The dollar has lost a great deal of value compared with many other currencies in recent years. Example: The dollar has lost about one-third of its value against the euro since 2002. But don’t let the reduced value of the dollar stop you from foreign travel. How to get more from your dollars abroad…

  • Check exchange rates. The dollar performs much better against the currencies of some nations than others. Recent examples: Guatemala, Hungary, Morocco, Thailand. The list fluctuates continually.
  • Useful:The Yahoo! Finance Web site (http://finance.yahoo.com/currency) provides current exchange rates.

  • Visit nations that use the dollar. The Bahamas and several other nations in the Caribbean, such as Belize and the Cayman Islands, use the dollar as a currency or peg their own currency to the dollar.
  • Book travel costs in dollars. Many tour organizations and cruise lines take payment in dollars with payment made in the US on more favorable terms than abroad. Also: Similar savings often can be obtained by booking a rental car in Europe from the US before you leave home.
  • Travel off-season. Expenses for the same resorts and destinations can be much cheaper.
  • Travel to Eastern Europe instead of Western Europe. There’s a lot of history in post-Communist Eastern Europe, but costs remain much lower than in the tourist areas and major cities of Western Europe.
  • Visit the countryside instead of cities. Costs are typically lower in rural and suburban towns of foreign nations than in their big cities. Take day trips to the big cities if you wish.