If you’ve ever wanted to hit the gas on adventure and splurge on a dream trip to Europe, Asia, South Africa, wherever, now is the time to do it! Currency rates have never been better and the low cost carriers like Norwegian Air are driving down flight prices on all the major carriers. On top of that, there’s a bunch of great credit card promos going on and amazing award travel to be had from it. (Did you know you can still get the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k mile bonus if you sign up in a Chase Branch by March 10th?)

Top Credit Card Offers

United Airlines Mileageplus Explorer card is offering a 50k mile bonus if you spend $3k in the first three months. If you visit the page above, and do some additional online surfing, you might find yourself targeted with a 70k mile offer. I did and jumped on it! As a reference, it costs 70k miles for a round trip coach ticket from Washington, DC to Tokyo!  United may not get an A+ for customer service or much else, but their miles are worth a LOT. I previously flew Delta because I lived in Atlanta and I now know why they call Delta Skymiles “Sky Pesos”. They are worth practically nothing. But I digress – that is for another post. Plus, Delta excels in other areas where United does not at all.

If you’re concerned about your credit score, know that opening new accounts has little to no impact. As long as you (1) space out opening and closing accounts and (2) never miss a payment, you’re golden. I’ve covered almost $5k worth of travel expenses over the years by doing this and I do so by using mileage credit cards on things that I’d be buying anyway.

Currency Exchange Rates

The Euro and Pound have not been this low in years and it has made travel to Europe much more affordable for Americans. In 2014, I went to Paris for a few days and wanted to cry about how much a simple croque monsieur was in USD.  On my trip to Portugal in January, meals, hotels, transportation on Uber, etc. were super affordable making the trip much less cringe worthy.

The Australian and Canadian dollar are trading low against the dollar making trips less expensive than they have been in the past.  This last November, I traveled to Montreal and Quebec City. Five star hotels were less than $150 a night and I enjoyed some amazing French food for $30 per dinner.

US Dollar 1.00 USD inv. 1.00 USD
Euro 0.948277 1.054545
British Pound 0.802425 1.246222
Indian Rupee 66.952126 0.014936
Australian Dollar 1.302077 0.768004
Canadian Dollar 1.315919 0.759925
Singapore Dollar 1.420202 0.704125
Swiss Franc 1.008998 0.991082
Malaysian Ringgit 4.457750 0.224328
Japanese Yen 113.559812 0.008806
Chinese Yuan Renminbi 6.882232 0.145302

 

Low Cost Carriers

I’ve flown Norwegian Air, Icelandair, and Emirates recently and I was extremely impressed with the service, planes, food and best of all the prices! A flight from Rome to Copenhagen on Norwegian air cost me $70 and Copenhagen to DC on IcelandAir- $250. You really can’t beat that! I’ve talked to a lot of friends who were a bit nervous to fly on airlines they’d never heard of.  Here’s a tip – if an airline is operating within the US, you know they are safe and comply with all FAA requirements!  Not to mention these airlines surpass our larger carriers in every way, so you are in for a treat!

Bottom Line…

If you’ve been eyeing that trip to Iceland, Paris, Vancouver, whatever! This is the year take the plunge!

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