October is typically a time when many will start planning and even solidifying their winter vacation plans from New Year's Eve to prime skiing holidays. But before you commit, a few countries are on sale this season thanks to currency plays that make them an excellent value against the US Dollar, British Pound and Euro.
For sun-seekers, you’ll find the Southern Hemisphere full of bargains including Australia that’s 18% lower from its 5-year high even with a recent rally while New Zealand is currently off 10% from its 2014 highs against the US Dollar. Thanks to a weaker Euro, St. Barth's will be friendlier to wallets for its forthcoming high season while safari lovers find the South African Rand trading at historically low levels. In South American, Brazil continues to be strong meaning that destinations like Rio, Paraty, Trancoso and Buzios will be familiarly pricey. Argentina is an altogether different story with the Argentina Peso at decadal lows thanks to continued financial wows. Currency vultures, however, are tempered by local hotel and real estate that priced in US Dollars meaning that the actual value will only come via restaurants, entertainment and shopping. But for the time being, here’s never been a more affordable time to explore Patagonia, Mendoza vineyards or make an Antarctic exploration.
In Europe, US travelers will find a kinder Euro going into the winter ski season with rates off 8-10% from its earlier year highs. The Swiss Franc remains robust, however, meaning that you should stick to the Italian, Austrian and French side of the Alps for better ski value. Or perhaps consider a trip to Canada’s Whistler, Banff or Mt. Tremblant with a Canadian Dollar that’s trading at 5-year lows against the US Dollar �" but remains pricey against the British Pound and Euro. In terms of cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg are currently discounted by nearly 20% thanks to a crippled Ruble that’s best enjoyed at hotels like Four Seasons Moscow that opens October 30th.