honeymoons and anniversaries, but it has beaches well-suited to travelers regardless of whether you’re celebrating something or not. You can find direct flights to Montego Bay from many cities, and Ocho Rios tends to be even more affordable than Montego Bay. You’ll find plenty of resorts here, but also small hotels that are near local restaurants and bars that offer cheap eats and drinks. While in the Ocho Rios area, you can spend lots of time on the sandy beaches and go hiking and swimming by waterfalls.

Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit: Buenos Aires, Argentina by ID 11240028 © Kobby Dagan | Dreamstime.com


Head to Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan city that has incredible food, lively music, and of course the tango. This South American country has tons to see and do, with a bit of a European feel, so embrace the cross-over and relax at a table in a café and watch the world go by. This is also one of the most family-friendly destinations to visit in South America and there are lots of museums and cultural attractions that kids will enjoy as well. Top things to do in Buenos Aires include the Museo de los Ninos, Palermo Soho, and the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires. Café Tortonis is the oldest bar in the city, so stop by for a drink.

Hungary Hungarian parliament, Budapest
Credit: Hungarian parliament, Budapest by TTstudio/shutterstock.com


Hungary’s capital city of Budapest is a charming European destination that makes a perfect spot for a budget getaway, as it is a blend of history, culture, and beautiful views. Start your journey with a stroll along the River Danube to spot the 19th-century Hungarian Parliament Building. Climb to the top of Buda Castle for stunning views, or head to the Neo-gothic Fisherman’s Bastion and its towers. Walk across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge that links Buda and Pest and pack a picnic for an afternoon in the leafy City Park or experience the famous thermal baths. As a bonus, if you want to venture off for a day trip away from the “Paris of the East”, the city is located less than three hours south-east of Vienna.

Indonesia Ubud, Bali


Indonesia is a diverse and amazing travel destination that is spread across over 17,000 islands in the ocean. There are beaches, volcanoes, and jungles to explore, and every region offers something a little different for travelers. One of the most popular vacation destinations in Indonesia is Bali, a tropical getaway that evokes images of an exotic island paradise. From the vibrant nightlife of Kuta to its ancient monuments and lush landscapes, this budget-friendly destination offers visitors a range of attractions suitable for both adventure and relaxation. Add diverse food, warm locals, and affordable vacation rentals, and it should come as no surprise why Bali is such a hotspot. From fascinating ancient temples to breathtaking natural wonders, you’ll have plenty to explore.

Malaysia Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
Credit: Perhentian Islands, Malaysia by bigstock.com


Malaysia is one of the best vacation destinations in Asia. It boasts everything from idyllic sandy beaches and breathtaking islands to well-preserved historic treasures and a rich array of cultural attractions. While Kuala Lumpur is a foodie city full of attractions, the warmer months are a great time to visit the Perhentian Islands, where you can enjoy crystalline blue waters that are teeming with aquatic life. They are Malaysia’s crown jewel of islands and are beloved for their fantastic scuba diving, beautiful beaches, and laid-back island vibes. Go island hopping, visit the designated marine park to see a display of underwater marine life, then go snorkeling to spot orange and black striped “Nemo” fish, sea turtles, and harmless reef sharks.

Brazil Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro
Credit: Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro by bigstock.com


Home to verdant rainforests, white-sand beaches, and the most decorated national soccer team in the world, Brazil is a captivating South American destination. Many people don’t realize how big Brazil really is and how many alluring destinations they are to choose from. Sunseekers can soak up the lively ambiance at Ipanema Beach in Rio, attend a world-renown Carnival festival, and explore the Amazon rainforest. The beating heart of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro boasts lush mountains, brilliant beaches, and a lively nightlife scene, while Iguazu Falls is a bucket list natural wonder and São Paulo is a vibrant cultural and foodie hotspot. If you’re interested in history, Salvador will lure you in with its beautiful historic center dotted with pastel-hued buildings, churches, museums, and shops.

Turkey Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Credit: Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey by Olena Tur/shutterstock.com


Turkey is a fascinating country with incredibly hospitable people, amazing cuisine, diverse landscapes, and lots to see and do. Istanbul is an exciting city that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait and is one of the world’s most popular destinations. It offers everything from its ancient nearly mythical market to grand palaces, a long list of fantastic museums, fabulous cuisine and so much more. The town of Göreme lies in the region of Cappadocia, set among stunning “fairy chimney” rock formations, and is renowned as the place to go for one of the most breathtaking hot air balloon rides in the world.

Costa Rica Gondoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge,  Manzanillo Beach, Costa Rica
Credit: Gondoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, Manzanillo Beach, Costa Rica by Simon Dannhauer/shutterstock.com

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful, rainforested country in Central America known for its pristine beaches and natural wonders. Sun, surf, and adventure, Costa Rica has something to offer all types of travelers. From never-ending outdoor activities to a plethora of diverse wildlife and some of the most picturesque landscapes in the world, you are spoiled for choice with adventure options. Costa Rica has also been at the forefront of eco-friendly travel, making it a favorite destination for nature lovers who want to stay at environmentally-friendly eco-lodges.

Philippines Palawan, Philippines
Credit: Palawan, Philippines by bigstock.com


An often overlooked destination in Asia, the Philippines is incredibly budget-friendly. In addition to that, there are over 7,107 islands, making it an ideal beach destination for those looking to get away from it all. It’s also a country full of history, culture, and some of the friendliest people in the world. With white sand beaches that offer crystal-clear waters and emerald waters, it’s perfect for a tropical getaway without all the crowds. Palawan has some of the world’s best beaches, especially at El Nido, while Siargao is a surfing hotspot. While many skip its capital, Manila is a great place to learn about the nation’s history and culture over the years.

Portugal Sao Jorge Castle
Credit: Sao Jorge Castle by bigstock.com


With a lush landscape dotted with golden beaches, historic villages and charming cities like Lisbon and Porto, Portugal offers everything you’re looking for and more in an affordable European escape. If you’re looking to get out of the big city, Portugal is also home to an array of picturesque coastal towns where you can stroll the shoreline, dine on succulent seafood and explore historic landmarks. Boasting beautiful beaches, these small fishing villages and towns lure you to the shoreline and offer spectacular scenery around every corner. For the best bang for your buck, plan a trip outside of the peak summer months.

Poland Krakow, Poland
Credit: Krakow, Poland by bigstock.com


Poland is one of Europe’s very best travel bargains. Some consider it a less fancy, cheaper version of Prague, with budget-friendly accommodation, cuisine, and alcohol – in fact, you can get by here on less than $50 a day. That includes lodging, meals, transportation, and entertainment. In Gdansk, the Old Town is home to more bars per square meter than any other place in the world, filled with numerous drinking dens where vodka and other drinks continuously flow, along with live music venues and clubs that stay open ‘til dawn. In addition to nightlife, highlights include the gorgeous architecture, from Gothic to Renaissance, that’s been kept amazingly well intact after the Second World War, including the atmospheric Jewish quarter of Kazimierz and the regal Wawel Castle.

Colombia Cartagena, Colombia
Credit: Cartagena, Colombia by bigstock.com


Most of Latin America offers an outstanding deal for U.S. citizens, but Colombia is one of the best. The nation is also experiencing a renaissance of sorts, in food, art, and technology. Cartagena, once considered too dangerous for visitors is far safer than it was at the turn of the 21 century. This coastal colonial city that sits at the edge of the Caribbean boasts impressive mangroves, sandy beaches and brilliant coral reefs along with a historic old town surrounded by the city wall, while the 500-hundred-year-old coral stone forts and much of its walled city are admirably intact. The colonial city center is filled with old homes that have been transformed into restaurants, like La Vitrola and Carmen Cartagena, as well as fabulous boutique hotels such as the upscale Casa Lola Hotel.

Canada Trinity, Newfoundland, Canada
Credit: Trinity, Newfoundland, Canada by © Onepony | Dreamstime.com


Canada is an ideal destination for those who live near the border to snag some great bargains. If you want to take advantage of the country’s spectacular scenery and opportunity for outdoor adventure, you’ll have your pick of fabulous places from the dramatic peaks of British Colombia and Albert to the wild coastline of Newfoundland. Newfoundland is an incredible bargain in particular, with spacious, fully-equipped cabins and cottages available in the Gros Morne National Park region for under $100 a night. Enjoy a host of activities for a much lower cost than you’d probably pay at home (if they’re even available), including kayak tours, whale watching excursions, flightseeing, and more.

South Africa Aerial view of Cape Town, South Africa
Credit: Aerial view of Cape Town, South Africa by bigstock.com

South Africa

A flight to South Africa from the U.S. isn’t going to be cheap, but once you get there you’ll get a good deal. Cape Town is a fabulous city to visit, head to Table Mountain and take in magnificent views over the Cape, sip a cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc at Camps Bay, and with just a short drive inland, you can enjoy more outstanding wine, along with gourmet meals surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Winelands. If you’ve always wanted to go on a safari, the exchange rate makes even elite safari lodges more affordable at places like Jock Safari Lodge in Kruger National Park. If that’s not in the cards, be sure to visit Boulders Beach, one of the few places on the planet to get up close to penguins in the wild.

New Zealand Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Credit: Lake Tekapo, New Zealand by bigstock.com

New Zealand

For scenery lovers, New Zealand is a country that’s hard to beat, famous for its picture-perfect landscapes and lush “Lord of the Rings” settings. You’ll find everything from soaring mountains to picture-perfect beaches, fjords, and glaciers in this Instagrammer’s paradise. Queenstown, on the South Island, is a fantastic city with a burgeoning food scene that makes the ideal base for outdoor adventures who want to experience heart-pounding thrills like bungee jumping, Zorbing, and sky diving.

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