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5 places where your dollars will go further right now

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Compared to many foreign currencies, the value of the U.S. dollar is currently strong. This creates an ideal situation for deal-hunting Americans hoping to travel internationally.

Traveling while the U.S. dollar is strong means you can help support local economies while keeping your bank account happy. You may not see big savings on flights — unless you nab a cheap flight deal or book with points and miles. However, you’ll be able to stretch your dollar at the destination itself when it comes to accommodations, shopping excursions, dining and activities.

If you haven’t decided where to travel next, destinations such as Japan, Canada, Brazil and a few others are all worth considering if you’re looking to get bang for your buck.


View of Osaka Tower and from Shinsekai district. ELOI_OMELLA/GETTY IMAGES

A record number of travelers visited Japan in 2024. According to the Japanese National Tourism Organization, the country saw 3.08 million foreign tourists arriving in March alone. It was the first time Japan welcomed more than 3 million tourists in a single month ever. 

What’s driving all of the increased travel? The favorable exchange rate for American travelers is likely playing a big part. The value of the yen has been falling for years. Earlier this year, it hit its weakest level since 1990, with the current exchange rate clocking in at around 160 Japanese yen to $1. A few years ago, it took closer to 100 yen to equal a U.S. dollar. 

“Japan’s been hot since last year. It just hasn’t stopped being a popular destination once they opened up for tourists,” Erika Richter, spokesperson for the American Society of Travel Advisors, said. “There was a boom for Japan, and that remains the same, especially now that the U.S. dollar to the yen is so favorable.”


A weaker dollar in our neighboring country makes shopping and travel within Canada more affordable for American travelers. It’s a great situation for those who don’t want to travel far away from home. The Canadian dollar weakened to a near five-month low against its stronger U.S. counterpart, recently coming in at CA$1.37 to $1.

If you’re looking for a way to save money on a trip to Canada, consider planning your trip well in advance with a travel adviser or tour company. If possible, make your purchase in Canadian dollars — it’s a great way to lock in a lower price if you think exchange rates may rise in the months before your trip. 

“There’s a common misunderstanding that things cost more when you book with a travel adviser. They don’t,” Richter said. “The price of what you’re buying is the same whether you book with them or not. You’re just getting an enhanced level of experience, and you’re getting someone who can help you make decisions that will help you stay within your budget.”

Related: Sweet Spot Sunday: Booking low-cost flights to and around Canada with Aeroplan


Copacabana Beach and Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Copacabana Beach and Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro. F11PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Brazil has long been heralded as an affordable destination for U.S. travelers. Now, with the Brazilian real currently valued at around 5.15 reals to $1, there are even more bargains available. For context, the exchange rate was 2.21 reals to $1 a decade ago.

Brazil’s tourism board reports that visits from U.S. travelers in the first quarter of 2024 grew by 10.1% compared to the same time last year, and more than 83,000 Americans had already traveled to the country. Overall spending by international tourists in Brazil has also reached its highest value since tracking began in 1995. In the first quarter of 2024, tourists spent around 10.45 billion reals (about $2.03 billion).

“Brazil is more than ever on the radar of international tourists, and the first quarter numbers clearly reflect this,” Celso Sabino, Brazil’s minister of tourism, said in a statement. “Spending by foreigners in our country has reached a historic milestone, showing the strength and potential of Brazilian tourism.”

Considering the favorable exchange rate and the fact that American travelers currently do not need a visa to travel to Brazil, this is an excellent time to book a trip to Brazil. The visa requirement is waived for American, Canadian and Australian tourists through April 10, 2025. Travelers can purchase applications, which cost $80.90 per person, through the country’s e-visa site. Avoiding the fee for that expense can mean significant savings for a family planning to visit before April 2025.

Other destinations to watch


Richter also suggested Colombia as an ideal destination for U.S. travelers who want to get the most value out of their dollar. In the first quarter of 2024, the rate was 3,900 Colombian pesos to $1.

“Colombia is one of the destinations that we’re seeing people really wanting to explore more,” she said. “[It has] lots of rich cultural heritage, friendly locals and the U.S. dollar goes really far there.”

South Korea

South Korea is another destination where the currency reached new lows this year, with the won weakening more than 5% against the dollar. In April, the South Korean won depreciated to 1,400 against $1, marking a 17-month low.

South Korean cities like Seoul and Busan offer many affordable and free activities. Visitors can tour historic and cultural venues like museums and temples as well as natural attractions situated near the sea or in the mountains. The country also has an affordable public transit system that makes it easy and cheap to get around.

Airfare prices for domestic travel or to other nearby Asian countries can also be fairly affordable if traveling with budget airlines such as Air Busan or Jeju Air. 

Ways to maximize a favorable exchange rate

Ready to stretch your dollar by traveling to an international destination that’s currently budget-friendly for American travelers? Don’t forget to do these three things as well:

Bottom line

By watching markets and currency exchange rates, U.S. travelers can anticipate destinations that will emerge as the next great bargain and identify where their tourism dollars may be most needed.

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