Traveling in general is expensive but there is a big wildcard that people should consider before booking a trip, the economy of the destination. Unfortunately, strictly from a cost perspective, the best time to visit a country is when times are though there. Quite simply everything from food to lodging to activities is cheaper. However, this is obviously not a good idea during times of political strife, war or other events that could be bad for your health or general safety!
Here are some examples of past and present opportunities to travel and take advantage of lower prices.
2004 Tsunami: South East Asia was rocked by a huge Tsunami in December 2004. While most people had cancelled trips to the region, most tourist areas were up and running after only a couple weeks. This resulted in massive discounts for just about everything and beaches that were ordinarily packed with vacationers were almost deserted.
2008 Financial Crisis: During the crisis many countries were hit hard with rising unemployment and shrinking consumer confidence. Deals abounded in the USA which is almost always an expensive destination as well as many other countries.
2011/2012 European Debt Crisis: Ever want to go to Iceland, Ireland, Portugal or Spain? Now is the time. Thanks to the debt crisis, the Euro has plunged against the Canadian Dollar. In the period from 2008-2010, 1 Euro bought 1.60 $CAD. As of today, 1 Euro buys 1.27 $CAD, a drop of 20%!! This makes these and any other European destination for that matter much more reasonable. Greece will be on this list eventually once things settle down a bit more.
Here’s a 5 year Euro/CAD chart to illustrate the huge plunge.
Thinking of a romantic trip to Paris? Compared to a few years ago it’s like France is having a 20% off sale!
Have any of you traveled somewhere during times of uncertainty and reaped financial benefit? Let us know!