February 6 2009 by Neal Mueller
Like a saving grace, the global recession is making travel cheap for Americans. Currency traders view the dollar as a safe haven during this recession. As a result, the dollar gains strength as the stock market weakens. This may surprise many travelers, because until recently the dollar was weak.
A strong dollar is GREAT news for travelers, especially adventure travelers who love the places that are especially cheap these days. There are 7 countries that are especially cheap right now. I'll highlight them below:
For example, what used to cost $10 in Iceland in January 2008 now costs $4.50 in US Dollar equivalent. That is a savings of 55%. Read on for a country-by-country analysis.
Iceland is normally among the most expensive (and beautiful) places to visit in the world. Now it's 55% off. Why you ask? Well, Iceland has national debts that are six times their GDP. This crisis has devalued the Icelandic Krona. For a hot adventure, visit the hot springs of Blue Lagoon between the airport and the city of Reykjavik. Another goodie is Jokulsarlon, the biggest and best known glacier lake in Iceland.
South Korea has the most advanced gadgets in the world. Thanks to a falling exchange rate and the strength of the dollar, you can get gadgets there for 40% off. For an adventure, climb Hallasan. This shield volcano on Jeju Island is the tallest mountain in South Korea.
South Africa has wonderful rock climbing, endless beaches, eye-opening safaris, and gorgeous accents. Everything is 30% off except the accents, listening to those is free.
New Zealand is the adventure traveler's Mecca at 30% off. This is the place where most of Lord of the Rings was filmed, so it literally looks like a fantasy world. My mother is going here on her sabbatical this year, and her timing is perfect!
In Australia, "shrimps on the barbie" are now selling for 25% off. This is a country that has it all. You can swim with great whites, have a hamburger with a beet in it, and hike a rainforest.
Brazil grants you the opportunity to visit the Amazon and see wild piranhas, all for 25% off.
Mexico was already pretty cheap, and it just got cheaper. Travel the Baja (see previous posts) at 20% off.