Our globetrotter Susan always travels creatively, so you shouldn’t be surprised that she’s come up with great places to go in spite of the shrinking U.S. greenback …
As the dollar continues to shrink these days, globetrotters are posed with challenges. Finding ways to travel “smart” and find the best value (and I DON’T mean budget travel) are not easy. Here are some strategies to help you out:
Trade the Mediterranean for the Adriatic
Croatia’s Adriatic Coast is gorgeous and historic (from the resort island of Hvar to the romantic city of Dubrovnik), its inland areas in Istria, near Italy, look Italian. A non-Euro zone country, the “Kuna” still provides great value. Similarly, the dollar has held up well against the Turkish Lira and the Turkish Adriatic and Mediterranean coasts are terrific, not to mention the fabulous sites in Istanbul and elsewhere. Note, however, that the mainstream hotels are priced competitively high in Istanbul, but smaller properties offer savings opportunities.
Try Out Northern Europe
We all seem to flock to France and Italy – fabulous countries, but ones in values seem harder and harder to find – at least in the larger cities. Major cities in Northern Europe – such as Vienna, Berlin, and Munich – have great, hip hotel options at somewhat reasonable costs and the sights in these places merit more than a casual stopover. Even the Le Meridien, Vienna is an “art hotel” with good rates, stylish rooms and the Grand Hyatt Berlin whose architect is Rafael Moneo is not only a designer’s dream (especially the pool/spa area) but fairly priced for what you get. However, boutique hotel choices abound (see my previous post on how to hunt for special hotels) and offer the best value plus a stylish stay.
Consider Other Continents
Buenos Aires, Argentina is often compared to Paris in its feel and the dollar goes far there. Also, values in Mexico have been pretty steady against the dollar. And it may be the time to visit Costa Rica before more development alters its pristine coastline and fabulous nature offerings throughout the country. Although mainstream resorts may be pricey there are many eco-resorts to try out – contact Costa Rica Expeditions and they will set you up. And don’t forget Asia. Emerging countries such as Vietnam and Laos offer exotic destinations at good value. And a recent stay in Mainland China confirmed that the value for your stay is quite high compared to comparable properties in Europe.
Resort costs really drop in low season (timing will vary by area), but if you can shift dates often by just a week you will save lots of money (and often get good package deals). Traveling off-season, in Europe and Asia, will often yield better hotel pricing as well.
See the U.S.A.
If all of the above seems daunting, remember that we have fabulous sights to see in the U.S. We just returned from a trip to California’s Central Coast, visiting Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara and dipping down to the Getty Villa in Malibu. It was a world-class trip with world-class sights, scenery and food. (I hope to share the trip details with you in a future post.)
This post will be followed by another next week with more “shrinking dollar” tips related to where to stay and what to do.
Share your dollar saving strategies with us as well at snoety.com and happy travels!