Nashville, Tenn.-based Tim Leiffert, author of Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune, skipped London and Lisbon this summer, and instead, took his wife and daughter on a two-week trip to Guatemala. There, they stayed in a "gorgeous" hotel which featured a panoramic view of a volcanic lake for $60 a night. He estimates the cost of the entire trip, during which they visited Mayan ruins and colonial towns, and ate inexpensive but tasty meals, was $3,000.
"People don't think of [Guatemala] as a family destination," Leiffert says, but, as in other Central and South American countries, "it's an easy trip, and the dollar is still strong."
There's little doubt the iconic museums and landmarks of Europe are a huge draw for Americans planning international vacations. But with the dollar worth significantly less than the Euro, that trip to Paris or Barcelona can take a toll on one's bank account, diminishing buying power for everything from the price of crepes to admission to the Tate Modern to a room at the Four Seasons.