For the last four or five years something wonderful has been happening to Geezers in America. The United States Dollar has been building in strength. If you’re a financially responsible senior adventurer this means that in many of the places in the world that you may want to explore the cost when you get there will be much cheaper.
As an example when Charlene and I were in Europe in June of 2014 the Euro was hovering at 1.4 USD to 1 Euro. That has changed dramatically, last week when we were in Europe the exchange rate was 1.07 and we had numerous merchants that were dealing in cash and taking Dollars for Euros 1 for 1. Just to put it in Geezer terms, during happy hour a 4 Euro beer in July of 2014 cost right about $5.60, now it’s about $4.28. After two weeks in Europe that little advantage really added up.
One country that we have been interested in visiting is Argentina. Buenos Aires has for many years been a reasonable city for visitors to go to but in the last year the devaluation of their Peso has made it far more attractive for Americans. In the last year the Peso has devalued from ~14.3 per USD to ~17 per USD. That dramatic shift will impact the cost of every commodity that a visitor buys from dinner to rental cars. The reality is that much of South America is a good bargain for Americans this year because of the strength of the Dollar.
I’m mentioning this to make a point. Because of currency fluctuations there are often parts of the world that are very cost effective. One of the basic ideas behind Geezer Travel is that as retired seniors we have the flexibility to travel longer and to pick and choose our destinations based on the available deals such as discounted flights and inexpensive lodging so it just makes sense that one factor in our decision of where to travel should also be the the strength of the currency in the countries we want to visit.
The trend of the strong dollar is turning, and in the last six months the U.S. dollar has taken a pretty good hit around the world. A good example is the Euro has picked up in value about 8%. Europe is still a good deal but keep in mind that the trend for 2017 has been for the dollar to weaken a little. I don’t know if this short term trend will continue but you have to keep the strength of the Dollar in mind when making your travel decisions.
That being said there is another huge financial factor that can and should be considered in seeking out inexpensive places to go adventure. That factor is, cost of living. To make cost of living calculations I go to the web site Numbio.com. When you’re looking at going say to Bali for a month your planning should consider the cost of things like eating out, groceries and maybe a beer. Numbio.com allows me to compare the cost of living in various countries and cities. When I am making cost of living comparisons I use our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida as my base cost of living location. In Port St. Lucie a Meal for 2 People at a Mid-range Restaurant with three-courses is $50 and a Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) is $4. In Bali a Meal for 2 People at a Mid-range Restaurant with three-courses is $21 and a Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) is $1.78. I think you get the picture.
At Numbio.com you can also check out things like groceries and transportation. Based on the data I got from Numbio.com I was able to figure out that my cost of living in Bali will be considerably cheaper than if I stay home.
Above you may have also noticed that they compare monthly rent. This might be an interesting figure to Geezers who are snow birds and may be considering renting in a warm climate for two or three months it also is a factor when negotiating on long term vacation rental properties.
Just for fun I checked out some other locations:
Numbio.com doesn’t just have stats on the price of dinner, rent and groceries it also has crime stats. You know how you sit at home and fret about the crime in various areas? On Numbio.com you can actually get answers about the safety of many countries you may want to travel to. For example here is the information on crime in France compared to the United States. So for all of you Geezers who stayed away from France this year because of the violence you saw on TV guess what they are a safer environment than we are. Go figure.
I love playing with Numbio and it’s stats are generated by users so they tend to be fairly accurate.
In our changing world Geezers that have their bags packed and know where their Dollar is strong and the beer is cheap can find some sweet heart deals out in this big world and they can also find out it isn’t as dangerous as their own back yard.