Recently a friend of ours was planning to hold a conference in Hawaii. But now that the Aussie dollar has plummeted in value against the USD, that has to change. This got me thinking – where is a good place to holiday, now that the USD is so strong?
One of the great things at the moment is that flying is still relatively cheap, as the oil price is incredibly low. Oil is currently priced at USD 47 per barrel – down from USD 99 a year ago.
The Aussie dollar has fallen from about 90 US cents to about 72 cents today. You can see the fall is not as great as the fall in the oil price (great for air fares, inflation and hopefully for global growth).
So first, places to avoid (exchange rate wise): USA, the UK (the pound is strong), China (more or less tagged to the USD), Switzerland ( Swiss Francs were un-pegged from the EURO not long ago).
Places to go:
The last time we were in Prague, capital of Czech republic, it was cold. Very cold and snowing. Glenys got quite sick at the time. It was so bad I went out and bought KFC for dinner (which of course made us feel worse). But I could see how beautiful the place was under the snow – a lot of lovely gardens were closed – so go in summer I suggest. Expect to get about 17 Korunas for each of your AUD’s, down from about 20 Korunas a year ago.
Other ideas in the non Euro area? Turkey, Budapest (Hungarian Forints)
Spain, Italy and Greece
One of our favourite places in the world is Santorini, a Greek island. The Euro is still quite weak against the USD, and the economies of southern Europe are still struggling. Of course we have all heard about the fiscal problems of poor but beautiful Greece (Kalamara sas my Greek speaking friends!:)). The Euro has fallen from about 0.73 to 0.63 since its peak in May.
Our conference organising friends other alternative was Mexico. Maybe that is where they will go now? Expect about 11.9 Mexican pesos for your dollar – not much less than you could get a year ago.
Our other favourite place on the globe – Queenstown New Zealand. The Kiwi seemed to weaken just yesterday from 1.11 to 1.12/3 (wholesale rates). It’s about the level it was a year ago, but nowhere near the 1.25 it was say 4 years ago. Also New Zealand has a higher GST than us (15%), so it is no longer the bargain it once was. But it is still amazing!
The other day we were listening to the local Cairns radio, driving to the airport from Port Douglas. They are excited about the weak Aussie. It is good for tourism and therefore for the local economy. Perhaps there will be a surge in property prices up there (we saw a lot of people looking in real estate windows). So yes, think about holidaying here in Australia – it’s a top place to visit!
What is your favourite place to visit? Let us know in the feedback form. Cheers Steve and Glenys