Now that the weather is getting warmer in many places around the world, many of us are beginning to plan out our travels for this year. And since the US Dollar has strengthened even more, destinations in South America, Europe and Asia have become even cheaper to travel to, especially for those of you who enjoy the luxuries of traveling in business class to get you there.
So to help you decide on the best destinations where you can stretch your dollars the furthest, we’ve put together the chart below to show you change of the currency versus the USD, and average round-trip airfare prices versus our consolidator rates for business class seats.
*Sample fares provided are for Chicago departures in July for a good indication of the market. Departures from other cities may be above or below these rates. Contact us to receive a discounted quote for your specific city pair and travel dates. We guarantee to find you rates better than online.
Argentina, the country where the Andes mountains, glacial lakes and Cortaderia selloana all lie, is a hot destination for U.S. travelers this year. And we can’t forget Buenos Aires—its big, cosmopolitan capital, where you can visit 19th-century buildings such as Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, as well as Palacio Barolo, which was once built to showcase presidential memorabilia but is now used as an office building.
Currently, the exchange rate is 15 Argentina Pesos (ARS) to the USD. The ARS has been on a decline since 2015, so for those of you who are looking to explore a country famous for tango dance and music, make sure to put Argentina on your list this year while the dollar is strong.
Brazil is a magnificent country with a large rainforest full of creatures and gorgeous waterfalls. Its more well-known areas such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are also beautiful and rich with culture. And since the country hosted the Olympics last year, there’s much to see and do in Brazil this year.
The current exchange rate is 3.14 Brazilian Real to the USD. Jet-setters seeking for an adventure can save an average of 30 percent this year compared to 2015, and we can get you there in business class, round trip, for an average fare of $2,654. You can’t beat that!
South Africa is full of beaches, rich Winelands, steep cliffs, forest and lagoons. Two cities, in particular, are a must on our list. The first is Knysna, a favorite holiday destination in South Africa known to have phenomenal, fresh local seafood served in restaurants with spectacular views. Johannesburg is our second favourite—a perfect destination for those who are art lovers and culture seekers. The city’s growth in galleries, new-age restaurants and cafes are now at the top of tourist attractions.
The current exchange rate is 13.42 ZAR to the USD, so if you’re planning a trip to this African state, now is the best time to go in order to journey further and see more for less.
Ukraine has had some tough times the past few years, but all is well in the western front. Tourists looking for a unique experience should head to this Eastern European country, where you can visit jaw-dropping Orthodox churches, a Black Sea coastline and forested mountains. Kiev, the country’s capital, is where you can gaze and learn about the famous St. Sophia’s Cathedral with its gold-dome and 11th-century mosaics and frescoes.
The current exchange rate is 26.94 Ukrainian Hryvnia to the USD—three years ago the dollar was only half as strong. So for those of you who desire an Eastern European extravaganza and a step back into history, we recommend you make your way over to this gorgeous country while the exchange rate is high.
Malaysia is well-known for its magnificent beaches, rainforests and an influential mix of cultures including Malay, Chinese, Indian and European. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, is where you can come across colonial buildings, extensive shopping markets, and famous skyscrapers like the Petronas Twin Towers.
The current exchange rate is 4.41 MYR to the USD, which is also 50 percent more than what it was three years ago. If Malaysia is at the top of your travel itinerary for 2017, make sure to plan a trip to the tropics outside of the wet season to allow you to do more for less without getting stuck in the rain!
This non-European nation is the most prosperous in the world and was rated the fourth most happiest, safest and wealthiest country in the world, according to the Legatum Institute. New Zealand is also well-known for its landscape that was used to film scenes from the Lord of the Rings, making it a beautiful place for all you fans out there!
The current exchange rate is 1.44 NZD to the USD, which has been pretty steady since last year, however, it’s stronger than it was in 2014. As such, if you’re looking to stretch your dollar further this year and are wanting a relaxing getaway to a very green and clean country, then New Zealand is calling your name.
The land of kangaroos, beaches, koala bears, the Outback, seaside pools, Great Barrier Reef and so much more, Australia has always been and continues to be a popular destination. For three years in a row, Australia has secured its spot as the 7th wealthiest, happiest and safest in the world, which should be no surprise given all that it has to offer.
The exchange rate has been steady for the past two years, averaging about 1.35 AUD to the USD, but has grown more than 17 percent since 2014. With so many interesting and iconic cities to visit and explore such as Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, now more than ever is the best time for you to pack your bags and head over to Australia.
Much of South Korea is green, with beautiful countryside full of hills and cherry trees, as well as ancient Buddhist temples. It’s also a country with fishing villages spread alongside the coast, and many small, tropical islands surrounding its tip. Plus, the metropolitan and high-tech city of Seoul is one of the many places you can spend your time exploring, shopping and of course, eating.
Over the past few months, the strength of the dollar has gone up, reaching an exchange rate of 1134 Won, which is stronger than it was in 2014 and much of 2015. If you’re seeking a destination that offers a mix of a high-tech city with lush countryside while stretching your earnings even further this year, then South Korea is the place to be.
This Scandinavian country is the most prosperous in the world and has been number one for seven years in a row for being the wealthiest, safest and happiest in the world. From economy, security, health and freedom, Norway has ranked in the top 10 for each of those categories. And it shouldn’t be a surprise, either. Norway is full of mountains, glaciers, fjords (one of the famous being Geirangerfjord), endless nature, hiking sites and small towns for you to get lost in. If you’re planning (or wanting) to take yourself off the gird a few days, Norway is the ideal destination to do just that.
The US Dollar is stronger than ever against the Euro, an exchange averaging about 0.94 Euros. With this recent spike over the past two years, U.S. travelers are able to eat, shop and venture out more than in previous years throughout Norway (as well as other parts of Europe).
Japan has an ancient history that continues to spark interest for U.S. globetrotters year after year. But as many of you may know, it’s also an expensive country to visit. From its imperial palaces, national parks that spend across mountains, high fashion and modern cities like Tokyo, and more shrines and temples than you can count, the country is rich in more ways than one.
From 2012 to 2014, the USD exchange rate was less than 100 Japanese Yen. Now over the past two to three years, the yield is at about 110 Yen. The rise of the dollar has given U.S. travelers a bit more freedom to push their spending money further this year, especially for those who are looking to get there in comfort via business class.