January 14, 2016

Best Value Destinations for 2016

Is 2016 the year for your big trip? You know, that epic around the world adventure you’ve been dreaming about over beers on Friday nights for a while now. If budgeting is one of your main concerns, then we’ve got great news for you: 2016 is THE YEAR for dollar stretching travel.

The US Dollar is doing especially well, but there are also tons of deals for those with Euros, Australian, and Canadian Dollars. Even cooler: many of these destinations are newly hot because of their exchange rates dropping.

Many of the countries we’ve highlighted in this data-rich series of four fat articles, with ten recommendations for each currency, are not the ones all of your friends have been to. These are the places that fall under truly “indie” destinations, places that have emerging tourism industries and remain “untouched” in the way that older travelers talk about the world twenty or thirty years ago.

You’ll have to read the articles to get the full lists, but here are three of the most intriguing options from each of our best value Destination recommendations for 2016:

Top 10 for USD Travelers

USA Nepal

The Americans are the lucky ones right now, but we all know how fickle that exchange rate can be! Now is your time, take that trip while the markets are in your favor. Check off the big ticket items, like the Trans-Siberian, for the greatest deals.

Russia
“Once on the continent, explore a little bit and then travel overland to Moscow. You’ll have arranged your visa for Russia in advance because you’re about to take the most epic train trip of them all: The Trans-Siberian Railway, only you’re going to take a right turn at Lake Baikal, head south through Mongolia, and step off the train in the heart of the Orient: Beijing.”

Colombia
“This represents an almost thirty percent increase in value over last year at this same time. Colombia has an outdated reputation for being very dangerous, but is safer, and becoming popular with independent travelers.

Skip Bogota in favor of Medellin. Practice your Spanish, eat some amazing food and hit the beach, or get off the beaten path and find adventure. Heck yeah. This is your year.”

Nepal
“It’s been a rough year for Nepal, with devastating earthquakes, followed by a barricade that is keeping fuel out of the country along the border with India. Prices for travelers with US Dollars are low, low, low and make this awesome destination even more of a bargain than normal.”

Top 10 for CAD Travelers

africa

This is the year for Canadians to get creative and get out of the first world! Iran is an unexpected gem that’s a great deal right now. Nicaragua is the cheapest country on the continent.

Iran
“In September 2013 the Rial lost 80% of its exchange value overnight, and it’s never recovered. North Americans don’t think of Iran as a huge tourist destination, but it’s rich history and culture make it an exotic destination that most of your friends won’t have visited.”

Tanzania
“The point is, that Tanzania is a great place to start longer African adventures, take a safari or hit the beach. The legendary Zanzibar is located on an island, just off of the coast, and convenient to Dar es Salaam, which is where you’re likely to fly into.”

Nicaragua
“Nicaragua is the most inexpensive country in Central America and as such it makes lots of sense for Canadians, with a flagging currency, to spend their winter vacation there instead of in more expensive Mexico or Belize.”

Top 10 for AUD Travelers

5 thailand

There’s no surprise that Asia remains a great value for those spending Australian Dollars, but would you have guessed that Kazakhstan is hot right now? Well it is! Read on:

Thailand
“Thailand has something for everyone and can be made to tailor to any budget, if you’re looking for an excuse, we’ve got 10 reasons you should visit Thailand now. Because you’re starting in Bangkok, be sure to try these 8 dishes. The cheapest parts of the country are the northern highlands. The most expensive are Phuket and some sections of Bangkok. Beach holidays can be a bargain if you stay in small local places instead of five star, all inclusive resorts. Find out why Ayutthaya lives up to it’s name.

Burma
Burma is back. It has become a hot destination over the past couple of years. As the political situation stabilizes and Burma begins to open its doors to the world, the intrepid are heading there before it becomes a standard stop of the Southeast Asia tourist trail. The Australian dollar is worth more this December than it was at the same time last year, giving travelers one more reason add it to their trips.”

Kazakhstan
“What’s happening in the wake of the plunge of crude oil prices this summer is worth noting for budget minded travelers. Azerbaijan, along with several other countries in the region, Kazakhstan and Russia included, moved to free float currencies within the past couple of months. As a result their currencies plunged, devaluing by as much as 50% overnight.

What does this mean? The whole country is like a 50% off sale for Australians right now, and for others with stronger currencies too. A classic stop on the silk road, flights are readily available from the major cities in Europe to the capital of Baku. Be sure to arrange your visa in advance. And, find out why the South Caucasus is Europe’s forgotten frontier.”

Top 10 for EUR Travelers

mexicothumb

If you’ve got Euros in your pocket, you’re golden. Why not branch out a bit this year, get off of your already well traveled content and see some other places:

Canada
“There is no better time for Europeans to visit Canada than now. With an almost 50% exchange rate, Canada becomes a first world budget destination. Cheap flights from major European cities to Toronto and Montreal make it almost worth a long weekend getaway”

Tunisia
“If you’ve got more than a week or two for holiday, be sure to spend some time working your way down the Mediterranean coast and exploring the olive groves inland. The ruins at el-Jem are a gem. The sleepy town of Matmata (of Star Wars fame) will feel like visiting another world. And if you’re lucky enough to be there mid-winter, the Festival du Sahara, at Douz, is not to be missed!”

Mexico
“Beyond the question of whether Mexico is safe for solo travel (yes, it largely is) there are dozens of other questions about where to go and what to see. This is an incredibly diverse country that can’t be neatly boxed within a two week visit. Mexico is more than just beaches, it’s also bustling cities, amazing natural landscapes and a deep, rich, history that begs to be studied and explored. Ignore the myths, and take the kids to Mexico (or just yourself!)”

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