Strong dollar great for Asia bound holidaymakers
With the Australian dollar now trading at well over 95 US cents, money savvy travelers will be locking in the savings with cost effective destinations and prepaid travel cards.
The Australian dollar soared past 95 US cents this morning, reaching, its highest level in three months when the Federal Reserve surprised financial markets by keeping its stimulus program unchanged.
Reaching a peak of 95.28 cents at 6.30am, up from 93.7 cents, the Australian dollar is now trading at levels not seen since mid-June.
"It clearly caught markets by surprise, even as expectations were pared back in recent weeks," said Westpac chief currency strategist Robert Rennie. Who also said he thought the Australian dollar may have higher still to climb.
Fluctuations in the dollar are welcome news for Australian travelers looking to book in their spring and summer vacations. If the USA is a stretch, ideal destinations to make the most of the weak US dollar include Hong Kong (the Hong Kong Dollar is pegged to the American dollar at a rate of 7.8) or Cambodia, where the US dollar is still the preferred currency.
Both Hong Kong and Cambodia ranked in the top six destinations in Asia for 2013 according to Hong Kong-based travel and trade journal, Smart Travel Asia. With ratings based on such criteria as holiday suitability and quality of shopping, services, hotels, restaurants, and transportation.
Prepaid travel cards are also a really nifty way to recession proof your holiday plans. You can compare the exchange rate on travel cards and choose the best for your destination. Loading up your card ahead of time will mean that if the Aussie dollar dips again, your discount is already locked in.