Stretch Your Travel Funds–Comparing Currencies

World Currencies

As a traveler and trader I can’t help but look at world currencies from a somewhat selfish standpoint. What I mean is, I look at a chart of the Argentinian Peso and think, “Hmmm, I wonder how cheap you can rent an apartment for now? That friend’s mansion-sized condo in 2009 was $800 a month, so now…” I mean, if your currency is the US Dollar, it makes sense that, all other things being equal, you could enjoy yourself more (i.e. live more lavishly for longer) when your dollar buys more Pesos. Who knows, maybe Dr. Suess was comparing currencies when he wrote “Oh the places you’ll go!”

There are obviously other factors involved—political strife, runaway inflation, civil unrest, etc.. All of those things would need to be taken into consideration before packing your bag and jetting off, but it’s still fun to occassionaly grab a map, bring up some currency charts, and imagine some time in an exotic place.

As of the writing of this article, the Dollar buys twice as many Argentine Pesos as it did at the beginning of the year, and a full twelve times more than it did when I last visited—at least at the official rate.

Bali hasn’t been this inexpensive since the 90s, and the last time I visited I remember thinking to myself that I was 32 and could live like a king until well into traditional retirement age without ever earning another dollar. Breakfast delivered to my door in the mornings, beer, massages, and surf on the beach all day, and amazing dinners out every night. Still trying to remember why I left.

The dollar is at all-time-highs in India. Hmmm, I still haven’t been there.

A chart that’s always at the top of my personal list, the USDMXN. Mexico exchange rates aren’t at their highest levels ever, but they are still ranging up towards the historical top, and inflation is still at levels that you and I would hardly notice. I’ll be trading from the anchorages along the east coast of Mexico again in a few weeks.

Tip: using TradingView for your charts you can usually just begin typing in the name of a country and it will pop up a list of choices that include the currency you are looking for. So, where are your travels going to take you this year? Share your travels with us and catch up with other Wanderers on our Facebook page.