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Strong Dollar, Cheaper Fuel Good Reasons To Travel Abroad

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A stronger dollar, plus lower fuel prices, tells our travel expert that it could be a good year to head overseas.

It could be a good year to travel abroad for two reasons.

First, the U.S. dollar is stronger against the Euro than at any time in the last four years. And it's climbing against other foreign currencies, too.

 

“As an American dollar holder, when you travel overseas, you're going to get a bigger bang for your buck,” said KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley. “I was just in Europe a week ago, and everything seems a little less expensive than it did a year or two ago.”

 

The other factor is dropping fuel prices, which hopefully will help ease airfares slightly.

“There are a lot of destinations overseas you could take a look at for 2015,” Brumley said.

 

Like Where?

 

Europe remains the most popular off-continent destination for American travelers. The Carribbean is a close second.

 

Brumley says travelers looking for a deal should focus on places we're not traveling.

 

“They're not heading to Africa,” he said, in part because of the Ebola outbreak in western Africa. But it's a massive continent.

 

Brumley says countries like Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya have "received so many cancellations in the last six months, and they're just begging for people to return. They need them for their local economy.”

 

Look, too, at Australia and New Zealand, which also has seen fewer U.S. visitors in recent years.

 

“That's because in the last few years it was too expensive,” Brumley said. “The Australian dollar was on par with the U.S. dollar.”

 

But if you look at Oceana — Australia, New Zealand and some of the surrounding islands — you'll find some good deals.

 

Bottom Line

 

“Falling oil prices and a stronger dollar equals some great opportunities to find some great deals in international tickets and travel,” Brumley said.

 

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Matthew Brumley is the founder of Earthbound Expeditions, which organizes group travel around the world for its clients, including KPLU. "Going Places" is our travel segment exploring all aspects of getting from Point A to Point B. Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.
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