Cheap overseas holiday destinations for your family
We recently booked some great fares to the US for a family holiday later in the year. However, the Aussie dollar is currently sitting at US69cents which isn't ideal. Being a true optimist, I'm hoping to see the Aussie dollar lift a lot higher by the middle of year. Fingers crossed.
So whilst the US currency exchange is not working in our favour, what other destinations offer more bang for your buck? Of course, there are the usual suspects such as Bali and Thailand, but surely there must be other destinations that offer value for money?
I went straight to the travel experts - Flight Centre - and asked them to crunch the numbers to find the best-value destinations to visit now based on the performance of the Aussie dollar.
"The Aussie dollar had a good year against the Malaysian Ringgit, Mexican Peso, and huge gains against the Brazilian Real and Russian Ruble. Closer to home, the AUD is still winning against the NZD after a rollercoaster 12 months where the Kiwi dollar nearly gained parity," says Tom Wally, head of leisure travel at Flight Centre.
Here's Wally's list of six great-value destinations based on the AUD currency exchange.
BRAZIL Time for a trip to Brazil! The past 12 months has seen the Australian dollar make huge gains against the Brazilian Real, now up 33% on 12 months ago according to foreign currency data sourced by Travel Money Oz for Flight Centre.
The country is gearing up for the Rio Olympics this year and now is a good time to secure some holiday cash and lock in accommodation, while those scouting for a great value dollar destination would do well to consider a holiday package to Brazil.
Mexico is the place to be right now for great value destinations thanks to gains in the Australian dollar against the Mexican Peso. Travellers looking to make the most of their holiday budget could extend into South America where they will still get great bang for their buck.
Our dollar is now buying 29% more Russian Rubles than 12 months ago. The economic gains are a win for travellers and further incentive for people to bump a trip to Russia to the top of their bucket list.
Fiji is a holiday favourite and for good reason. Popular with families and couples alike, both groups enjoy the low cost of living on the island that means their dollar stretches further than other island alternatives.
Aussie visitors already enjoy an advantageous exchange rate and can pick up extremely affordable accommodation with three-star hotels averaging at $57* per night, and as cheap as $37* per night. Eating out is also a great value proposition with a recent cost of living analysis indicating that a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant comes in at around $30.
It caused a major stir across the ditch when the New Zealand dollar approached parity with the AUD in 2015, but the dollar has bounced back to be firmly in our favour, and with sales on flights and holiday packages periodically throughout the year; Australian travellers are primed to pick up a great value trip.
The Australian Dollar has remained stable against the South African Rand in the past 12 months, maintaining its strong exchange rate. Don't put off that wish-list safari trip, South Africa is actually a very affordable destination for Australians. Food and drinks are especially good value with cocktails costing only a few dollars and great meals very little.