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Where to Travel on a Low Loonie

In Travel by Continental StaffLeave a Comment

Okay…the loonie may not be the belle of the ball right now – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still go out and have a good time with it. There are tons of places where the Canadian dollar will go a long way – you just have to be a bit more selective when it comes to trip planning. So read on and you’ll find out what the best places to travel on a low loonie are!

1. Brazil

brazil rio de janeiro mountain view city

Oil prices may be playing havoc with the Canadian economy, but let’s just spare a quick thought for Brazil. Despite being heralded as one of the world’s potential future powers (it is a member of the BRICS after all), things have been less than rosy in the land of the samba. Between corruption scandals, an economic downgrade, and schedule problems for a major sporting event – Brazil (and by extension, the Brazilian real) have been on the slide.

The upshot of all of this is that the exchange rate between the dollar and the real is actually quite manageable. For 1 Canadian dollar, you can get about 2.8 Brazilian reais – which is among the best return we’ve seen for the last 15 years. Oh and that sporting event that’s causing so many problems…it’s the 2016 Summer Olympics. Despite the multitude of issues facing the host country, it’s sure to be a memorable games – and one that is more feasible than ever for Canadians to visit.

2. Mexico

mexico beach sea night puerto vallarta

One of the favourite destinations for Canadians in search of warm weather; Mexico is still as inviting as ever. The typical tourist areas are alive and well, with tons of deals available for the country’s renowned resorts. Mexico is also home to some great destinations off the beaten path (read: not Cancun) that often feature cheaper prices.

The exchange rate is still pretty good for Canadians, though it has slipped somewhat at least when compared to the highs of 2012. For 1 Canadian dollar you can get about 12.5 Mexican pesos – and that can go a long way. Just be sure to choose your destination carefully as the prices and deals will vary considerably.

3. Cuba

cuba cars vintage havana colorful buildings

While the thawing of American-Cuban relations has slowly been opening the door to this island nation for our southern brethren, the communist country is still largely the domain of Canadian tourists. Known for cheap, unique resorts that cater to Canadian travelers, not much has changed as of yet. As a result, many vacation packages are sold and marketed in Canadian dollars – meaning that the prices aren’t as affected by the volatile FX market. It should also be noted that the Cuban convertible peso is restricted, and only available inside the country. As such, it is best to exchange your Canadian cash once you get to Cuba. Of equal importance (if not more so), you are required to show that you have health insurance upon entering the country. Learn more about the entry requirement HERE.

Anyways, back to your getaway. Let’s be honest, soon the beaches and hotels of Cuba are going to be packed with tourists as tons of Americans make their way down for the first time. While we count ourselves fans of positive international diplomacy, we also enjoy a nice, relaxing vacation. In other words – go visit Cuba before it becomes too busy!

4. Colombia

colombia beach boats mountains south america

We’re not just saying this because Colombia is our Country of the Week (well, not only at least). If you read our Travel Guide, you’ll know that the average cost of a day in the country works out to just over $30 Canadian. If that sounds like a small amount – that’s because it is. Throw in the fact that the exchange rate is currently among the most skewed in favour of the dollar in over a decade and you have a recipe for a cheap vacation.

While perhaps overlooked in favour of other Latin American countries, visitors to Colombia find that it is home to everything you’d want and expect from a trip to this part of the world. Gorgeous beaches, vibrant cities, friendly locals, stunning landscapes, and pre-Columbian historical relics – it’s all here and available for a low, low price!

5. Indonesia

indonesia boat river island asia

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. Another interesting fact is that it’s also one of the cheapest countries in Asia to visit for Canadians. Food and drink is pretty cheap here (not to mention delicious) while there’s always a wide array of lodging options on offer. Indonesia is an especially appealing destination for the younger, more adventurous crowd. This is a great country for backpackers who don’t mind roughing it a little while taking advantage of great weather and scenery.

The exchange rate has fallen slightly in favour of the rupiah (that’s the Indonesian currency) over the past few months, but overall it’s been very weak compared to the dollar for about two years now. Plus there’s nothing cooler than walking around with a bill that says 10,000 on it (even if it is worth just slightly more than $1).

6. Wherever You Like

world sign forest wood explore travel

Is this entry kind of a cop out? Yeah I guess, but that doesn’t make it any less important. While it’s true that traveling stateside (among other places) isn’t quite as cheap as it has been in the past, that doesn’t mean it’s not an option. If you really want to head down to Florida for a week – you can still make it happen! Just spend a bit more time shopping around and you’ll quickly realize there are affordable deals out there. If you’re overwhelmed, there are always travel agents who can help find the diamond in the rough when it comes to vacation packages (they do this for a living after all). Don’t let a low loonie cut you off from the rest of the world. Travel smart, make prudent financial choices, and you’ll still find that the world is your proverbial oyster.

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