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10 cheap places to travel on the New Zealand dollar in 2020
Here are the destinations where your dollar will go that much further this year.
Throughout 2019, the New Zealand dollar had its ups and downs. But 2020 is looking quite positive – not least because it’s fairing quite strongly against a number of top destinations.
Between 2019 and 2020, it soared against the Venezuelan bolivar, rising by 7,101%. This sounds incredible, but it’s due to an unstable currency and hyperinflation that Venezuela has been battling for years.
This is followed by the Argentine peso, which fell by 59% against our dollar, and the Angolan Kwanza, which dropped by 56%.
Resolved to travel more this year but determined to save? We’ve discovered a few destinations where you can stretch your dollars further this year.
To determine our list, we compared exchange rates from 1 January 2019 with those from 1 January 2020 on XE.com. We then pulled out the top 10 currencies that the NZ dollar showed the greatest growth against and whose countries had a safety level of 1 (exercise normal safety precautions) or 2 (exercise a high degree of caution) for New Zealand travellers, based on Safe Travel’s advice at the time of writing.
You can see the full list of currency changes between 1 January 2019 and 1 January 2020 as sourced from XE.com at the bottom of this page. All percentages and currency amounts have been rounded up.
10 of the cheapest currencies for New Zealanders in 2020
- Argentine peso: 60% more per dollar
- Zambian kwacha: 18% more per dollar
- Ghanaian cedi: 17% more per dollar
- Uruguayan peso: 15% more per dollar
- Uzbekistani som: 14% more per dollar
- Turkish lira: 12% more per dollar
- Paraguayan guarani: 9% more per dollar
- Georgian lari: 7% more per dollar
- Chilean peso: 6% more per dollar
- Mauritian rupee: 6% more per dollar
The Argentine peso has topped our list for the third year running, sporting the biggest drop against the NZ dollar. And if you haven’t yet learned to tango in the country that invented it, what are you waiting for?
- How much am I saving? For every $100, you’ll be getting an extra 1,504 pesos compared to last year. That’s enough to cover a a small group tour of Buenos Aires.
- How much are flights? At their best, Air New Zealand and LATAM can fly you there and back for around $1,300.
One of the most picturesque countries in the world, Zambia overflows with natural beauty. It’s perhaps best known for the gushing Victoria Falls, which border Zambia and Zimbabwe, but it also offers visitors the chance to go on safari, marvel at Lake Tanganyika – the world’s longest lake – and meet some of the world’s friendliest people.
- How much am I saving? For every $100, you’ll nab an extra 143 Zambian kwacha. That’ll cover you for a walking tour of Livingstone town.
- How much are flights? Flights to Zambia aren’t cheap and will set you back at least $1,762 return to Lusaka from New Zealand.
The West African country of Ghana is quickly being added to the map – not least because our dollar is looking super healthy against it. This coastal city overflows with culture and history, from its bustling markets to its coastal forts and castles, making it a wonderful find.
- How much am I saving? For every $100 exchanged, you’ll get 54 more cedis compared to 2019. That’s almost enough for a Ghana cultural and historical tour.
- How much are flights? Ghana isn’t easy or cheap to get to. Flights to the capital of Accra run close to $2,828 return from New Zealand and involve at least one stopover.
Seen Peru and Brazil? Make Uruguay your next South American adventure. Pop by to bask on its beaches, savour its wines or spy whales and dolphins metres off the coastline at the start of winter.
- How much am I saving? For every $100 exchanged, you’ll get a bonus 319 pesos compared to last year. That’ll cover most of the cost of a Montevideo walking tour.
- How much are flights? Flights to Montevideo cost a little under $1,300 during a sale.
Famed for its beautiful mosaic tiled architecture, Uzbekistan is gaining more and more popularity. In fact, G Adventures tips it as the place to visit this year. Get off the beaten track and see it for 14% less this year, thanks to the current exchange rate.
- How much am I saving? With an extra 78,856 som in your pocket, you’ll be singing all the way to Registan Square where you can skip the line for that price.
- How much are flights? Flights to Tashkent start at $2,105 return from New Zealand.
It seems everywhere you go, Turkey is the talk of the town. Instagrammers flock to Cappadocia for that photo of the hot air balloons above the fairy chimneys, and with the exchange rate gaining New Zealanders 12% more lira per dollar, how could you resist making the trip?
- How much am I saving? Expect to have 44 more liras in your pocket for every $100 compared to 2019. That’ll cover your tour of the famous blue mosque.
- How much are flights? Book with Korean Air during a sale or off-peak and you can get return flights for under $1,400.
Often overlooked for its neighbours Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia, Paraguay is not only one of the most inexpensive countries in South America, it’s also one of the most authentic. The streets bustle with markets and the landscape teems with rural villages perfect for local encounters.
- How much am I saving? For every $100 exchanged, you’ll get an extra 34,418 guaranis, which will sort you out for a decent lunch.
- How much are flights? From New Zealand, you can get to Paraguay for just over $2,000 return.
Boasting a mix of old meets new, Georgia is a country where monasteries can be found tucked in caves, castles are perched high above houses and towns are built in mazes waiting for curious passers-by to meander their way through. Tick this one off in 2020 and you’ll be singing when you save 7% of your hard-earned cash by capitalising on our strong exchange rate.
- How much am I saving? You’re looking at an extra 12 laris per $100 when you exchange your money in 2020. In Georgia, that gets you a bottle of wine.
- How much are flights? A return ticket to Georgia starts at $1,7287 return.
This South American country has it all: a mountainous landscape, world-class wineries and sandy beaches. Travel south and you’ll discover a wintry climate and some of the best snowfields in the southern hemisphere.
- How much am I saving? Take away an extra 3,017 pesos for every $100 New Zealand dollars. That’s enough to cover a beer and then some.
- How much are flights? Flights to South America are getting cheaper and cheaper, and thanks to Air New Zealand, you can typically get there for around $1,200 return.
Forget the Maldives or Bora Bora, the island paradise to head to in 2020 is Mauritius. Settled in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, it’s all lagoons, reefs, mountains, beaches and resorts. In other words: heaven. Enjoy the island experience in 2020 for 6% less than 2019.
- How much am I saving? Your savings include an extra 138 rupees per $100 you exchange. The numbers sound great, but that actually converts to about $5. Being a resort island, that’s only getting you a free coffee, but it’s better than nothing, we reckon.
- How much are flights? Take off from Auckland and you can get to Mauritius for around $2,000.
Search for your flight with Skyscanner below:
Full list of conversion rates between 2019 and 2020
|Currency code||Currency name ▲▼||Units per NZD (1 January 2019)||Units per NZD (1 January 2020)||Percentage increase per dollar|
|SLL||Sierra Leonean Leone||5767.702814||6538.726082||13.36794375|
|PGK||Papua New Guinean Kina||2.188448585||2.285899992||4.452990487|
|KRW||South Korean Won||746.256136||774.9977086||3.851435335|
|CVE||Cape Verdean Escudo||64.04733974||66.07815406||3.170801973|
|XAF||Central African CFA Franc BEAC||380.9948385||393.0754303||3.170801973|
|BAM||Bosnian Convertible Mark||1.135990827||1.172010847||3.170801968|
|STN||Sao Tomean Dobra||14.41661907||14.77041339||2.454072717|
|SBD||Solomon Islander Dollar||5.395719698||5.50558689||2.036191605|
|CNY||Chinese Yuan Renminbi||4.609238028||4.673516615||1.394559936|
|XDR||IMF Special Drawing Rights||0.4822316946||0.4841264221||0.392908123|
|NZD||New Zealand Dollar||1||1||0|
|XCD||East Caribbean Dollar||1.813710932||1.813140398||-0.03145676027|
|CUC||Cuban Convertible Peso||0.6711191761||0.6709069104||-0.03162861494|
|BBD||Barbadian or Bajan Dollar||1.342238352||1.341813821||-0.03162862239|
|AWG||Aruban or Dutch Guilder||1.201303325||1.20092337||-0.03162862301|
|SAR||Saudi Arabian Riyal||2.516696911||2.515900914||-0.03162862785|
|KPW||North Korean Won||604.0555975||603.8289891||-0.03751449609|
|HKD||Hong Kong Dollar||5.251917027||5.238621228||-0.2531608807|
|LKR||Sri Lankan Rupee||122.6716403||121.6681231||-0.8180514965|
|ZAR||South African Rand||9.621950446||9.410608253||-2.196458966|
|TWD||Taiwan New Dollar||20.55482089||20.06793499||-2.368718769|
|FKP||Falkland Island Pound||0.5285886427||0.5057657893||-4.317696514|
|IMP||Isle of Man Pound||0.5285886427||0.5057657893||-4.317696514|
|SHP||Saint Helenian Pound||0.5285886427||0.5057657893||-4.317696514|
|CRC||Costa Rican Colon||403.945547||379.9638373||-5.936866961|
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