Inspire

9 Places Where Your Dollar Will Go Far In 2017

Some wallet-friendly getaways for the new year.

Brought to you by Qantas Money

Proudly presented by Qantas Money, the prepaid multi-currency card for Qantas Frequent Flyers. It\'s the rewarding way to pay while travelling overseas.

Wrapping up another massive year here at AWOL, we forecast ahead to another year of incredible international adventure.

As usual, planning in advance is no mean feat: with a seemingly endless list of itineraries and hot list destinations to pick from, the question remains: where to go in 2017? Given the unpredictable global financial climate of late, it’s always a good bet for Aussies to consider spots where the AUD will take them that little bit further. Here’s our projected run down of some of 2017’s most attractive and wallet friendly international getaways.

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The UK

The UK has always tempted Aussies with its doorway status to Europe. Long gone are the days when a 5 Pound pint of Carling cost you 15 Australian bucks – at just under 60 cents to 1 GBP, the AUD has gained serious strength against the pound this past year (around 22 percent in value) and in the wake of Brexit, it’s expected to stay fairly powerful. 2017 is as good a time as any for a Northern Hemispheric long haul trip.

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Canada

An ongoing mutual fondness between Commonwealth brethren, the good ol’ Canadian buck has stayed true with its Southern compatriots as a long-time parity pal. With the AUD still on a near one-to-one CAD exchange rate, spending in Canuckland is akin to home, if not a little cheaper cost-of-living-wise. This ‘coalition of the affordable’ ought to make that ski odyssey through Vancouver, road trip to Toronto, and cultural blowout across Quebec to Montreal just a tad more satisfying.

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South Africa

As if you needed a prod to get yourself across to the ‘other’ great southern land, the AUD saw a 17% growth rate against the South African Rand this past year, and with any luck it’ll keep up the pace through January onward. At just 14 hours from Sydney direct, routes from Oz to Johannesburg are a lot closer than you probably think. Hit the skies for the far west, climb Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, and lose yourself amidst the incredible wildlife of the great South African land.

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Sri Lanka

An often-overlooked hot spot, Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has only just begun to bloom. Better yet, the AUD enjoyed a 12% increase in value against Sri Lankan Rupee during the past year, a trend likely to sustain through 2017. Take an unforgettable journey to the sub-continent: ride the rails, hop from beach to stunning beach, and load up on some of the best pittu, kiribath and curry on earth.

Photo: eiko/Flickr

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Burma (Myanmar)

No saving savvy travel list is complete without a tip of the hat to South East Asia, where fortuitous exchange rates have drawn Australians for decades. Though still incredibly affordable, popular hubs like Thailand and Vietnam have seen the AUD rate drop off a little in recent years; Burma (Myanmar), on the other hand, offers a dollar to rupee rate as compelling as its cultural and historical pull. With 1 AUD scoring around 970 Burmese Kyat, the new SE Asian frontier is a deal in anyone’s book.

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New Zealand

NZ: home of stunning peaks, Middle Earth, and some of the friendliest people on the planet. The ‘eastern island’ has always lured Australians with its beautiful nature and convenient proximity. Despite a few shifts between the NZD and the AUD this year, the Aussie dollar still stretches its arms a little bit further than its Kiwi counterpart, so 2017 is a great time to make NZ a priority.

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Argentina

Got a hankering for tango? Incredible steak? Nights full of music and culture surrounded by some of the most incredible natural landscapes on earth? In 2017, head for Buenos Aires and the Andes – the AUD enjoyed a 36% increase in value against the Argentinian Peso this last year, and it’s still looking good. With flights between Australia and South America being easier than ever via the hub of Santiago, the pull of Argentina remains an attractive option for the budget traveller.

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Romania

With 1 AUD trading for just over 3 Romanian New Leu (aka the very easy to remember ‘RON’), Dracula’s home country has never been more appealing to the Aussie wanderer. As one of the most under-travelled – yet interesting – lands of east Europe, Romania’s castles, meadows and dramatic snow-capped mountain peaks are a 2017 must-see. Check out the Saxon walls of Brasov, gothic architecture and medieval towns, and Transylvania’s iconic Bran Castle.

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Poland

Neighbour to Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltic Sea, the second best part about heading to Poland is that it’s so central in Europe – the first best bit for us is that the AUD has seen a 10% increase in value against the Polish Zloty over the last year, and that 3-to-1 ratio will come in handy as you travel about the stunning historical cities of this intriguing country. Modern Warsaw and Krakow are great cities, while Wroclaw and Gdansk will keep your sausage, pierogi and vodka cravings well and truly catered for.

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