Vacation Spots Where You Could Still Get More for Your Dollar

By: Kristien Wilkinson

I know you've been dying to take that long-planned trip to Europe where you can try out your new skis on the Swiss alps, marvel at the impressive cathedrals in Italy, take a tour of the ancient ruins in Greece, and maybe even meet the Queen in London (although you'll need a whole lot of luck for the last one). This pesky little thing called the economy however has decided to spoil your vacation plans. With the weakening dollar, a European trip is now a lot more expensive and way beyond your budget.

Don't store your suitcase away just yet though. While it is all too real that the US currency is on a steady downward trend, there are still a number of vacation spots where you can get more for your buck. They may not be quite as grandiose as Europe but they're just as enjoyable and may even have more in store for the adventurous traveler.

First up is Argentina. With this destination, you won't have to miss Europe as much. Breath-taking landscapes, beautiful architecture, vibrant cosmopolitan lifestyle in the capital, and an ardent love for football, Argentina is as close to Europe as you can get. The country's currency suffered a traumatic collapse in 2001 but has recovered in large measure since then. The dollar still enjoys a strong value here though and travelers can definitely have a blast since dining and accommodations cost almost half as much as in the West.

For more of Latin American atmosphere, you can also visit Costa Rica. This country offers pristine beaches, rivers, and rainforests; certainly a welcome relief from the harried rush of the metropolis. For nature lovers, Costa Rica is a well-preserved haven. This is one of the best places to go snorkeling, rafting, kayaking, or to just simply be in awe of earth's natural wonders. Costa Rica used to be a well-kept secret among backpackers and biologists but it has recently been receiving a much larger influx of travelers.

Right in the heart of Europe is another weak dollar-friendly travel destination. I'm talking about the Czech Republic. Yeah I know, we're supposed to veer away from ultra expensive euro territories but this vacation spot happens to fit our itinerary. Although the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, it still hasn't adopted the euro as its official currency. Prague, the capital, is famous for its historic Gothic castles and is considered as one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Tucked away in the Czech countryside are a variety of spas, thanks to the abundance of natural springs and mud. Forget the overpriced spa treatments in the US; you can avail of a whole body massage with aromatherapy in Czech Republic for as low as $35.

Southeast Asia is another choice destination if you want to get more for your dollar. One of the most popular travel spots here is Thailand where you can find a conglomeration of panoramic sceneries, bustling nightlife, historic temples, and even royalty. The country is also well-known for its flavorful cuisines which has widely influenced even the Western culinary scene. What better way to discover the authentic taste of Thai dishes than to immerse yourself in this fascinating country.

Vietnam is also a good choice if you want to further explore Southeast Asia. The rural scenes in this country remain virtually untouched, still displaying their idyllic charms in the midst of fast-paced modernization. The natural reserves in Vietnam are also worth exploring while first-class hotels in the capital can be enjoyed for half the price of their US counterparts.

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