Before you whip out the credit card to book an overseas holiday, it might be worth checking out what's happening with the Aussie dollar so you can pick a destination where your money will stretch the furthest.
Our dollar has taken a tumble over the past two years. The currency, which was not long ago trading one for one with the US Greenback, is now scraping just above US70 cents. Of course, a low Aussie dollar is good for international investment. It also makes our Reserve Bank happy as the Aussie dollar in the 7's is a good thing for our economy.
That said, not everyone is overjoyed to be done with the days when our dollar was at parady with the US. Intrepid travellers across our country are still mouring the times when we could stroll into an all American diner and buy an obsenely large breakfast for ten Aussie big ones.
So where is the next location that will see you get bang for your Australian buck?
Do your research
Smart Aussies can still get value for their money when it comes to road trippin' O/S – its just you have to do a bit more research.
Alternatively, ask the experts. New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, Russia or Norway are the picks right now, according to travel company Expedia. As reported in the SMH, Expedia says these five destinations are the only ones where the Australian dollar goes further than it did a year ago.
If staying local is your thing, why not give Indonesia a try? The south-east Asian republic also offers Aussies good value for money when it comes to currency. Home to the majestic Komodo dragon, beautiful beaches and the delicious Nasi Goreng, Indonesia is a top destination for many.
Japan is also another good option. Flights are reasonable, particuartly now there are more services with greater choice from low cost airlines. And if you stay away from the tourist highlights – which extend from downtown Tokyo to the top of the Aussie-filled ski resort Niseko, then you are bound to get a better deal.
Lock in currencies
You might have picked a destination to head to when your annual leave rolls around, but don't rest on your laurels just yet.
Whether you travel on a shoestring or splash out on luxury hotels, you're still going to spend money — the exact amount is up to you (and your savings account balance).
Buying foreign currency before you leave is a smart move. There are a number of products on the market that allow you to do this, while still offering identification protection, such as PINs.
There are two advantages to locking and loading before you jet off:
One. You can set yourself a budget and ensure you kerb your spending if you're getting too happy with the plastic in a foreign country. Set yourself a daily spending limit as well.
Two. You can load foreign currencies — from the USD to the JPY — onto your travel card or cash passport ahead of your trip at the current exchange rate. In some instances, you might get a better exchange deal now rather than in three months time. So buy up the foreign currency while the value's there, ahead of your trip.