During the 1974 stock market crash, Warren Buffett said he felt like an “oversexed guy in a harem.” When stocks are on sale, Buffett loves to buy. He knows he’s getting a bargain. Smart travelers do much the same thing. They travel when it’s cheap. And now may be the best time in ages for Americans to travel abroad. Thank the soaring U.S. dollar.
Mexico is the #1 foreign vacation destination for Americans. According to the Office of Travel and Tourism, more than 25 million Americans jumped the border for Tequillaville in 2014. Today, it’s a Buffett-like value play. The Mexican peso is down 15 percent since March 2014. That means a Mexican holiday that would have cost $5000 last March (not including airfare) might cost just $4,250 today.
Puerto Vallarta is a long-time favorite. But before booking, surf hotel prices and customer reviews at Booking.com and Tripadvisor.com. You’ll find well-rated accommodations, such as the one at Hotel Posada De Roger in Puerto Vallarta. Guests give it an 8.4 (out of a possible 10) on Booking.com. At just $37 per night, it’s a value hunter’s bargain. Just remember that many of the resorts are priced in U.S. dollars. Find an out-of-the way hotel that’s priced in pesos, and you’ll take advantage of the currency’s drop.
Canada is America’s second favorite country to visit, with just over 12 million U.S. travelers last year. The Canadian dollar plunged 14 percent over the past 12 months. So it’s another country on sale.
I rank Tofino, British Columbia as one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, you can take a 3-hour whale watching tour for just $70 USD. You could also surf the waves or saunter along Long Beach where you’re almost certain to see Bald Eagles.
If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a Black Bear. Middle Beach Lodge is my favorite place to stay. Booking.com reviewers give it an 8.7 out of 10. Thanks to the currency discount, you get one of the world’s most stunning settings, starting at just $122 a night.
But Europe might be the best deal of all. After a 23 percent 1-year drop, the Euro is in the bargain bin. If you like high class sightseeing tours, check out the deals at TourCrafters.com. They’re offering an 8-day, 7-night get-away in Sicily for just $1,503 per person. It doesn’t include airfare. But it does include 4 star accommodations, food, transportation, sightseeing, a tour guide and cooking classes. TourCrafters offers similarly priced packages for Beaune and Paris, France.
You can also find some great European hotel bargains at venere.com. The Art Hotel Congres in Paris costs just $100 a night per couple. If you prefer Rome, Italy, you could stay at the La Maison Bed & Breakfast. It earns good customer reviews. Located in Rome’s historic center, it costs just $87 a night.
U.S. News ranks Barcelona, Spain as the third best place to visit in Europe, behind Paris and Rome. A struggling Spanish economy has kept prices down. But based on a trip my wife and I took last June (we cycled across Spain) the people and the culture are as welcoming as ever. Barcelona’s Hotel Medinaceli receives strong reviews for the price. The 4 Star hotel costs just $68 a night per couple.
Portugal offers an even better deal. If you’re a sun seeker, you’ll love the beaches in the southern Algarve region. Thanks to the plunging Euro, you could stay at the popular Clube Albufeira Resort for $32 a night. It has a swimming pool. And each apartment includes a kitchen, refrigerator, cookware, dishes and utensils. A 2-3 month long stay could be cheaper than staying at home.
Currency plunges, like Bear Markets, don’t come along every year. So think like Warren Buffett. Take advantage of widespread sales.
The Incredible Shrinking Currencies
What Cost $5000, One-Year Ago, May Now Cost…
|Country||Discounted Sale||One Year Ago||May Now Cost|
|Great Britain||11% off!||$5000||$4,450|
|New Zealand||14% off!||$5000||$4,300|
|*Currencies as of March 27, 2015|
Andrew Hallam is a Digital Nomad. He’s the author of the bestseller, Millionaire Teacher and The Global Expatriate's Guide to Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat.