The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Traveler finances

Those of you who never leave your home country don't need to worry about this as much, however for budget world travelers it totally makes sense to keep an eye on what the currency markets are doing.

And they are doing some interesting things lately.

First of all, the Canadian dollar is dropping like a rock versus it's U.S. dollar counterpart. It hit an 11 year low on Friday!


Unless the situation improves for us Canadians over the next two months, travel in the Unites States is going to be 20% more expensive than it was a year ago. So when we drive through in October, we'll be doing it even more frugally than normal!

However, as much as Canada and the world likes to focus on the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar versus some other currencies is doing just fine. One of the best examples of that is Colombia! And we happen to be going there for six weeks in November and early December.

The Colombian Peso vs the Canadian dollar.

So, while our time in the U.S. will be shorter than we'd like because of the cost, our time in Colombia will be less expensive. 

Of course this still leaves the Mexican Peso, which will certainly be the wild card of this currency poker game. We still plan on spending the majority of our upcoming winter in the country of Mexico.

Mexican Peso vs Canadian dollar.

The peso has been reasonably steady versus the Canadian dollar, bouncing between 12 and 13 pesos to the dollar. Of course that means that it's really cheap for Americans to go to Mexico, with their currency hitting an all time high of 16 pesos to the U.S. dollar just a couple of weeks ago. 

So for the time being, Colombia looks like it's going to be our best frugal choice for this winter, however a lot can change over the next couple of months. It will be interesting to see how things play out, and ultimately there is nothing we can do but change our spending habits accordingly.

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11 comments:

  1. Even with the high exchange rate our travels in the US will less expensive than travelling in Canada.
    That being said we would like to drive across Canada to the west coast this fall, cause we have not done that yet.

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    1. Given that the price of fuel is your number one expense, I would agree with you. Even with the exchange rate, fuel is still mostly cheaper in the U.S. than it is in Canada. Not by much though!

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  2. We were thinking of going to Greece next year - but the jump from 13 to 23% tax on most things overnight means likely we won't. I am on the fence - might wait a couple of years till things settle down as don't want to get caught up in strikes/ferry disputes but then again, if hotel rates drop rock bottom we might. Fortunately, we have now earned 1 free ticket to Europe up to $1300 through points (company and personal ccs RBC Avion-absolute best card) so that will help. The other factor is finding a seat sale on the second ticket. I am not letting it stop me from traveling though - I will give up other things to go as I am sure the two of you completely understand. Spain is still looking at a cheap option - lots of reasonable accommodation and food is not out of this world.

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    1. As we have found even in Iceland that you can find things that are cheaper if you look around, although cheaper is still expensive but there are some places that you just have to go. Try to find alternatives to hotels. There might be AirBNB's available or hostels that have private rooms with bathrooms. The other advantage to going to Greece while things are the way they are, is that there could be less tourists which would be nice. If you are looking for alternatives to Greece we would highly recommend central or eastern Europe. Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary and Croatia are all beautiful countries that are much cheaper than Western Europe.

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    2. Funny, I was actually already looking at those - Croatia being on the top of the list. Split looks like a fantastic small city with tons of history which is what we love - plus if you go in Spring you avoid the summer crows. I have been to Greece before but hubby hasn't. We were also looking at Turkey as I've only ever spent one day there. Too many choices!! :)

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    3. Our son has been to Croatia before and he loved it! And yes, that is one that I missed on the list. It does look beautiful and I know that is somewhere that we would love to visit as well. We agree that springtime would be one of the best time or in the fall.

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  3. Boy do I remember scratching my head from all my world travels when I was working. I had to file travel claims on money I spent overseas and had to convert everything to US dollars for reimbursement. I'm sure I gypped myself out of money more than once do to the every change money fluctuations.

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    1. You may have gypped yourself a few times but you may also have had an advantage a couple of times so things probably worked themselves out in the wash. ;-)

      We think it is funny when we go to several different countries and have about 3 or 4 different currencies in our bags at any one time.

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  4. You said, "We still plan on spending the majority of our upcoming winter in the country of Mexico", Yippie!

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    1. Yep, hope you will be able to join us for part of it! :-)

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  5. The UK oiubd against the Canadian dollar is also making UK trips expensive for us and for our British family - well they feel rich coming here... hope it turns around again

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