5 Affordable Travel Destinations For 2012
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Do Your Research

Think about what you'd really like to do on your vacation and create a list to narrow your choices - whether it's hitting the beach, going shopping, climbing a mountain or visiting a museum. Consider whether you can do this somewhere nearby, or whether you know anyone who has done your chosen activities before on a similar budget. Alternatively, travel agencies or even chat rooms on the topic can provide great advice on accommodations, places to dine, things to do and tourist traps to avoid. Internet sites such as Yahoo! Travel, Expedia and Priceline are often useful when seeking reasonable fares.

5 Affordable Travel Destinations

In similar fashion to investing, taking a contrarian view toward travel can prove lucrative. Here are five travel destinations that have grown very affordable for a variety of reasons.

Europe

Due in good part to fears over the levels of government debt and banks with rising bad debts, the euro has fallen in value compared to the U.S. dollar. Back in January, the euro had fallen to a 16-month low compared to the dollar and it continues to bounce off those lows. This means the dollar has grown stronger, and is worth more in Europe. As such, when traveling in any European country that utilizes the euro, an American can buy more goods and services.

Argentina

European governments may be in the early stages of faltering, but Argentina has been struggling for the better part of a decade now. About a decade ago, the government defaulted on many of its debts and this sent its currency reeling against the U.S. dollar and other international currencies. This trend has only continued and accelerated around 2009 due to the downturn of its economy. Overall, the country remains a stable and safe travel destination. With the dollar so strong, the currency goes much farther in buying goods and services than in years past.

Japan

Japan experienced a very difficult 2011. Its eastern seaboard was hit with a major earthquake and a resulting tsunami that devastated much of the coast and unleashed a near-catastrophic meltdown of one of its nuclear energy facilities. Tokyo was on high alert for some time, but radiation fears have subsided significantly. The vast majority of the country remains safe and highly appealing to adventurous travelers. There are many deals as hotels, restaurants and tourist destinations look to entice tourists.

Myanmar

In stark contrast to much of Europe and Argentina, Myanmar's prospects are looking up. Its government held its first general election in decades and has been freeing former political prisoners. It is also starting to welcome foreign investors and travelers. Visiting the country is still only for the adventurous, and it represents relatively untapped territory.

Kenya

Kenya used to have a reputation as one of the safest travel destinations in Africa, but lost much of this status after political violence following the re-election of the incumbent President in 2007. Violence has subsided significantly, but the country still qualifies as a destination for adventuresome travelers who are willing to stay vigilant while exploring. Kenya offers many opportunities for safaris and other outdoor activities.

Conclusion

In any country, there are safe areas and more dangerous locations. Countries including Myanmar and Kenya will be more perilous for travelers, but every region requires vigilance and attention to detail to make sure travel is done as safely as possible. These countries combine affordability with adventure, with most parts of Europe easily qualifying as cheap and among the safest.


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