Currency Holiday: Norwegians can still feel rich in these countries

Currency Holiday: Norwegians can still feel rich in these countries

Where will we go in 2024? January is the time to stop dreaming. Tickets must now be ordered.

The time to be surprised by rising prices and a weak krone exchange rate is over. Most people have now experienced returning home from holiday due to Crohn's shock.

But have we finally learned, or will we swallow the increasing costs?

We love the small Italian villages and Spanish beaches even though the euro has become 46 percent more expensive than the Norwegian krone in the past 10 years. People are not just traveling to Switzerland, they are moving there, even though the Swiss franc has become 48 percent more expensive in a decade.

In Norway, Prague has become known for offering cheap city breaks. This may be the end, as the Czech Koruna has become 56 percent more expensive versus the Norwegian Krone. Sunbathing prices in Thailand, on a currency basis, have also risen by almost 60 percent.

Of the 25 currencies we looked at, one country still stands out. It has become expensive, at the same time as it continues to lure the Norwegians: the United States.

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Ten years ago, Norwegians could get 1 dollar for 5.8 Norwegian krone. Today we have to spend more than 10 Norwegian kroner. The dollar rose by 80 percent.

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Norwegian flies direct to Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Norwegian

Türkiye warp

Reasonable travelers can start by looking at the other end of the scale. If they dare.

The currency that fell the most against the Norwegian krone is the Turkish lira. Many travel industry players confirm that there is now an increased interest in traveling to Turkey as a result of the exchange rate.

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ruled Turkey for more than 20 years, and now most things are going in the wrong direction. When inflation began to appear, Erdogan came up with a new economic theory: high interest rates lead to inflation.

Thus, the interest rate in Türkiye was reduced. It ended with inflation that no country in Europe came close to. In the end, the country had to back down, and the Turkish Central Bank raised its key interest rate to 42.5 percent just before Christmas.

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Within ten years, the Turkish lira fell by 85 percent against the Norwegian krone.

Erdogan or not, you can still see one of the Seven Wonders of Antiquity in Turkey. The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus is a popular tourist attraction. Ephesus was an important trading city and cultural center in ancient times. During the reign of the Roman emperors, up to 300,000 people lived here. The famous Temple of Artemis took 100 years to build and the building materials were local marble. Today it appears to be relatively well preserved.

Turkey is no longer the holiday country it used to be, but Norwegians have by no means stopped traveling to Europe's easternmost beaches. The Foreign Office only advises against traveling or staying in border areas closer than ten kilometers to the border with Syria.

Naturally, high inflation will offset some of the discount you get by exchanging the krone for the lira.

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The South African Rand has developed as poorly as the Norwegian Krone.  It can make your vacation in Cape Town less expensive.  Image: Dreamtime

The South African Rand has developed as poorly as the Norwegian Krone. It can make your vacation in Cape Town less expensive. Image: Dreamtime

unstable

On the other hand, the next two countries on the list of hot discount destinations are much less stable. The Russian ruble and Pakistani rupee fell by 38 and 18 percent, respectively.

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The travel advice is more clear here.

The Foreign Office advises against travel to Russia. As for Pakistan, the Foreign Office has advised against traveling to or staying in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

The next two countries with the travel discount do not have FCO advice, but are still countries with a high crime rate.

The South African Rand closely follows the Norwegian Krone. So you still get value for money if you want to go on a safari in the Kruger Park or visit the Stellenbosch wine region.

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The Mexican peso also followed the krone closely. So here it is possible to spend time with Mexico City's nine million residents without going bankrupt.

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Be careful if you don't get robbed on the street.

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Some growing interest in countries with weak currencies, says Beatriz Rivera at Apollo.  Image: Apollo

Some growing interest in countries with weak currencies, says Beatriz Rivera at Apollo. Image: Apollo

Something has become cheaper

Beatrice Rivera, communications director at Apollo, confirms that the currency affects Norwegians' travel choices.

– In recent years, we have witnessed an increasing interest in traveling to Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey. All of these are known to be nice, budget-friendly options, the last two being intended for families with children, and the currency will likely mean more people will be spending their summer holidays here this year, she comments.

Rivera claims that travel trumps other priorities and points to surveys that reveal that 40 percent of us will continue to travel as before despite the economic downturn.

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– In order to maintain our travel habits, we are willing to cut back on everything from restaurant visits and fast food to renovations and shopping. In other words, we let the economy have little influence on our travel habits. Therefore, I also don't think the currency will have a big impact, but we do see some trends.

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For winter, as always, the Canary Islands are at the top of the list.

– But what is interesting is that Sharm El Sheikh is emerging as a new favorite city in the winter. The next two departures are completely full and there are only a few places left there over the winter and Easter holidays. In our scheduled flights, we also see very clearly that it is the East, with destinations such as Thailand, Bali and Sri Lanka, that attracts long-haul flights – while the demand for flights to the Caribbean and the USA, for example, is steady, comments Rivera.

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For summer, as always, Greece stands out as a favourite. Other popular holiday countries are Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Albania and Spain. This top list also remains virtually unchanged from previous years.

The weak krone has not put an end to Norwegians' holiday habits. Travel agency Ticket recently came out and said that the five most popular destinations this winter are all in Thailand and the Canary Islands, just as they did in 2019, before the pandemic rocked the travel world.

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The following destinations on the list from Ticket do not feature the preferred currency either. Here we find London, Alicante, Malaga, Ho Chi Minh City and Miami.

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There are a few companies that are taking the party overseas, according to Berg Hansen's Ken Dreyer.  Photo: Berg Hansen

There are a few companies that are taking the party overseas, according to Berg Hansen's Ken Dreyer. Photo: Berg Hansen

Fewer kickoffs

Berg-Hansen, Norway's largest business travel company, confirms that currency influences companies' willingness to send people out into the world.

– We see that there is a decrease in the number of overseas events held by our clients, as the cost of holding events abroad, for example, has become much more expensive due to the general increase in prices. In addition, foreign exchange comes in due to the lower krone exchange rate, comments Ken Dreyer of Berg Hansen.

In general, salespeople, engineers, and managers travel less than before.

– The number of business trips taken is still far behind 2019. There is no precise data on how many fewer business trips are taken now compared to before the pandemic, but we record that other global TMCs (travel management companies) estimate a new normal Nearly 70 percent of the flights took place in 2019, which was the last normal year. For business travel, we don't see that increases in currency and rates have changed the amount of business travel being taken, Dreyer says.

This article was first published in FinanceAffairs.com.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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