Bang for the buck: How USD exchange rates have changed for 10 major travel destinations
If you're itching to get back to international travel, consider how the U.S. dollar compares with local currencies, thanks to data from TravelPerk.
Ready to see the world? If you're one of the thousands bitten by the travel bug, you know that the industry has picked up in a big way since many countries have lifted COVID-19 restrictions. TSA checkpoint data showed that the number of travelers in U.S. airports throughout 2022 was more than 30% higher than in 2021.
International travel has come back with a bang after borders have reopened and quarantine restrictions have lessened. But before you pack your bags and get your passport stamped, you should know all the basics of the country you are visiting—including the language, currency, and the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar.
TravelPerk compared how the U.S. dollar has strengthened or weakened against the local currencies of 10 top travel destinations using data from Google Finance. Exchange rates were compared between Dec. 28, 2021, and Dec. 28, 2022. Locations for this list were chosen after analyzing U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office data on the most popular countries visited by American travelers.
Luckily for budget-minded travelers, the U.S. dollar has strengthened against the currency of many popular travel destinations on this list. However, the dollar has weakened compared to several warm-weather destinations in neighboring Central America and the Caribbean.
By arming yourself with information about the exchange rate, you can better budget for the food, drink, and entertainment you'll no doubt buy in your destination. In some countries, your savings might stretch further than you'd expect, while others might require that you budget for more than you initially expected.
- USD value, December 2021: 0.88 euros
- USD value, December 2022: 0.94
- Year-over-year change: 6.8%
Twenty countries in the eurozone accept the euro, making it a particularly versatile currency for travelers. Whether you want to eat waffles in Belgium, sip champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower in France, or tour cathedrals in Italy, having plenty of euros in your pocket is crucial to a European vacation.
The value of the euro compared to the U.S. dollar has seen some volatility over the last 10 years, but this has largely worked in Americans' favor. Where you used to need about $1.50 to equal 1 euro, the rate between the two currencies is now much closer to a 1-1 ratio.
- USD value, December 2021: 20.66 Mexican pesos
- USD value, December 2022: 19.44
- Year-over-year change: -5.9%
When you think of traveling to Mexico, your first thought might be of all-inclusive resorts on pristine beaches. But the country has so much more to offer to travelers. History buffs can marvel at the pyramids of Chichén Itzá; foodies can try different street tacos from vendors in Mexico City; and beach enthusiasts can soak up the sun on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Mexico is a pretty affordable trip for U.S. visitors, thanks to its proximity and the value of the Mexican peso against the dollar. While you might get fewer pesos for your dollar than last year, you can still expect your money to stretch a long way.
- USD value, December 2021: 1.28 Canadian dollars
- USD value, December 2022: 1.36
- Year-over-year change: 6.3%
The Great White North also uses a dollar for its currency, the value of which has changed in U.S. travelers' favor recently. This will come as welcome news to outdoor enthusiasts ready to soak up the stunning Canadian landscapes.
More than cold weather and donuts, this massive country is home to stunning mountains and waterfalls, ski resorts, museums, and more. Walk the 400-year-old cobbled streets of Old Québec, go on a culinary tour in foodie cities like Toronto and Vancouver, or check out the other side of the famous Niagara Falls.
- USD value, December 2021: 0.74 British pounds
- USD value, December 2022: 0.83
- Year-over-year change: 12.2%
When the United Kingdom left the European Union, the value of the British pound fell significantly. While not without ramifications to the international finance world, the upside is that U.S. travelers can stretch their dollars further than before.
The U.K. has no shortage of tourist attractions to entice travelers, such as museums packed with global history in London and castles in the countryside. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland each offer unique histories and landscapes.
- USD value, December 2021: 57.05 Dominican pesos
- USD value, December 2022: 56.05
- Year-over-year change: -1.8%
If you're looking for a trip that will get you a lot of bang for your buck, look no further than the Dominican Republic. One American dollar can get you quite a few Dominican pesos, despite the exchange rate falling slightly in the last year.
This island nation is an ideal destination for adventure seekers and beach bums alike. Those who prefer a little adrenaline can go rafting or paragliding in Jarabacoa, while those who want to lay out on the beach next to crystal blue water can check out resorts in Punta Cana. The Dominican Republic is just a short flight away from the U.S. and boasts cheap eats and a favorable exchange rate.
- USD value, December 2021: 153.52 Jamaican dollars
- USD value, December 2022: 153.07
- Year-over-year change: -0.3%
Jamaica is another great island destination for travelers trying to stretch their dollars as far as possible. While the American dollar has weakened in many warm-weather destinations in the last year, it has remained fairly stable when compared to the Jamaican dollar.
Like other Caribbean islands, Jamaica is a veritable paradise for travelers seeking lush rainforests, stunning beaches, or mountain hiking. You can zipline through the forest, climb the Blue Mountains, or sip a fruity beverage on the beach at an all-inclusive resort. Don't forget, the food in Jamaica is also renowned, whether you prefer curry or fresh seafood.
- USD value, December 2021: 6.37 Chinese yuan
- USD value, December 2022: 6.98
- Year-over-year change: 9.6%
China can be challenging for Americans to get to, requiring a special visa for entry and several connecting flights. Still, it is a bucket list destination for many for a reason. The country's rich culture, delicious food, stunning vistas, and fascinating history make it an excellent destination for travelers.
From the Great Wall to the Forbidden City in Beijing or the Terracotta Army in Xian, there is no shortage of famous attractions to soak in as you travel across this large country. Plus, your dollar can get you quite a few Chinese yuan, and the exchange rate has strengthened in the last year.
- USD value, December 2021: 114.77 Japanese yen
- USD value, December 2022: 134.39
- Year-over-year change: 17.1%
Compared to the Japanese yen, the U.S. dollar has steadily strengthened over the last few years, meaning now is a better time than ever to visit this island nation.
Take the bullet train to Tokyo to see the tower, museums, temples, and a bustling urban scene. WWII buffs can check out the memorials in Hiroshima, while foodies can fill up on sushi, ramen, and curry. Japan also boasts some of the most acclaimed theme parks in the world, some of the most beautiful beaches, and rich culture—there is something for everyone on a trip to this country.
- USD value, December 2021: 74.71 Indian rupees
- USD value, December 2022: 82.85
- Year-over-year change: 10.9%
Like China, India requires U.S. travelers to apply for a special visa to enter the country. But it is worth it for many travelers, as the diverse country has a ton to offer in terms of tourism. Not only can you get plenty of Indian rupees for your dollar, but you can use them for some of the best food in the world, or to visit famous attractions like the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Urban travelers will love the bustling streets of Mumbai, while those who prefer the countryside can check out the many beautiful temples and shrines.
- USD value, December 2021: 649.96 Costa Rican colóns
- USD value, December 2022: 581.19
- Year-over-year change: -10.6%
Like the other warm-weather destinations on our list, the U.S. dollar has weakened compared to Costa Rican colóns. And still, your dollars will take you a long way in this affordable travel destination.
The landscape of Costa Rica is known as some of the most beautiful in the world, featuring lush rainforests, volcanos, beaches, and diverse wildlife. It is an ideal destination for divers, hikers, and other adventure seekers. Animal lovers can visit the country's many rescue centers to meet the local wildlife, from jaguars and monkeys on land to turtles and rays under the sea.
This story originally appeared on TravelPerk and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.