International Travel: Best Summer Values


With the economy struggling, most people are trying to hold onto every penny they can in case things get worse. You probably think you can’t afford to take a summer vacation this year with the way things are going. But stock prices aren’t the only prices that have gone down. Airfare is finally looking affordable and there are deals galore on hotels and resorts all over the world. If you’ve dreamed of travel abroad, now may be your best opportunity to take advantage of the great prices. Can you afford to miss out?

If the answer is no, here are some countries you might want to put on your travel itinerary:


Since the banking collapse, Argentina has been a great deal for Americans, but it’s gotten even better this year. Hotel rooms in the stunning capital city of Buenos Aires can easily be found for around $50/night. This city is often called the Paris of Latin America and offers tons of affordable entertainment and excellent restaurants. A fantastic steak dinner for two with a bottle of Malbec wine can be had for less than $25. But you don’t have to stay in the city. Argentina also offers breathtaking natural scenery including Iguazu Falls, which are even grander than Niagara Falls. Traveling in the summer for the northern hemisphere will place you in Argentina in the off-season when the weather is much cooler, but prices are even cheaper.


Iceland also has a banking collapse to thank for it sudden affordability, but this one was more recent than Argentina’s. In the past, Iceland was one of the most expensive European destinations, but now hotel rooms around the capital city of Reykjavik can be found for less than $100/night, even in the peak summer months when the sun is out practically 24 hours a day. Travel in June and you can enjoy the uber-fun Festival of the Sea in Reykjavik and many other festivities.

South Africa

While South Africa is known for its safari parks and nature reserves, it also offers stunning beaches, excellent wineries and first-class golfing resorts. The exchange rate for the South African Rand has been between 6 and 7 to $1 for years, but now it’s between 9 and 10. And because South Africa is also in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s cheapest for Americans traveling in the summer. Four-star hotels can easily be found in Cape Town for less than $100 a night and some are as low a $50 a night. The finest hotels are no more than $200 a night but flights are the most costly, at about $1,200 roundtrip from New York City.


Australia isn’t exactly a cheap vacation, but it is a lot cheaper than before. The Australian Dollar and the U.S. dollar used to be almost comparable, but now they are about $1.50 to $1. Sydney is an amazing city and there is a whole continent filled with outback adventures to be had. A decent hotel room in Sydney can be found for less than $100. Airfare might not be has high as you imagine. From Los Angeles, you can get a roundtrip ticket for less than $700 when traveling in the summer, which is Australia’s off-season.

To spot good deals, check out the vacation packages sections of online travel sites like Travelocity and Expedia. Combining airfare and accommodations can equal more savings.

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