Australian dollar exchange rates can squeeze far more out of your holiday

AUGUST 14 2016 – 2:43PM

Flag of the Australian Capital Territory

Shrewd travellers can squeeze far more value out of their holidays just by comparing the performance of the Australian dollar against the local currencies.

 You will get a bigger bang for your buck in Peru compared to neighbouring Chile, South Africa over Morocco and South Korea over Hong Kong, according to an analysis of exchange rates by online travel company Expedia.”People usually focus on the price of flights and accommodation, and overlook and underestimate the value of the dollar,” said Expedia’s Australia and New Zealand head, Georg Ruebensal.

The average price of hotels in Sri Lanka has nose-dived.
The average price of hotels in Sri Lanka has nose-dived. Photo: Supplied

“Instead, the answer should be to travel smarter by keeping an eye on currencies to give you the most value out of your trip.”

If your eye is on Central America, opt for Mexico over Guatemala. The dollar has shot up 14 per cent against the Mexican peso in the past year.

On top of that, the average airfare to Guatemala has increased by 25 per cent and the average nightly hotel room price has gone up by 26 per cent.

To compare, Mexico’s hotel rates have remained stable at $127 on average per night.

Fiji offers a better deal than Malaysia for Asian travellers.
Fiji offers a better deal than Malaysia for Asian travellers. Photo: Bill Morris

Another destination swap to consider is China over Japan. While they offer vastly different experiences, it’s worth taking into account the value of the dollar has dropped by 19 per cent against the Japanese yen but grown by 4 per cent against the Chinese yuan.

Thrifty travellers will also save on accommodation, with the average cost of a hotel room in China just two-thirds of the cost in Japan.

Peru offers far better value than neighbouring Chile, plus you get to enjoy the wonders of world-heritage listed Machu ...
Peru offers far better value than neighbouring Chile, plus you get to enjoy the wonders of world-heritage listed Machu Picchu. Photo: Supplied

“Each and every destination is unique. But sometimes it’s about timing – if you’re flexible and can swap China for Japan, now’s a good time to do it,” said Mr Ruebensal.

Al Jedlin, 24 from Newtown, is planning a beach holiday escape for the end of the year. On his list is Vietnam and Indonesia.

Al Jedlin (right), holidaying in New York City earlier this year.
Al Jedlin (right), holidaying in New York City earlier this year.  Photo: Supplied

But on finding out that the dollar has grown 5 per cent against the Sri Lankan rupee, and hearing his friends rave about the travel spot, Sri Lanka is now a contender.

The average price of hotels in Sri Lanka has nose-dived by 14 per cent to $152 a night, and the average return airfare has gone down by 7 per cent to $576.

In contrast, the price of flights to Vietnam have shot up by 29 per cent in the past year.

“I’ve gone to Japan three times to ski, and during the latest trip to Niseko earlier this year, there was definite bill shock,” said Mr Jedlin.

“I don’t usually consider the value of the Aussie dollar, but it’s something I want to be more cautious of.”

Expedia’s other swap suggestions, based on the fluctuating value of the Australian dollar and the prices of flights and accommodation, are:

  • Swap Brazil for Argentina
  • Swap Singapore for Thailand
  • Swap Malaysia for Fiji
  • Swap Indonesia for New Zealand

Source : The Canberra Times

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