$2 for a meal? That’s like… a bargain.

Take away the flights, the hotels, the Uber rides and all the other stuff, and travelers are still rife with anxiety, from the never ending array of daily expenses.

Wouldn’t it be nice to venture to a destination that’s not only captivating, but also offers the best bang for your buck, with delicious food too? Hipmunk has put together a compelling survey of the countries that offer the best value for the U.S. Dollar at the moment, and why now – like right now – is a better time to visit than ever…


$1 USD = $27 Argentinian Peso.

Now really is the best time to visit Argentina. The U.S. Dollar is favoring extremely well against the Argentinian Peso, flights are cheaper than ever, and tourists can now receive a refund on the 21% hotel tax. Plus, Argentina dropped the $160 visa fee, so you can go for up to 90 days without any silly extra visa expenses.

And hey, they do red wine and steak pretty well there too.


$1 USD = $278 Hungarian Forint.

According to Hopper, flights to Budapest are down 8% in price this year compared to years past, which is nice on its own. Throw in one of the best conversion rates of any currency into Hungarian Forint, and incredible five star hotels at prices you’d expect for a three star hotel – and this is a bargain. Budapest is a captivating city with everything from romantic history to wild nightlife.

The hot springs are worth a visit too!

South Korea

$1 USD = $1114 South Korean Won.

Futuristic, minimalist, tech centric and steeped in deep tradition, South Korea is one of the best destinations for any traveler. From buddhist temples to futuristic billboards, the country has it all, and the food is absolutely to die for. Flights from the U.S. to Korea are down 11% year over year, and the dollar is having one of it’s best ever runs against the South Korean Won.

Though Japan is tough to beat, this is a great alternative, and a bit cheaper too.


$1 USD = $32 Thai Bhat.

You don’t know street food until you’ve eaten at Jay Fai. With many street food prices under $5 a meal, why wouldn’t you. From Phuket to Bangkok and Chiang Mai beauty, cheap beer and cheap food is everywhere. Thanks to low cost airlines driving down prices, there’s never been a better time to book a flight either. The U.S. dollar is doing extremely well at the moment, which only makes the value even more compelling than usual.

Plus, it’s one of the cheapest cities for five star hotels.

South Africa

$1 USD = $13.5 South African Rand.

Some destinations are maybe’s, but Cape Town is a must. The city by the sea offers more beauty than anyone can possibly imagine, with a culture unlike anywhere else on earth. The U.S. Dollar is making a strong comeback against the South African Rand in 2019, and with great premium economy deals and new ways to use points, it’s easier to get there than ever. Cape Town doesn’t get nearly enough praise for it’s world class food scene, and at these prices, you’ll seriously wonder why.

And before you ask, it’s much safer than you’d expect.


$1 USD = $107 Icelandic Króna.

This is was surprising, but Hipmunk has some sound logic behind the selection. We already know Iceland is on your bucket list, and right now may be the best possible time to check it out. With the emergence of WOW Air, Icelandair and other airlines have dropped prices to astronomical lows, and Icelandair even allows free multi day stopovers en route to Europe.

The dollar has risen a whopping 7% and counting since March, and in case you didn’t know – summer in Iceland is more beautiful than words can describe.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. My wife and I were in Thailand in January, and observed that the government is killing off the street food in the tonier areas of Bangkok, and has been very clear that other ares will be likewise bereft of street food in the future. What a shame.

  2. Your information is wrong, don’t mistake currency exchange rates with cost at the country.

    Japan is $1= $100yen by your logic, but a small capsule for a night is $40 U.S. and up.

    The cheapest meal we could find was $5 US for a sandwiche. Even at grocery stores, food was expensive compared to the U.S.

    Some places will even charge you a premium because you areba foreigner, even more if you look like money.

  3. yes, as the above poster has suggested, I think it would be useful to list how much lets say a meal or something costs as well apart from just the exchange rates.

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