Winter is coming. Or for the lot of you, it has already come and is just spraying white stuff all over your face. So why don’t you cuddle up with a blanket, get yourself some nice hot chocolate, and pop open your web browser and start searching for flights? For today’s blog post, I’m going to detail the top 5 reasons why Americans should travel in 2015. I know us Americans get a bad rep when it comes to travelling abroad. But can you blame us? Our country is huge and diverse so you really can’t run out of things to do and see here in America. Maybe that’s why only 46% of Americans have a passport. That means that 1 in every 2 Americans can’t even go to Canada or Mexico. Of course, the recent financial crises had made a lot of people poorer, so traveling to other countries became expensive (flying from anywhere in America to Asia or Europe is going to set you back at least $1000 in just flight costs alone). But alas, that 46% stat is pretty sad. It’s time to change that! And there’s no better time to do it than now! Here’s the top 5 reason why Americans should travel in 2015.
Reason #1 why Americans should travel in 2015: The strength of the American dollar.
If you have been living in a cave for most of 2014, you probably didn’t realize that the U.S. was the only advanced economy to have grown above 3% in the last year, and to have generated over 1.1 million jobs, lowering the unemployment rate to just 5.6%. Because of this, the Federal Reserve has stopped buying bonds, and is now looking to raise the interest rate. What does this mean for us normal, everyday, hardworking Americans? It means that the dollar has been increasing in worth, and is about to get a lot stronger. When the US Dollar becomes strong, that means that it is cheaper to be a tourist in another country. Take the Euro for example. As of today’s writing, $112 gets you 100 euros. Go back 6 months to June 2014 and you would need $135 to get the same 100 euros. So that means that for every 100 euros you spend, you save $24 USD. Now, that means a 2000 euro vacation will now cost you $480 less. Take this scenario and apply it to practically every other currency that’s not called the Swiss Franc. Thanks to the strength of the American dollar, traveling outside the country is just going to get cheaper and cheaper. Time to get that passport!
Reason #2 why Americans should travel in 2015: Falling oil prices
The falling oil prices have been a godsend to Americans at the pump, but as oil prices remain low, be prepared for airlines to start offering more and more flight deals (Etihad Airlines recently had a $300 round trip deal to certain locations around the world). Already, two budget airlines have dropped their fuel surcharge (Air Asia and Cebu Pacific) and as oil prices remain low, it will mean that jet fuel will also get cheaper. Not all airlines will lower their prices, but do keep a lookout for flight deals. Eventually, competition will catch up and they will start offering more deals (But you will still have to pay a checked baggage fee though! Damn airlines…). In any case, as an American, this means that traveling to other countries in Asia or Europe will become cheaper as airlines begin to compete for consumers. Time to plan for that summer trip to Poland or the Philippines.
Reason #3 why Americans should travel in 2015: More countries are becoming accessible
Hey, have you heard about the thawing of American relations with Cuba? Well, we can’t visit Cuba yet (as normal tourists), but in all, more and more countries around the world are becoming more accessible to visit. Myanmar, the reclusive country that’s slowly trying to introduce democracy, is continuing to build roads and upgrade their tourism infrastructure. ATMs are springing up in even the most remote of places and thanks to a smashgasm of online blog sites (like this one!) and online traveler’s websites (Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet, Couch Surfing), you will never have to go into a country blind. While you may have heard of conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine and parts of Africa, in all, most of the world today is safe to travel to as long as you research ahead of time and practice street smarts. And really, coming from the U.S. where we have gun violence almost every day, most other countries would look more like New York City instead of Detroit.
Reason #4 why Americans should travel in 2015: Americans are slowly being respected again internationally.
Our former president Bush did a whole lot of destruction to American prestige with his two wars. Thankfully, in the last 6 years, Obama has helped repair some of that damage, but we still have a long way to go. What better way to help educate others on how awesome America is than by talking to them face to face? We can show them that we’re not all obese, we don’t all love fast food, and most of us probably don’t even own any guns. 2015 can finally be the year where we can deliver our own narrative of what it is to be American. Besides, if we elect a Republican in 2016, the world will hate us again, so might as well go when they still like us!
Reason #5 why Americans should travel in 2015: Humans are destroying the planet
You might be wondering why I have this here. Human being are in a continual process of destroying our environment, whether it is the cutting down of the rain forest in Borneo to make palm oil for makeup, or indirectly like the coral reefs around the world being destroyed thanks to the rising water temperature. And as the sea level rises, we will begin to lose more and more islands. This is on top of animals being hunted into extinction (RIP Black horn rhino in Africa). This means that if you don’t travel soon, some of these things will disappear by the time you are ready to travel. Look at what’s happening to the Great Barrier Reef. The longer you wait to travel, the more of the world’s beauty you will miss out on. So put down that smartphone. Go buy your flight tickets. Book your guest house. And bust out your passport. Every American should travel in 2015.
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- Do you travel with morals?