HomeTravelDestinationsFive destinations where the Australian dollar buys you more

Five destinations where the Australian dollar buys you more

Holiday money isn’t like real money. It seems to disappear much faster, so where are the countries where you will get the best bang for your buck? We look into five.


The Fiji dollar has been tracking about $1.50-$1.40 per Australian dollar for about 12 months now, which is not only good value but stable.

However, while some things are cheaper, the local beer and taxi trips for example, it’s a good idea to remember you are on an island in the middle of the Pacific and a lot of stuff has to get shipped in, which adds to the cost.

If you are staying at an upmarket resort, you won’t see much difference in prices from Australian resorts.  

To keep costs down, try to choose a hotel package with plenty of meals, learn the bus system, see if you can hitch a ride on your accommodation’s transfer bus and make sure you book outside of the New Zealand and Australian school holidays.

And try to make an effort to eat what the locals eat i.e. plenty of seafood. Anything that has to be shipped in just adds to the cost.

Fiji had some awesome packages after we came out of COVID lockdown but you might have to hunt around for a bargain now.


The Vietnamese dong is tracking about 16,183.19 to the Australian dollar. In case that all seems a bit hard with all those numbers, basically it represents good value.

Unfortunately, it’s also as high as it has been in the past 12 months, but the good thing about Vietnam is while it costs to get there, once you are on the ground there are bargains to be had.

The Vietnamese currency is the second weakest in the world – the Iranian rial is the worst if you are wondering – which is bad for them, but good for tourists.

If you go beyond the tourist traps the food is cheap, beer is cheap, and cocktails are cheap.

You can even get clothes made up on the cheap. We bought five items of tailored clothes for the same price as one tailored shirt in Australia.


While we are on the subject of weak currency, Laos rounds out the top three. One Australian dollar is currently about 13,688 Laotian kip. That’s a bit high – it was 11,295 this time last year – but still represents good value for Australian travellers.

Very much like Vietnam, once you are in the country, everything is astonishingly cheap.

Laos is a bit more undeveloped than its surrounding southeast Asian neighbours, so while you will encounter other tourists, its main attractions are its untouched landscapes and rich cultural traditions, which also come in cheap.

Also on the plus side, it is one of the safest countries in south-east Asia.


We can’t seem to leave the Pacific or Asian regions, but that’s okay, it just means short flights.

The Japanese yen is tracking at about 99 to the Australian dollar. It’s been gradually climbing from its pandemic low of 66.71 yen to the Australian dollar in March 2020 and only looks like it’s on the way up so get in now.

Food and drinks are relatively cheap whatever the exchange. A pint of beer costs about $4. I might travel there myself at that rate.

Sri Lanka

For something a bit further afield, the Australian dollar is currently buying about 204 Sri Lankan rupees.

The rupee has slowly been sliding for a couple of months, down from 224 rupees for the Australian dollar in December last year and 245 this time last year.

Sadly, this general slide represents Sri Lanka going from one of Asia’s best currencies to one of the worst, mostly attributed to dismantling import controls.

While you can go off the beaten track in Sri Lanka, it also has some pretty good tourism infrastructure with all price ranges covered. Might be a good escape from a Southern Hemisphere winter.

Does the exchange rate influence your holiday planning? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Six Tasmanian road trips you can do in a weekend

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


  1. Hi Jan, you got this back to front:
    “One Australian dollar is currently about 13,688 Laotian kip. That’s a bit high – it was 11,295 this time last year – but still represents good value for Australian travellers.”
    The higher the number of foreign currency I get the better!
    Otherwise good article, thanks.

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