Changes in Currency are an often overlooked measure when considering where to go on people's travels.
Why is currency not considered when planning a break?
Possibly because it involves maths - "Hey we on holiday now.. anything that hurts the brain is banned!", or maybe because our first consideration is another factor like the weather, or distance to travel or something else.
Why it should be higher up the list of factors
Because currency changes can have a huge impact on how much money your holiday will cost. There is nothing worse than coming back home and checking your bank statements, or even while on holiday getting the calculator out, or just doing the maths mentally - and discovering that your meal was, like, really expensive!
On the flip side - finding a place is really cheap makes every beer you enjoy, salad that you consume or gallon of petrol that you burn so much more enjoyable if you realise just how inexpensive the place you in is.
Some example numbers
If your currency has appreciated recently against another currency your money is "stronger" that means for each unit of your money, you can get more of theirs.
Say you have US Dollars, and you are buying Japanese Yen.
At the time of writing (August 2015) you can see from this graph that the USD is 24% stronger against the Yen than over the past 5 year average, and that the increase has mainly happened in the past year.
This is quite a happy place to be, if you are buying Yen and are paid in US Dollars. It is very likely that you purchases will "feel" cheaper than at home, and certainly it is better time to be buying items in Yen than the previous 4 years.
If the increase is even more recent the effect will be greater. This is because a lower value currency typically causes inflation, that works its way through the economy of the country raising prices to catch up - this is because they need to pay more for items that are imported.
This is the currency graph (August 2015) for Colombia, which is currently experiencing a fall in the value of the Peso.
Now would be a really good time to make that trip to Colombia if you have been promising yourself that one day you'll go. Over time since things are "Cheap" in Colombia it receives more foreign investment - particularly big ticket items like real estate purchases or inward investment, and that corrects the imbalance. So it does not last forever - and if you were thinking about getting that holiday condo over there - likewise, now maybe the time to move fast - say you were looking at $100,000 USD condo just back in January - now the same money will buy one locally priced at the equivalent of $130,000! That means another bedroom, a bigger pool, or better view!
How using the Red Planet Travel Vane can help
The Travel Vane (http://redplanet.travel/#travelvane) displays currency variations on the type of graph used in the above examples. This makes it really easy to see visually and numerically what is happening with any currency pair.
Focus in on the Currency
By default, the Travel Vane factors-in Temperature and how populated a place is (Tolerance of Crowds - "Off the beaten track") as well as the currency changes. So you need to remove the first two filters from the calculations.
Turn OFF the Temperature Filter, by selected NO in the Filter Options Menu
Turn OFF the Filter on Tolerance of Crowds (Off the Beaten Track) so they are not computed.
This leaves just the Currency Filter in the Costs section ON.
You can increase the number of results show in the System Settings Control - note that increasing this number makes the Travel Vane a lot slower (since it is processed in your browser), so you may want to set it back to the default 100 when you finished.
Now the results will be ordered simply by the currency that has devalued the greatest amount (on a 5 year average) against your currency.
For example against GBP (UK pounds sterling) these are our results as show today:
We can see the Ukrainian, Colombian and Australian Currencies are significantly devalued as shown in the screen-shot above.
Of course, if you have a particular currency in mind and want to check it, then simply change the FROM: selector to TO: and enter which country you want to see. Let say we interested in Brazil.
And click "Search". Any of the Regions in Brazil that are displayed will show the currency graph with the change% marked, as shown in the screen grab below, and the area highlighted in the red box.
In this example, we can see that the Great Britain Pound has appreciated against the Brazilian Real to the tune of 36% in recent months, based on the 5 year average of the two currencies.
Taking the opportunity
By studying the news, and refering back to the Travel Vane, keeping aware of your currency and the currency of the countries you interested in, might make that dream trip a reality sooner than you think.
Happy hunting for your next great holiday or even bigger purchase abroad!
Our Travel Vane is ready and waiting for you.