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Affordable Travel Due To A Recession

Updated on July 6, 2012

For last several years the weak US dollar has made travel abroad unpleasantly expensive for Americans. Today, thanks to the financial crisis worldwide and stronger US dollar, for Americans many foreign destinations have become more affordable than they were just a few month ago. And let’s admit that with American economy being officially in a recession and our government which yet hasn’t come up with a solid plan how to recover the US economy, we need a vacation more than ever. So, where should we travel during a recession in order to take a little advantage of the situation?

Jasper, Alberta Canada
Jasper, Alberta Canada
Whistler skiing, British Columbia Canada
Whistler skiing, British Columbia Canada


Until two years ago America’s neighbor to the north was a quite affordable travel destination for Americans, thanks to Canadian traditionally weak currency. But then everything changed and for a last couple of years a Canadian dollar was worth more than its American counterpart. Fortunately for Americans now everything is back to how it is supposed to be. Canadian dollar has dropped about 20% in value since a year ago, which has made Canada a very attractive travel destination for Americans again. Great skiing opportunities in winter, thrilling fishing trips in summers, exciting nightlife of Montreal and cosmopolitan spirit of Vancouver, charm of Quebec and stunning beauty of British Columbia – Canada is a great vacation spot. And thanks to the proximity to the United States, it is a perfect destination not only for vacations but even for weekend trips by car.

The Houses of Parliament, London England
The Houses of Parliament, London England
Men-an-Tol Megalithic stone, Cornwall England
Men-an-Tol Megalithic stone, Cornwall England


England has never been on any kind of budget travel list. However with a recent depreciation of British currency about 30%, visiting London sounds more tempting than before. And if you always wanted to see Big Ben than probably now it is a good time to do so. And also the good news for budget travelers is that London has plenty of free things to do for tourists. To see the most popular London tourist attraction such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge and Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace are absolutely free, as well as most of London’s museums and cathedrals including Westminster Abbey. Besides London, England is welcoming tourists with popular vacationing places such as the Lake District, Cornwall and Devon, as well as with great seaside resorts, which are presently experience huge increase in popularity among foreign tourists, thanks to favorable to them currency exchange rates.

Icelandic landscape
Icelandic landscape
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, Iceland


Traveling to Iceland has never been cheaper. Iceland used to be one of the most expensive destinations in Europe. Now it has suddenly gone budget, thanks to a total collapse of Icelandic banking system and more than 50% drop in currency value. ‘The land of ice and fire’ has always attracted tourists, and there is no surprise here. Green valleys and blue geysers, rivers and waterfalls, volcanoes and glaciers - Iceland is a country like no other. Whether you wish to quietly watch for birds or whales, or prefer to get active and ski, glacier skidoo or Icelandic horse ride, Iceland amply provides for both. For nightlife lovers Reykjavik is a place to be. And don’t forget that drinks in Reykjavik bars which used to be much more expensive than in the UK and USA, now is much cheaper.

Bratislava Slovakia
Bratislava Slovakia
Bojnice Castle, Slovakia
Bojnice Castle, Slovakia


Slovakia just has entered euro zone and become the first member of Europe’s monetary union from Central Europe. Even though the euro is still strong (decline about 15% since a year ago), Slovakia is a cheap travel destination among its European pears. Five and four star hotels in Bratislava will cost you around 150 EUR a night. And for just 80 EUR a night you can stay in one of many castle-hotels, which are occupied real castles built in 14-18th centuries. And Slovakia has the highest number of castles and chateaux per capita in the world. Numerous medieval gothic and baroque towns, national parks and caves, lively capital city Bratislava with extremely fun nightlife and good restaurants with four-course meal for just 30 EUR – Slovakia is a great destination in Europe for a budget traveler.

The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China
Shanghai China
Shanghai China


Tourism to China increased dramatically over a past few years. Many major five star hotel chains have moved into China over this time, indicating a need for quality beds. So, travel to China has become more comfortable, but still very affordable. Luxury hotels are relatively inexpensive, not to mention decent budget hotels. Delicious food and transportation are quite cheap. Admission fees to some tourist attractions are often the biggest part of a traveler’s expenditure. There are plenty of 10-day/8-night tours to China which will cost you less $1000 including flights from major US cities. Tours usually include visiting two or more cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guilin or Xian, luxury accommodations, as well as special excursions to the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City and other major tourist attractions.

Sydney Opera House, Sydney Australia
Sydney Opera House, Sydney Australia
Bondi beach, Sydney Australia
Bondi beach, Sydney Australia


Australia has become more affordable for American tourists thanks to about 30% weakening of Australian dollar. And who wouldn’t dream to visit Australia at least once in a lifetime. Beautiful beaches and prehistoric gorges, wide open skies and red deserts, countless activities, vibrant cities and friendly locals – Australia is a really dream destination. And don’t forget that when you are looking on a snow outside here, it’s sunny and hot over there. Culture-rich Sydney and Melbourne welcome tourists with great accommodations, fine wining and dining. Round-trip tickets from New York to Sydney are not that cheap, about $1,500. But when you get there you will appreciate many Australian delights to a budget traveler.

For those who don’t want to leave beloved country, there are many great cities in the United States to visit and plenty of places to explore by car, taking advantage of currently low gas prices. Have a great vacation!


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