a city with many buildings and a city skyline

$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? As travel begins to rebound and countries reopen their borders, here are some places where the US Dollar brings huge value, and lots of travel joy.

Not all of these options are open to American visitors today, but when they are, they’re must do’s for so many reasons. And yeah, Michelin starred meals for $10 don’t hurt…

a tall tower in a city at nightArgentina

$1 USD = $91 Argentinian Peso.

We’re really not far off what’s expected to be one of the best ever times to visit Argentina. Once borders open again, and things stabilize, so many things are in your favor.

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. The dollar is up to 91 Argentinian Pesos, and the blue market can do even better! Just Google it ; )

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

a bridge over a river with buildings in the backgroundHungary

$1 USD = $309 Hungarian Forint.

According to Hopper, flights to Budapest are down 8% in price 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 and some of the best fine dining you can do on a budget. In fact, you’ll be shocked.

The hot springs are worth a visit too! Keep track of current entry restrictions and plan your next escape!

a city with lights and a mountain in the backgroundSouth Korea

$1 USD = $1129 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. It may be a bit of time before outsiders are allowed back in, but hopefully not long!

a city with many buildings and a city skylineThailand

$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. Thailand is expected to reopen by October 2021, so start planning now!

a road with a city in the backgroundSouth Africa

$1 USD = $14.7 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 2021, 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. Whenever it makes sense to return given the current global crisis, do it!

a road leading to a lake


$1 USD = $126 Icelandic Króna.

We already know Iceland is on your bucket list, and right now may be the best possible time to check it out. Vaccinated travelers are already welcome.

With that news, 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 10% 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.

    1. That’s exactly what the article said. Please learn how to comprehend sentence structure before travelling abroad. Yikes

      1. Yea get all pissy because you got called out. You haven’t mentioned a damn thing about actual value of your dollar, so your article is garbage. You just mention conversion rate and then talk about a bunch of nonsense nobody cares about.

          1. I noticed mexicos exchange rate us dollars you get alot of pesos mexico MANIPULATES their currency market 21000 pesos a month for a apartment equals over a 1000 usd

          2. It’s true. Everything in Japan costs at least 100 yen. Even a drink from the vending machine which was basically $1.

        1. Well I came here trying to figure out what country 1 usd would be worth the most in . Meaning would 1 usd buy me 20usd or 50 usd worth of items in each country and nothing in this article mentioned anything about that

  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.

    1. 2Gs a month ? I guess I should consider myseretited here in the states cause my expenses are at 2g or less monthly.

  4. Currency exchange rate is only a starting point. The adage, ” you get what you pay for” is more apropos than ever. What is much more significant is the cultural style, weather, accommodations, crime/safety, personal preferences, and many other considerations depending on individual priorities to evaluate for an area of selection.

  5. Good article, it would of been a little better if you gave some examples of prices for each country. like a meal, gas, hotels etc…

  6. Have you ever gone to Nigeria? If so, did you feel safe. Lagos, Benin city, Warri?
    great food and culture from friends I am hearing. And did you think it was expensive.?

  7. These numbers are waaaayyy off and not calculating the exchange rate. I live in Seoul, South Korea (for five years) and you definitely do not get $1,000 for $1. The $1 is what is considered ₩1,000. So a meal can cost between ₩5,000-₩10,000 which will usually come out to about $3.50-$9 depending on the exchange rate. So for example, I pay ₩3,000,000 for rent which comes out between $2,600 – $2,700 each month – not $3,000,000. But with all that being said, other than rent it is extremely cheap for everything and one of the most safest countries (you can keave money on the table and no one will touch it). There are cameras everywhere. It is very easy to get around in the city as the majority speaks English and all signs on the subways, trains and roads are in English as well.

    Also, Japan is definitely way more expensive than Korea (Tokyo compared to Seoul).

  8. Man I miss Korea. I was there 3 times. Pyongtaek, Daegu (camp walker), and Pyongtaek ( camp humphreys). Thinking about going back for a GS level job

  9. I like the list and for the person complaining about cost in Japan – $40 for a cheap place to stay and $5 for a sandwich is a bargain! Also anyone can Google cost in a specific currency (either in their currency or with the current exchange rate) so don’t be lazy – do your own work. This list is those countries where the US Exchange rate has gotten stronger and doesn’t represent itself at anything else.

    BTW – I have been to Iceland and Argentina. Iceland is pricey when I went (around 110 to a dollar) and even at this rate it is pricey but there are ways to minimize cost and the exchange rate definitely helps. Argentina, on the other hand, is VERY cheap. I went to Cordoba (wonderful city) about 3 years ago w the exchange rate at around 50 to the dollar. It was easy to find beer for under $2, a meal with appetizer, steak and a glass of wine for around $20, etc. At an exchange rate of around 90 to the dollar I suspect it is even cheaper in US terms unless there has been a lot of inflation. Only risk is it isn’t the most stable country and economic issues only make that worse.

  10. You are all insane to travel to any other country with the United States approval level around the world today. You try to get the best bang for your buck like your a Rockefeller , then when you make a dumb mistake and go to prison you expect your U.S. government to spend millions in tax payer money to get you home. Try spending money in your own country and make it a better place, instead of pretending you are a well versed world traveler expanding your knowledge and palette. It can all be accomplished here in the greatest nation in the world.

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