Yes, things are very rocky in the U.S., but they’re worse elsewhere. That seems to be the reason behind the dollar’s dramatic rise against other currencies in the past few weeks.

One of the most dramatic changes has been in Chile. At the beginning of this year a dollar would have gotten you around 500 Chilean pesos. Today the official rate is 627. See the chart here from

That 20 percent rise in value is not going to help you all that much with hotels priced in dollars anyway, but it does give you more bang for the buck when doing anything the locals do—like eat out in a restaurant. Or when you buy a bottle of Cabernet in a store.

Same story in Mexico, where their peso had dropped down around 10 to the dollar this summer and is now at 12.5. Again it doesn’t matter much for hotel bookings, but it affects your cost of a taxi ride, a driver for the day, a decadent seafood meal, or a domestic flight priced in pesos.

Latin America was a great value when the dollar was struggling hard against the euro and it’s an even better deal now. Head south and live it up instead of making hard decisions about your budget in Europe.