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If you are planning a trip to the United States or a country where US dollars are accepted you can save significant amounts by using a multi-currency card or order foreign cash online for better currency exchange rates.
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US Dollar Forecasts
Economists expect the US dollar’s strength over the past year to reverse in 2023 as the Fed’s interest rate hikes cycle to an end.
A clear reflection of this is that the US Dollar index (measure of the USD strength against basket of currencies) which has pulled back from 20 year highs.
CAD to USD at 0.7523 is 1.4% above its 90-day average 0.7421 with range 0.7275-0.7556. CAD to USD
In December the loonie has steadied near its 90-day average around 0.74 relative to the greenback (1 USD = 1.34 CAD), this is down from the 0.77-0.79 range it had traded within all year until late August on inflation concerns.
USD to EUR at 0.9186 is 3.1% below its 90-day average 0.9483 with range 0.9161-1.0257. USD to EUR
In early December the dollar dropped to 94 against the euro after rising to a 20-year high of 1.04 in late September, as markets predict that the aggressive interest rates hikes by the Fed to reign in inflation may be over.
However, due to the Eurozone’s reliance on gas from Russia, the euro will remain vulnerable while Putin’s so called Russian ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine continues.
AUD to USD at 0.7078 is 4.3% above its 90-day average 0.6786 with range 0.6285-0.7151. AUD to USD
From December and into early 2023 the AUD/USD has surged back towards 0.68. This is well up from recent lows below 0.62 in October, when the Reserve Bank of Australia surprised markets raising interest rates by a quarter of a percent (less than expected), a sign that inflation down-under may be under control.
However, the rise of AUD/USD has been more about USD weakness than any AUD strength as the greenback drops back from multi-year highs.
GBP to USD at 1.2318 is 2.0% above its 90-day average 1.2074 with range 1.1162-1.2427. GBP to USD
GBPUSD is down around 15 percent this year and hit an all-time low (since decimalisation in 1971) in late September of 1.03 (1 USD = 0.97 GBP) — reacting to the controversial tax-cutting policies from the previous (new) chancellor.
The Bank of England has joined the global fight against inflation, but has raised rates by less than the US Federal Reserve.
So it seems the BoE’s gloomy economic forecasts has increased pressure on Sterling.
Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for the USA
America is the birthplace of LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, Boston and New York City – each a brimming metropolis whose name alone conjures a million different notions of culture, cuisine and entertainment.
This is a country of road trips and great open skies, where 4 million miles of highways lead past red-rock deserts, below towering mountain peaks and through fertile wheat fields that roll off toward the horizon. The sun-bleached hillsides of the Great Plains, the lush rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, the sultry swamplands of the South and the scenic country lanes of New England are a few fine starting points for the great American road trip.
Statue of Liberty, New York.
How to travel in the USA?
When time is tight, book a flight. The domestic air system is extensive and reliable, with dozens of competing airlines, hundreds of airports and thousands of flights daily. Flying is usually more expensive than traveling by bus, train or car, but it's the way to go when you're in a hurry. Main 'hub' airports in the USA include all international gateways plus many other large cities. Most cities and towns have a local or county airport, but you usually have to travel via a hub airport to reach them.
International travelers who plan on doing a lot of flying might consider buying a North American air pass. Passes are normally available only to non–North American citizens, and they must be purchased in conjunction with an international ticket. Conditions and cost structures can be complicated, but all passes include a certain number of domestic flights (from as few as two to as many as 16, depending on airline network) that typically must be used within a 60-day period.
For maximum flexibility and convenience, and to explore rural America and its wide-open spaces, a car is essential. Although gas prices are high, you can often score fairly inexpensive rentals (NYC excluded), with rates as low as $20 per day.
Most cities and larger towns have dependable local bus systems, though they are often designed for commuters and provide limited service in the evening and on weekends. Getting around between cities via bus or train can often be a bit cheaper than getting a cheap flight, so its something to consider depending on your travel taste and how much time you want to save travelling. Middle-class Americans prefer to fly or drive, but buses let you see the countryside and meet folks along the way. As a rule, buses are reliable, cleanish and comfortable, with air-conditioning, barely reclining seats, lavatories and no smoking.
Compared with other modes of travel, trains are rarely the quickest, cheapest, timeliest or most convenient option, but they turn the journey into a relaxing, social and scenic all-American experience, especially on western routes, where double-decker Superliner trains boast spacious lounge cars with panoramic windows.
New York street scene
Travel tips for the USA.
Don't just stick to the cities, National Parks in the USA are some of the best things about the US. Stunning landscapes, Ranger guided tours and facilities and consistently excellent, while the information handed out for free is amazing. And you you don't need to be a hardcore hiker to explore rugged, remote parks. The policy of putting in drive-up viewpoints and easy, flat paths makes the parks remarkably easy to travel round, even if you've limited mobility.
Eating out is relatively cheap and you may find that one meal could easily feed two. When tipping for food 15%-20% of the cost of the meal is expected as it is considered part of a waiter's wage.
Flying over Half Dome - a granite formation at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California
The USA has made tremendous contributions to the arts. Georgia O'Keeffe's wild landscapes, Robert Rauschenberg's surreal collages, Alexander Calder's elegant mobiles and Jackson Pollock's drip paintings have entered the vernacular of 20th-century art. Chicago and New York have become veritable drawing boards for the great architects of the modern era. And from the soulful blues born in the Mississippi Delta to the bluegrass of Appalachia and Detroit's Motown sound – plus jazz, funk, hip-hop, country, and rock and roll – America has invented sounds integral to modern music.
One of the best ways to see a good chunk of the states is to hit the road with your best mates or family. A road trip is like your own personal hop on hop off bus except you get to make the rules. Try a scenic drive on California’s Pacific Highway 1!
If you’re planning a trip on the East Coast during the winter months (December - February) just remember it can get very cold and chances are it will snow. The roads can be extremely icy and be very hazardous in winter.
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