As difficult as it may be to accept, the U.S. economy has tanked and it won’t be long before the rest of the developed world will follow. Travelling for less money is possible, all you need to do is to keep your eyes peeled for deals, which by now will probably be on every page of the travel section in your local paper. The hotel and airline industries are beginning to feel the financial pinch, and will soon be screaming for cash. Therefore, they will lower their prices. If you’ve got money to spare, the time to get away is now. Here are the reasons why.
- The price of fuel has come down (at least temporarily). This will translate into lower prices for airline tickets.
- Now that there are fewer tourists packing their bags, hotels, cruise and tour companies will offer discounts to boost their revenues. Remember to ask for them.
- If you’re flying, and there are more empty seats than usual clinching a last minute deal for a ticket will be easy, as long as you act fast. They’re bound to sell out quickly. Those who have a ticket just might get lucky and be upgraded to business class or first class to make extra space for the discount travellers.
Foreign Destinations Are Cheaper Than Ever
The most widely publicized economic meltdown in Europe took place in Iceland last month. This small Nordic country known for its geysers, volcanoes and fjords has always had the reputation for being beautiful but painfully expensive. But, tourists can rejoice because now it’s affordable. In the space of a few days it went from being the priciest country in Europe to a place where visitors can enjoy a beer for about 2 euros, whereas before the collapse that same beer would have been 7 euros. A four-hour guided tour of the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, now costs a mere 20 euros.
Tourism and marketing officials are now trying to promote Reykjavik as an ideal city to do some Christmas shopping.
Other foreign currencies which have appreciated against the U.S. dollar are the South African rand and the Australian dollar. Last year, one U.S. dollar was worth six rand, and now it is worth almost eleven. Tourists bound for sunny Australia will get $1.50 in local currency for every American dollar. At that exchange rate staying in this attractive country will be a snap. Travellers eyeing South America would enjoy lower costs in Argentina and Peru, where dollars will stretch far.
Cut Your Expenses Even Further
After arriving and clearing customs and immigration it’s time to get a bed. Don’t dismiss the youth hostels too quickly; some budget accommodation options are gems while the more expensive hotels can be just the opposite. Here are some other ways to save while on the road.
- Stock up on meats, fruits and vegetables at a local supermarket and prepare your own meals. Even those cheap buffet lunches and dinners can add up.
- Use public transportation instead of renting a car. Or better yet, walk.
- With a little research free tourist attractions can be found in any destination. Beating the high costs of Western Europe is easy, with all of the museums, art galleries and concerts which will not cost a penny. London’s Royal Academy of Music offers free concerts every day, and Paris has got tons of free museums. The Museum of the Romantic Life and the Fashion Museum are among them.