What the Australian dollar says about your travel in 2017

by Ed Pitts

After reaching its peak of $1.10USD in 2011, the Aussie Dollar plummeted to just 68c last year, forcing many Australians to hit the pause button on their next holiday.

It's not just US Dollar we're struggling with; the AUD has fallen dramatically against the majority of currencies, including the Euro, Pound and Yen.

The Dollar might be working against some of our favourite overseas holiday destinations, but there are still gems to be found. Here are our recommendations for the best places to travel in 2017, as well as tips to make each dollar count and get the most out of your trip.

  1. 50 States of great

    Don't write the US off just yet. The Dollar has been slowly, yet unsteadily recovering since this time last year (currently at $0.75USD) and the $USD goes far once you're actually there. Additionally, seasonal return flight sales ensure USA remains a reliable hotspot for Australian travellers.

  2. Try their neighbours

    If maths isn't your strong point, Canada might be for you. The near exact dollar-for-dollar exchange rate keeps things simple and has remained steady for the last five years. Or for something a bit spicier, head south of the border to enjoy a strong Mexican Peso exchange rate. The $AUD has shot up over the last three months, currently buying you $15.15MXN - that's more for margaritas!

  3. Old faithful

    There's a reason Aussies flock to Bali – it's close, cheap and consistent. The $AUD has remained strong, sale flights are a bargain and short travel time means you can enjoy the full holiday experience in less than a week. Plus the ultimate affordable escape became even more attainable when Indonesia dropped the $50 visa entry fee.

  4. Expand your horizons

    To really benefit from a strong conversion rate, trying something new, exotic and a bit further afield is your best bet. $1AUD currently buys RUB45.69 Ruble in Russia, which has almost doubled in the last five years. Ditto in Ukraine, where $1AUD now gets you $19.60UAH. Just imagine being in Kiev when Ukraine retain their crown in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017!

    One currency that the Australian Dollar has strengthened almost 25% in the last year alone is the South African Rand. Warm winters, world famous safaris and fabulous vineyards are just some of the things you can enjoy for longer with a strong $1AUD converting to R10.22 Rand. Or visit their border buddies in Mozambique, where the Aussie Dollar has almost doubled in the last year to buy MT54.59 Mozambican Metical.

    Other world-class destinations with a brilliant exchange rate are Egypt ($1AUD recently skyrocketing to E£13.73 Egyptian Pounds), Norway ($1AUD gets you kr6.32 Norwegian Krone) and Argentina, where the Aussie Dollar has almost tripled to $12.00ARS Argentine Pesos in just four years.

  5. No place like home

    With no conversion rates to worry about and some of the world's best attractions in our own backyard, why not stay local? A winter wilderness weekend in Tassie? Or escape winter all together with a beach getaway in Far North Queensland? Take a road trip across the plains of the Northern Territory or indulge your inner foodie and taste the wineries of Western or South Australia.

  6. Quick tips

    • Lock it in. The dollar may be unpredictable, but your trip doesn't have to be. If you want stability and peace of mind with your travel budget, then book flights, accommodation, and experiences in advance. The dollar may improve, but you'll have enough of your expenses locked in that you won't have to watch it like a hawk.
    • Do your research. The more time you spend searching for cheap flights and accommodation, the more likely you are to enjoy a budget savvy holiday.
    • Budget. Sounds obvious, but a budget planner is a great way to help you plan a stress-free and wallet friendly holiday - both in the lead up and during your getaway.

Information is this article is correct as at 13/12/2016, with exchange rate information sourced from xe.com. We recommend you do your own research to ensure exchange rates are desirable for the destinations you're visiting.