So I have to tell you, from a exchange rate perspective, 2007 has not been a great year to travel outside the United States. Well, at least not if you have American Dollars to change (thank you George W. Bush). The exchange rates of most of the currencies we changed for was usually worse when we left than when we arrived, it sucked.
If you are as determined as we were to get out there and see the world, and the Dollar hasn’t yet recovered, here are a few things to consider:
- Stay Away from Western Europe – The Dollar to the Euro sucks. The Pound? Even worse. You will spend more money than you expect to here.
- Go to Countries with Good Exchange Rates – We spent about as much in a week in the United Kingdom as we did in two months in India without trying. You read that right – one week, two months.
- Get Out of the Big Cities – In our experience we spent about half as much in the country as we did in the cities. It may seem like there’s less to do, but there is a LOT less to spend money on.
- Buy Less Before You Leave – Ever heard of buying at the top? That’s what you’re doing ever time you buy something in the States. Example – We bought a months worth of anti-malarial medication in the states. Each pill cost about ten dollars a piece. That gave us enough to get “in country” and find some more, or cheap. The very first pharmacy we went to in Delhi sold the exact same malarial meds for about a dollar a pill – we saved nine dollars on every pill by getting the rest in India. That’s Med’s but the same goes for hiking shoes, quick dry clothes, etc.
- Avoid Whitey – When you do get out on the road, don’t go to Starbucks. It’s easy, it’s comfortable, and very expensive. In fact, when you’re out, ask locals where to eat. If you follow Lonely Planet all the time you’re going to get “Tourist Food” all the time. It’s cheaper, more fun and usually better quality to eat where the locals do.
|Currency||Value on Arrival||Arrival Date||Value at Departure||Departure Date||Up/Down|
|New Zealand Dollar||1.42||Jan. 05||1.44||Feb. 15||+ 0.02|
|Australian Dollar||1.27||Feb. 16||1.27||Mar. 13||+/-|
|Indian Rupie||44.21||Mar. 14||41.29||May 13||- 2.92|
|Chinese (PRC) Yuan||7.69||May 18||7.57||Jul 23||- 0.12|
|Mongolian Tugrik||1164.00||Jun 26||1163.78||Jul 14||- 0.22|
|Hong Kong Dollar||7.82||May 14||7.82||Jul 26||+/-|
|South African Rand||6.94||Jul 27||7.25||Aug 29||+ 0.31|
|Zimbabwean Dollar||134,000||Jul 28||360,000||Aug 3||+ 226,000|
|Zambian Dollar||4006.40||Jul 30||4000.21||Jul 31||- 6.19|
|Botswana Pula||6.35||Aug 2||6.32||Aug 3||- 0.03|
|Namibian Dollar||7.56||Aug 16||7.38||Aug 26||- 0.18|
|British Pound||0.4983||Aug 30||0.4966||Sep 6||- 0.0017|
|Jordanian Dinar||0.7138||Sep 6||0.7134||Sep 12||- 0.0004|
|Turkish New Lira||1.294||Sep 12||1.267||Sep 17||- 0.027|