Thanks to a booming U.S. currency, Americans abroad can stretch their dollar a whole lot more this year. For instance, trips to mainland Europe are 20 percent cheaper in some countries, Japan is surprisingly reasonable and greenback users can get double their money in Brazil and South Africa. If you’ve ever wanted to visit one of the above or especially the below, consider making 2016 the year you do it.
“It’s still cheap but not as cheap as it used to be,” remarked my friend James after returning from Thailand recently. Enter Vietnam. With a similar Asian flavor at half of what it costs to jaunt through its trendier neighbor, the slender country on the South China Sea is brimming with inviting beaches, Buddhist pagodas, placid rivers and terraced rice fields. Trademarks also include pho noodles and those killer conical hats. Best time to visit: Spring or Fall.
Not in Western Europe and notably cheaper than before. That’s about the only thing Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Hungary have in common. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care. From the rocky beaches and old-growth forests of Estonia, the Balkan mountains and outdoor turquoise of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the timeless Danube River and neoclassical buildings of Hungary, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to like from all three. Best time to visit: May to September.
Oh, Canada! Don’t be so apologetic. You are adorable, good-looking, and huge … the second largest country in the world. You are peculiar enough to remind visiting U.S. citizens that they’re no longer in the States, but familiar enough to make them feel as welcome as they would in a second home. You are friendly, your great outdoors are some of the greatest I’ve seen and you’re 20% cheaper than you were before. Take our money, good neighbor. Take it! Best time to visit: April to October.
Not long ago, Turkey was a steal. Then its economy spiked and tourism picked up (good for them, bad for globe trekkers). Today, this rich cultural bridge between Europe and Western Asia is affordable once more—25% cheaper than it was last year. If America is the melting pot of the world, Turkey is the melting pot of Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Old and new, together as one. Best time to visit: Spring or Fall.
Book a trip to gorgeous Cancún, and it won’t be much cheaper than California or Florida. Venture anywhere outside of the tourist towns, however, and you’ll enjoy prices that are 30 percent less. With those substantial savings, you can enjoy even more beaches, mountains, deserts, jungles, ancient ruins, humble company and the world’s most agreeable cuisine. Gracias, Mexico. Te queremos. Best time to visit: October to May.
Photo: Images Money, CC-BY
Off the Grid columnist Blake Snow writes epic stories for fancy publications and Fortune 500 companies. Follow him on Twitter.