10 cheap places to travel on the Australian dollar in 2020
Here are the destinations where your dollar will go that much further this year.
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Let's be real. 2019 was not the year of the Australian dollar. It stayed low against the US dollar and the pound, making travel a burden on the wallet.
But despite this, the Aussie dollar DID have its moments and rose against numerous currencies.
It soared the most against the Venezuelan bolivar, rising by 7,130%. This sounds incredible, but it's due to an unstable currency and hyperinflation that Venezuela has been battling for years.
This is followed by the Argentine peso, which fell by 59% against our dollar, and the Angolan Kwanza, which dropped by 56%.
Resolved to travel more this year but determined to save? We've discovered a few destinations where you can stretch your dollars out this year.
To determine our list, we compared exchange rates via XE.com on 1 January 2019 with those on 1 January 2020. We then pulled out the top ten that showed the greatest growth for the Aussie dollar and have a safety level of 1 (exercise normal safety precautions) or 2 (exercise a high degree of caution) for Australians based on Smarttraveller's advice at the time of writing.
You can see the full list of currency changes between 1 January 2019 and 1 January 2020 as sourced from XE.com at the bottom. All percentages and currency amounts have been rounded up.
10 of the cheapest currencies for Australians in 2020
- Argentine peso: 59% more per dollar
- Zambian kwacha: 18% more per dallar
- Ghanaian cedi: 16% more per dollar
- Uruguayan peso: 15% more per dollar
- Uzbekistani som: 14% more per dollar
- Turkish lira: 12% more per dollar
- Paraguayan guarani: 8% more per dollar
- Georgian lari: 6% more per dollar
- Chilean peso: 6% more per dollar
- Mauritian rupee: 6% more per dollar
The Argentine peso has topped our list for the third year running for sporting the biggest drop against the Australian dollar. If you haven't learned the tango in the country that formed it, what are you waiting for?
- How much am I saving? For every $100, you'll be getting an extra 1,564 pesos compared to last year. That's enough to cover a a small group tour of Buenos Aires.
- How much are flights? At their best, Air New Zealand and LATAM can fly you there and back for around $1,000.
One of the most picturesque countries in the world, Zambia overflows with natural beauty. It's perhaps best known for the gushing Victoria Falls which borders Zambia and Zimbabwe, but also offers visitors the chance to go on safari, marvel at Lake Tanganyika AKA the world's longest lake and meet some of the world's friendliest people.
- How much am I saving? For every $100 Australian, you'll nab an extra 149 Zambian kwacha. That'll cover you for a walking tour of Livingstone town
- How much are flights? Flights to Zambia aren't cheap and will set you back at least $1,300 return to Ndola or Livingstone from Australia.
The West African country of Ghana is quickly being added to the map – not least because our dollar is looking super healthy against it. This coastal city overflows with culture and history from its bustling markets to its coastal forts and castles, making it a wonderful find.
- How much am I saving? For every $100 exchanged, you'll get 55 more cedis compared to 2019. That's almost enough for a Ghana cultural and historical tour.
- How much are flights? Ghana isn't easy or cheap to get to. Flights to the capital of Accra run close to $1,500 return from Australia and involve at least one stopover.
Seen Peru and Brazil? Make Uruguay your next South American adventure. Pop by to bask on its beaches, savour its wines or spy whales and dolphins metres off the coastline at the start of winter.
- How much am I saving? For every $100 exchanged, you'll get a bonus 337 pesos in your hands compared to last year's exchange rate. That'll get you your bearings for free by covering a Montevideo walking tour.
- How much are flights? LATAM offers flights to Montevideo for a little over $1,100 during a sale.
Famed for its beautiful mosaic tiled architecture, Uzbekistan is gaining more and more popularity. In fact, G Adventures tips it as the place to visit this year. Get off the beaten track and see it for 13% less this year thanks to the current exchange rate.
- How much am I saving? With an extra 80,663 som in your pocket, you'll be singing all the way to Registan Square where you can skip the line for that price and still come away with spare soms.
- How much are flights? Flights to Tashkent start at $1,118 return from Australia.
It seems everywhere you go, Turkey is the talk of the town. Instagrammers flock to Cappadocia for that photo of the hot air balloons above the fairy chimneys, and with the exchange rate gaining Aussies 12% more lira per dollar, how could you resist making the trip?
- How much am I saving? Expect to have 45 more liras in your pocket for every $100 compared to 2019. That'll cover your tour of the famous blue mosque
- How much are flights? Book with Qatar during a sale or off-peak and you can get return flights under $1,000.
Often overlooked for its neighbours Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia, Paraguay is not only one of the most inexpensive countries in South America, it's also one of the most authentic. The streets bustle with markets and the landscape basks in rural villages perfect for local encounters.
- How much am I saving? For every $100 Aussie exchanged, you'll get an extra 34,852 guaranis, which will sort you out for a decent lunch.
- How much are flights? From Australia, you can get to Paraguay for under $1,300 return.
Boasting a mix of old meets new, Georgia is a country where monasteries can be found tucked in caves, and castles perch high above houses built in a maze waiting for the curious to meander their way through. Tick this one off in 2020 and you'll be singing when you save 6% of your hard-earned cash by capitalising on our strong exchange rate.
- How much am I saving? You're looking at an extra 12 laris per $100 when you exchange your money in 2020. In Georgia, that gets you a bottle of wine.
- How much are flights? A return ticket to Georgia starts at $1,200 return.
This South American country has it all: a mountainous landscape, world-class wineries and sandy beaches. Travel south and you'll discover a wintry climate and some of the best snowfields in the southern hemisphere.
- How much am I saving? Take away an extra 3,084 pesos for every $100 Aussie. That's enough to cover a beer and then some.
- How much are flights? Flights to South America are getting cheaper and cheaper, and thanks to Air New Zealand, you can typically get in for around $900 return.
Forget the Maldives or Bora Bora – the island paradise to be in 2020 is Mauritius. Settled in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, it's all lagoons, reefs, mountains, beaches and resorts. In other words: heaven. Enjoy the island experience in 2020 for almost 6% less than 2019.
- How much am I saving? Your savings include an extra 146 rupees per $100 you exchange. The numbers sound great, but that actually converts to just over $5. Being a resort island, that's only getting you a free coffee, but it's better than nothing, we reckon.
- How much are flights? Take off from Perth and you can get to Mauritius for just over $1,000. However, from the east coast, it's close to $1,300 return.
Search for your flight with Skyscanner below:
Full list of conversion rates between 2019 and 2020
|Currency code||Currency name||Units per AUD (1 January 2019)||Units per AUD (30 December 2019)||Percentage increase per dollar|
|SLL||Sierra Leonean Leone||6044.390356||6814.011991||12.73282482|
|PGK||Papua New Guinean Kina||2.293432576||2.38843633||4.142426327|
|KRW||South Korean Won||782.0554451||808.8766559||3.429579188|
|XAF||Central African CFA Franc BEAC||399.2718767||409.9815315||2.682296291|
|CVE||Cape Verdean Escudo||67.11981098||68.92016318||2.682296291|
|BAM||Bosnian Convertible Mark||1.190486442||1.222418815||2.682296286|
|SBD||Solomon Islander Dollar||5.654562511||5.745896343||1.615223679|
|STN||Sao Tomean Dobra||15.10821138||15.33580235||1.506405814|
|CNY||Chinese Yuan Renminbi||4.830351837||4.881124588||1.051119113|
|XCD||East Caribbean Dollar||1.900718054||1.8944682||-0.3288154068|
|SAR||Saudi Arabian Riyal||2.63742759||2.628754575||-0.3288437465|
|AWG||Aruban or Dutch Guilder||1.258932103||1.254792184||-0.328843747|
|CUC||Cuban Convertible Peso||0.7033140241||0.7010012199||-0.3288437484|
|BBD||Barbadian or Bajan Dollar||1.406628048||1.40200244||-0.3288437484|
|KPW||North Korean Won||633.0332796||630.9149042||-0.3346388709|
|NZD||New Zealand Dollar||1.047971879||1.041586658||-0.6092932099|
|HKD||Hong Kong Dollar||5.503861355||5.461733128||-0.7654303911|
|LKR||Sri Lankan Rupee||128.5564294||127.1429348||-1.09951298|
|ZAR||South African Rand||10.08353349||9.820406974||-2.609467352|
|TWD||Taiwan New Dollar||21.54087427||20.97228128||-2.639600336|
|FKP||Falkland Island Pound||0.5539460331||0.528897951||-4.521754937|
|IMP||Isle of Man Pound||0.5539460331||0.528897951||-4.521754937|
|SHP||Saint Helenian Pound||0.5539460331||0.528897951||-4.521754937|
|CRC||Costa Rican Colon||423.3235739||398.1117812||-5.955678878|
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