Best Vacations for Exchange Rates: Norway and the Philippines

I have travelled to a lot of places. So far, I have yet to visit South America and Africa. Those are two regions that are on my travel bucket list. I have been to Australia, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, France, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Belgium, Japan, the Philippines, and American Samoa. I had sincere intent to teach ESL in Guatemala for a few months some time ago, but those plans fell through.

I hope I do not come off as though I am bragging. In reality, I don’t think I have visited enough places. I didn’t strategically plan out my finances enough during my previous travels. One thing that I seriously regret not doing is calculating which countries offered the best conversion rates against the dollar.

It’s like understanding that $1 USD equals about 8.60 Norwegian krone. Still, Norway has one of the highest standards of living rates in the world. It’s an expensive country to live in, let alone visit. Take the Philippines in contrast. In that country, $1 USD equals about 53 Philippine pesos. You can stay in a clean, comfortable hotel room for about $17 to $20 a day.

It’s not my intent to tell you not to travel to Norway. I really want to go there to see the Northern Lights. My point is that when you consider current currency conversion rates and various standards of living, you will need a lot more money to travel comfortably in Norway than in the Philippines.

My philosophy is that you should always consider currency rates carefully when planning international travel. Get the most that you can out of the local currency.


$1 USD = 8.60 NOK

OK, I just said that Norway is one of the most expensive places in the world to visit. All you have to do is budget accordingly. Visit the fjords and countryside. You can lodge at hundreds of tenting campsites that also accommodate vehicles. Take a biking tour. If you steer clear of expensive metropolitan areas, you won’t end up breaking the bank in Norway.

I recommend you visit Alesund, which is a small port city of the country’s west coast. It has idyllic architecture and stunning coastal views.


$1 USD = 53 PHP

The Philippines currency, the peso, is plentiful against the dollar when converted. I can publicly attest that Filipinos are some of the most respectful and welcoming people on Earth. Many people speak very basic or fluent English in this country, so that helps when you’re getting around.

The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan features a stunning underwater river cavern system. It’s a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. I highly recommend the Art In Island selfie museum in Manila. The museum features surreal, 3D interactive paintings, floor graffiti, murals, and exhibits that must be seen to be believed. Admission is about $10 for adults, $8 for students, and free for children age 3 and under.

Keep Exchange Rates In Mind

The average cost of an international vacation, per person, is about $1,200. Or, almost $5,000 for a family of four. Most of these costs are for basic airline and transportation fees, travel-related taxes, and basic lodging for a few days. Think about how much more you have to pay for additional costs related to food, drinks, souvenirs, and so on.

Money is always an issue in life. If it wasn’t, then everyone would be traveling all of the time. If you’re going to spend months, or years, saving for a vacation, keep currency exchange rates in mind. Make your dollar last as long as possible.

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