Whether you are touring the world by luxury train or on a staycation, we all want to make the most of our vacation money. One of our Travelocity Gnomads, Ava Roxanne Stritt of the luxury travel blog Spa Travel Gal, has some expert tips on how you can spend less and enjoy more. 

Here’s one way to plan a budget vacation, without having to sacrifice comfort and quality: Know how to stretch your money. Plan your next vacation where the U.S. vacation dollars shine.

Check out my top three ways to get the most vacation for the least U.S. dollars. Get ready to save some serious cash!

1. Look at the exchange rate.

A dollar is not the same dollar wherever you go. The exchange rate varies by location, and the dollar is much stronger in some countries.

Luckily, 2017 is a great year for the dollar’s value overseas. It’s in the midst of a 14-year high. So you’ll get more travel for your buck this year than any year in the past decade and beyond.

While exchange rates can change even within the same day and by different banks, generally speaking, the dollar is doing great against the British pound right now. The pound is at a 31-year low (thanks to Brexit). This means you can enjoy British luxury for a fraction of the American equivalent price it would have cost you years ago.

The dollar is also strong in Canada. Not to mention this country is eager for tourism, so you can find some incredible deals.

The U.S. dollar was worth even more in 2016, but the rate is still strong in America’s favor. Essentially, Americans get a bonus 31 cents (or so) per dollar spent in Canada. This makes now a perfect time to experience two of Canada’s most incredible travel offerings: the Rocky Mountaineer and Fairmont Jasper.

Rocky Mountaineer is a luxury train that winds through the scenic Canadian Rockies. You can pick from a variety of journeys and routes to best fit your desires and budget. The exchange rate makes GoldLeaf Service that much more economical. 

Canada’s Lac Beauvert – Photo by Ava Roxanne Stritt of Spa Travel Gal

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is the place to stay in Canada. This resort has the best possible location: right in the heart of Alberta’s Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The luxurious mountain resort is surrounded by 700 acres of nature and wildlife. Stay in an elegant cabin, stroll the scenic walkways, go golfing and visit the waters of Lac Beauvert. It’s never been a smarter financial time to experience the royal treatment in Canada. 

2. Stay close to home.

The easiest way to get the most for your U.S. vacation dollars  is to skip the travel expenses. Airfare, airport parking, shuttles, taxis, car rentals and other kinds of transportation really add up.

Stay close to home & bring your dogs along! Photo by Ava Roxanne Stritt of Spa Travel Gal

Instead, look closer to home and plan a road trip to explore your own state. Staycations are always a good deal, no matter the value of the dollar. That means that even your beloved four-legged family members can travel with you. My dogs, Lilly and Ellie, always love to travel. Even if my grandpuppy, Doc, has to tag along, too! 

As a resident of South Carolina, my next staycation will be in Columbia, South Carolina, where it seems the entire world is coming to see the eclipse.

Be sure to check out the national parks in your state. Your will find my favorite national park in this article by fellow Travelocity Gnational Gnomad Erin Bender on 11 Incredible National Parks to Visit.

Gnomad Staycation – Photo by Ava Roxanne Stritt of Spa Travel Gal

3. Follow the businesses.

Read the news and you will find other ways to save money on a budget and make the dollar go further. For example, right now, many new airlines are basing their corporations out of Ireland, for tax purposes. This is causing an all-but airfare warfare in Ireland. One of my favorite cups of coffee was consumed in Ireland.  

What this means for travelers? Travel to Ireland is a super cheap right now.

Imagine enjoying your morning cup of joe with this Ireland view!

When Norwegian Air, known for its cheap tickets, announced new, super cheap flights from the United States to United Kingdom and Ireland, it sparked a bit of a price war, as other airlines plunged their own prices to try to stay competitive.  

Prices are expected to plateau out a bit, after the novelty of Norwegian Air’s new flights wears off, so hop on the bargains now. Although who knows what new airline might spark another price battle next.  

Ava Roxanne Stritt is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads visit travelocitygnomads.com.

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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