This feature originally appeared in the June 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.
When it comes to traveling on a budget, timing is everything. Not only can off-season treks cut down on airfare and lodging costs, but the power of the U.S. dollar across the globe can also dictate how much you'll pay for a vacation. "This is a fantastic year to be traveling because the dollar is very strong," says Tim Leffel, author of The World's Cheapest Destinations (booklocker.com).
That means Americans can get more bang for their buck overseas than in previous years. For example, if a country's currency takes a 25 percent dive against the U.S. dollar, dinner at a restaurant there that was $20 last year might now be only $15. Hotel rates would also be less expensive.
Another thing to keep in mind is that shelling out less for expenses during your stay gives you room to spend more money on flights. But you don't always have to go on an international journey to score a deal.
Airfare has been on the decline, and in 2016, the average price of an economy airline ticket was at the lowest point in three years, according to the Expedia study New Heights for Air Travel. Whether you're looking for a romantic weekend getaway or an adventure with your girls, we checked with trusted bloggers, travel experts and tourism professionals to get the scoop on which locations have the biggest bargains in 2017. Here's the intel.