$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…


$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.


$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!

South 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!


$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!

South 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!


$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...

Join the Conversation


  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.

  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. 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.?

  6. 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).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *