It was a good time to be an international traveller (or an online shopper) on Friday, as the Aussie dollar jumped to a two-year high against the greenback, bagging a cool 81 US cents.
You had to be quick to bag a bargain though – by Monday it had slipped back down to 80.58 US cents. But the good news for anyone craving an overseas holiday is there are still plenty of great holiday destinations where the Aussie dollar is going strong.
To help you plan a frugal trip away, we’ve rounded up five of our favourite holiday spots where Aussie globetrotters can now get more bang for their buck than this time last year.
1. Tokyo – Japan
Equal parts bustling modernity and serene history, a trip to Tokyo is an experience like none other.
We recommend in Tokyo: Film buffs, make sure you check out the Ghibli Museum, designed by animator Miyazaki Hayao, the man behind movies like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Make sure you pick up your tickets in advance, and catch the minibus leaving from Mitaka Station every 20 minutes to get there. A round trip will set you back ¥320 (AU$3.76).
Currency check: At the moment, the Aussie dollar buys about ¥87.24 – that’s a +13.01% increase since this time last year!
2. Queenstown – New Zealand
Just a hop skip and a jump away, neighbouring New Zealand is a hot favourite for Aussie travellers. And if a holiday is more about getting your heart racing than relaxing by the pool, Queenstown is the place for you.
We recommend in Queenstown: They don’t call Queenstown the ‘Global Adventure Capital’ for nothing. But if you’re not quite up to jumping out of a plane, white water rafting is our next pick to get the adrenaline pumping. The price will depend on how long you go for and with what company, but it should set you back around NZ$170 or AU$153 for about 4 hours.
Currency check: With a 8.04% increase since this time last year, you can currently cash in every one of your Aussie dollars for NZ$1.11.
3. Hong Kong – China
Cuisine, culture, shopping – this bustling metropolitan has something for everyone!
We recommend in Hong Kong: Don’t leave Hong Kong until you’ve taken a ride on a Star Ferry. If you’re travelling on the cheap, take a trip from Kowloon to Central, which will set you back HK$2.50 – HK$3.40 (AU$0.40 – AU$0.54) for an adult ticket. For those with a little more cash to burn, you can jump on an hour-long harbour tour for HK$80-200 (AU$12.72 – AU$31.80).
Currency check: The Aussie dollar has had a 7.52% rise against it’s Hong Kong counterpart since last year. At the moment, AU$1 will bag you around HK$6.29.