Canadian Loonie Tunes

Oh misery me – the mighty US Dollar is dwarfing our Canadian Loonie and now where – oh where – can we go on vacation.  Better not to go.  After all – convert out what you will pay in US dollars into our miserable weak Canadian dollar and we are paying twice as much.  What is the point of a vacation if we have to live on KFC every day.

Hang on a minute!  

Who says you have to go on vacation and spend US dollars?  Really?  So let’s look at where you can go and spend your Canadian dollars so that you feel like a super hero instead of a super flop!

That’s right!  You tell them Super Canuck!

FIJI – (60c Cdn buys you one Fijian dollar) – use Fijian dollars to buy your Kava fix.  This face-numbing, drowsy-making root is ground up with water usually in a large communal bucket – placed in a cloth that sometimes looks like grandad’s old sock and then everyone has a good chug and after a few cups they don’t care what the hell has happened to the Canadian dollar.  Good medicine!

What’s a Loonie anyway?

COOK ISLANDS / NEW ZEALAND – (92c Cdn buys you 1 New Zealand dollar)
Still winning here – and even more so because there is NO TIPPING IN THE COOK ISLANDS.  That’s right.  No need to think about having to add on 15% to the bill.  Even in New Zealand tipping is not expected and is not customary.  So what can you spend your money on in the Cooks (as it is affectionately known)?  Well you could do a tour with Pa – legendary medicine man ex surfing champion and quite the guy.  $70 NZD buys you a nature walk with Pa.

GUESS WHAT?  You don’t use US dollars in Europe!
Cdn $10 will buy you 7 Euro’s.  That’s better than it used to be.  So where is the cheapest place in Europe at the moment?  According to the BackPacker Index for 2015 no surprise that Kiev in the Ukraine is the cheapest place at the moment.  Better give that one a miss!  However there are some great cities out there such as Budapest and Bratislava offering great value for money.

OH AND WHAT ABOUT BALI?  No USD there either?  The only USD you will need there will be for the visa upon arrival.  Once there – go crazy!  Bali is a shoppers paradise.  But be prepared to negotiate for a good deal in the markets.  It is a national sport – especially where tourists are involved – and let’s face it … they are going to know you are a tourist.  Trust me – they know.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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