Five Places To Visit Where The Aussie Dollar Is Still Worth Something

Five Places To Visit Where The Aussie Dollar Is Still Worth Something
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With the Aussie dollar continuing to slump against the greenback, the time of living like kings abroad looks over. Are Australians doomed to travelling the world on a shoestring once again, the dollar worth less than a handful of clamshells?

Money picture from Shutterstock

Not so fast. We may be getting a raw deal against the US dollar, the UK Pound or the Euro, but there are still some countries whose currencies the AUD is doing quite nicely against. These destinations are cheaper than they were a year ago.

1. Papua New Guinea (up 11.3%)

Not everyone’s first choice of South Pacific bliss compared to Fiji or Vanuatu, PNG still has a lot to offer and the Kina (PGK) has slumped against the Aussie over the past year. Water sports and outdoor activities are the main attractions. The reliance on imported goods and a lack of market competition means that Port Moresby is pricier than you’d expect, so find the best value in surrounding villages.

2. South Africa (up 7.5%)

Great news for Australia’s South African expats considering a trip home — they’re 7.5 per cent richer against the Rand (ZAR) than a year ago. If you want to feel like a billionaire, pop over the border to hyper-inflated Zimbabwe where – at least before they axed the Zimbabwe dollar – you could get several hundred trillion for a single Aussie.

3. Turkey (up 6.8%)

As near to Europe as you can get while staying out of the currently costly Eurozone, it’s worth taking advantage of Turkey now in case it ever does join the EU and lose its currency advantage. The days of being a literal millionaire may be over – Turkey dropped six zeroes off its Lira (TRY) in 2005 – but it’s still highly affordable with prices around 40 to 50 per cent cheaper than neighbouring Greece, according to Expatistan. Plus more ancient ruins than you could hope for.

4. Indonesia (up 5.6%)

Right on the doorstep which also brings flight prices down, Indonesia’s Rupiah (IDR) has been languishing against the dollar. If recent events make Bali seem a bit of a scrum try the volcanic scenery and white sand beaches of East Java or Sumatra’s UNESCO World Heritage rainforest. They’re both over 25 per cent cheaper than Bali as well, according to Numbeo.

5. Russia (up 1.9%)

After the chilly glitz of the Sochi Winter Olympics, Russia’s tourism profile is higher than ever. With the Aussie buying more rubles (RUB) than a year ago, Moscow is about a third cheaper than Sydney or Melbourne – head up to Siberia and you’ll get an even better deal. Even though Russia’s government recently hiked the price of vodka, a half-litre bottle is still a fifth of the price you’d find in Australia.

While these destinations offer great value, don’t forget the exchange advantage can be wiped out if you don’t pay attention to travel money fees and charges. Avoid obvious pitfalls such as exchanging money at airports and don’t take too much cash in case you lose it. Also keep a very close eye on your credit card for fraud and/or excessive fees.

Natalie Truong is Head of the Private Dealing desk at OzForex, global payments specialist and multicurrency travel card provider.


  • “With the Aussie dollar continuing to slump against the greenback, the time of living like kings abroad looks over.”

    Umm what? The Australian dollar hit a 2014 high against the greenback two days ago and is currently just shy of 0.92. Calling the gradual decline from the unthinkable exchange rates of a year ago a ‘slump’ is absurd.

    Yes the AUD SHOULD decline over the medium term but let’s not forget that in 2009 the exchange rate was about 0.65 to 0.7.

    Let’s not forget just over a decade ago the exchange rate was below 0.5.

    The exchange rate is PHENOMENAL value for Australian’s looking to import (or spend money overseas). The AUD has quite some slumping to do before we get back to historically normal exchange rates.

    …but good article otherwise. I find the puffery irritating but after that you do get some good location value advice.

    • Far as I can tell our money’s always been worth more in places more likely to get us killed. 🙂

        • Or us doing stupid shit, too. Because y’know… tourists!
          Kind of like how people say everything in Australia is out to kill you. Which is certainly true, if you leave the cities and go to places only tourists go. 😉

          • I always thought the whole “everything will kill you” was just how we messed with tourists? I spent a lot of time in the bush when I was growing up, even took a trip through the Kimberley and never felt in any real danger.

            Of course I was smart enough to avoid known drop bear hot spots.

          • And know to wear sensible clothing and walk in appropriate areas to avoid the risks of snakes and spiders, not go for a spur-of-the-moment swim in jellyfish-infested waters up the north coast, proper and safe storage of food so as not to attract dingoes, not eating random berries, etc, etc. Stuff we kinda take for granted which you really can’t rely on some tourists NOT to do because there’s nothing like that where they come from or it’s just different enough that they don’t make the connection to what it IS like from back home.

          • Ok now you’re being all sensible and making really good points, but I just really wanted to make a drop bear joke 😉

      • Not really, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Cuba, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia just to name a few are all listed as “Exercise normal safety precautions” just like United Kingdom and USA.

  • The AUD might be below parity against the USD.

    However, clothes and almost everything else is near a quarter of the cost in the first place anyway. I got $1,600 of clothes on my recent trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco, the equivalent in Australia from Myer would have cost over $5,000.

    • There’s also the sad old story about how it was cheaper to fly to the US to buy Adobe CS that it is to come back.

      I regularly buy stuff from the US because of its value compared to Aus, even before the more favorable changes in exchange rates.. While this is a mix of personal taste, I find it easier and cheaper to order t-shirts and get them sent back to here that it is to go find the equivalent here.

      Also, Thinkgeek is an amazing place to find gifts, especially geeky things that you can’t find here, or find at a 200%+ markup.

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