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If you’ve been pining for an epic international vacation but are feeling strapped for cash, look for cities where the U.S. dollar is the strongest.
Over half of Americans plan on going on vacation this summer, according to a recent survey by Bankrate. The median amount they plan to spend is $1,000, with less than a quarter saying they’ll spend over $2,000. For larger families, the cost of a getaway is steeper; a family of four spends $4,000 on average.
For those looking to save, there are many ways to explore the world without breaking the bank.
"The biggest thing is to stick to a budget in advance," said Katie Wudel, deputy editor of content at GOBankingRates.com.
If you're looking to avoid taking on debt for a vacation, a good exchange rate abroad will help your dollar go farther. In addition, many international cities have a low cost of living, meaning that you can stretch your dollar by going off the beaten path.
"Be strategic with your money when you travel," Wudel said. "Enjoying all of these places, getting beautiful photos along the way and having great memories is possible without spending a ton of money."
For those looking for unforgettable experiences and beautiful photos, Wudel says to keep an open mind about affordable travel destinations.
A recent study by GOBankingRates.com, a personal finance website, looked at the top cities with the best exchange rates for the U.S. dollar. The report also reviewed what international cities had the lowest average cost of daily expenses per person.
"The whole world has a lot to offer," Wudel said. "Picking unexpected places and being a little adventurous can go a long way."
Prior planning is extremely important for budget travelers, Wudel said. Before your trip, take some time to read about local events and look for deals. Many cities have cheap or free concerts, museums or other activities that anyone can attend.
"Taking a few extra steps to plan out your day can help a lot," she said.
In addition, Wudel said to remember that traveling on a budget doesn't mean you have to backpack everywhere. There are many ways to find deals on hotels or other living arrangements while you're away.
"You can still have a comfy cushy stay as long as you’re smart with how you budget your money," she said. "Do your research."
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