6 destinations where the Canadian dollar still goes far

Ouch! The Canadian dollar just hit an 11-year low against the U.S. dollar and with the economy stalling, it's expected the dollar could fall even further. When you consider the fact that Canadians have already seen their currency drop by 10% since the first of the year, many are wondering if it's time to put their vacation plans on hold?

Canadian dollar

Not at all, the decreased dollar really only applies if you’re travelling to the United States. The Canadian dollar has actually increased in value against some currencies and there are plenty of budget friendly destinations around the world. Here are some places that Canadians can visit without breaking the bank.

1. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey
Travellers have spoken and Istanbul has been ranked the #3 on TripAdvisor’s Best Destinations in the World – Travellers’ Choice Awards 2015. Turkey is even more attractive to Canadians these days since the Turkish Lira is trading near an all-time low against the Canadian dollar.
Istanbul has been around for thousands of years and it’s where Europe connects with Asia. The city has stunning ancient architecture blended with modern restaurants and nightlife. Strike a bargain at the grand bazaar, cruise down the Bosphorus, or enjoy a local meal, Istanbul is surprisingly affordable.

2. Mexico

Some Canadians have started to avoid Mexico due to random acts of violence making headlines, but the country is still safe to travel to.
Cancun can be a bargain for people looking for an all-inclusive getaway. The beach area isn’t just for party goers anymore either, many adult only resorts have started to come online making Cancun a place for people of all ages. If beaches aren’t your thing, Mexico City is relatively inexpensive to visit and has some amazing attractions including the Palace of Fine Arts and the National Museum of Anthropology.

3. Paris, France

Paris, France
The Euro may have recovered as of late, but it’s still trading at 15% lower than its historic high compared to the Canadian dollar.
Short-term apartment rentals are reasonably priced in The Latin Quarter of Paris where the streets are packed with bistros and restaurants. To save time and money, tourists can purchase a Paris Museum Pass which gives travellers access to 60+ attractions for a single price. 

4. New York City

New York City
New York City is the #1 searched destination in the world by Canadians on Skyscanner— clearly the weak dollar isn't stopping Canadians from visiting The Big Apple.
The great thing about New York City is that there are a ton of free attractions. TV show tapings are a popular draw, the Staten Island ferry gives you incredible views of Manhattan, and many NYC museums are either free or free on specific days. Be sure to check out the official NYC guide for a full list of free things to do.

5. Ecuador

Many people don’t realize that Ecuador is more than just a starting point for expensive cruises to the Galapagos Islands. Sure it’s not as glamorous as some of its heavyweight neighbours, but many visitors are amazed at what the country has to offer.
The capital of Quito is often referred to as a hidden gem. Within the city you can walk to churches and neighbourhoods that are hundreds of years old. Venture further out and you can stand on the equator, hike on an inactive volcano, trek through the rainforest, or enjoy modern spa resorts. Ecuador does have some safety issues so it’s advised to use a tour company such as Intrepid Travel or G Adventures where you’ll always have a local guide with you.

6. Thailand

The flight to Thailand might be on the pricier side, but once you’re on the ground, your living expenses will be next to nothing.
If you want to travel on a shoestring budget then consider lesser visited areas such as Lopburi, Utaradit, Phrae, Nan, and Sukhothai where you can get by for less than $30 a day. Of course that doesn’t mean the major tourist areas are expensive. Reasonably priced accommodations can easily be found, and street food in Thailand is notoriously cheap.

Final word

In the end, worrying about the value of the dollar really isn’t a big deal unless you plan on visiting the U.S. in the near future. What really matters is your overall travel budget. If you’ve set aside some funds for your travel plans, simply pick a destination that works within your numbers and get ready for your next travel adventure.