What the Australian dollar says about your travel in 2016

By: Ed Pitts

Over the last five years, the Aussie dollar has been on a rollercoaster, peaking at $1.10 USD in 2011 and plummeting to just 68c this year (it has since recovered to around 74c). It’s not just US dollar we’re struggling with; the Aussie dollar 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 2016, as well as tips to make each dollar count and get the most out of your trip.

1

USA

Don’t write the US off just yet. The dollar has been rising since the start of 2016 and the $USD goes quite far once you’re actually there. Additionally, return flight prices are on their way down, so the 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 also remained very steady. Fancy some spice? Head south to enjoy a strong Mexican Peso exchange rate. The last six months has seen a steady increase, with $1AUD currently buying you $13.25MXN - 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 high-roller escape just got even more attainable as they’ve just 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 RUB49.65 Ruble in Russia, which has almost doubled in the last five years. Ditto in Brazil, where $1 gets you R$2.65 Real, up from roughly R$1.60 five years ago and just in time for the Rio Olympics!

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 R11.15 Rand.

Other world-class destinations with a brilliant exchange rate are Egypt ($1AUD recently skyrocketing to E£6.62 Egyptian Pounds), Norway ($1AUD gets you kr6.08 Norwegian Krone) and Argentina, where the Aussie Dollar has almost tripled to $10.58ARS Argentine Pesos in 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 05/05/2016, 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.

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