Exotic escapes don't have to be expensive. While lounging on a tropical beach in the Philippines or discovering the ancient Pyramids of Giza sound like excursions that will burn a hole in your pocket, you'll be wowed by how far your Canadian dollar can go in such sought-after travel destinations.
Since 2015, the Canadian dollar has appreciated by an average of 19 per cent, while flight prices have dropped by roughly 20 per cent. Combine the lower airfares with destinations that offer more bang for your Canadian dollar, and you can escape to some of the world's most exotic travel destinations for the price you typically pay for a getaway much closer to home.
These three fascinating destinations are ones you should consider if you're seeking life-changing culture and picture-perfect scenery on a budget this winter.
Photo credit: Zaldy Camerino
It's no wonder Palawan was praised as the World's Best Island in Travel and Leisure's World's Best Awards. But you may find it more difficult to believe this naturally stunning island is far from over-traveled. Turquoise ocean waters, reefs ripe for snorkeling and scuba diving, an iconic five-mile-long underground river, photogenic fishing boats, and towering rock caverns turn this northern Philippines archipelago into a getaway destination that will be impossible to forget.
Last year, a week-long trip to Palawan costed $1,757.65, but that same trip can be purchased this year for just $1,433.46. A coconut is calling your name.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Photo credit: Paul Arps
You may know a handful of people who have been to Bangkok, but fewer have been to the alluring, and far more rugged, Southeast Asian Ho Chi Minh City. Located in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City oozes culture through markets, museums, street stalls, chaotic roadways, and buildings that reflect the city's history while anticipating its future. Stare up at towering skyscrapers, duck into a temple, dine at world-class eateries, or grab meat-on-a-stick from a street vendor -- this city urges you to experience the Southeast Asia of yesterday.
Many travelers know that Southeast Asia is a characteristically affordable travel region, but the cost of a week-long escape to Ho Chi Minh City has dropped more than 17 per cent compared to last year. Now is the time to go.
Photo credit: David Stanley
Egypt is a dream destination for history buffs, photographers, foodies, and anyone in search of the world's most iconic historical sites. As the country's capital, Cairo sits at the heart of it all. With roots in Ancient Egypt (the Great Pyramid at Giza is less than 30 minutes away) and a clearly modern metropolitan area that's the largest in the Middle East, you won't find yourself wishing you traveled anywhere else when you visit Cairo. And you certainly won't regret your trip to this iconic Egyptian city when you realize you're saving more than 30 per cent on your trip by going this year instead of last.
Also on HuffPost:Exotic escapes don't have to be expensive. While lounging on a tropical beach in the Philippines or discovering the ancient Pyramids of Giza sound like excursions that will burn a hole in your pocket, you'll be wowed by how far your Canadian dollar can go in such sought-after travel destinations.
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A local boy watches as tourists photograph themselves at the Sphinx and the great Pyramid of Cheops on May 28, 2011 in Giza, Egypt. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Egyptians ride horses past the great pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo on March 3, 2011. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A tourist from the Philippines poses for a picture in front of the great pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo on March 3, 2011. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A tour guide tends to horses while waiting for tourists near the Giza pyramids on February 15, 2011 in Giza, Egypt. With tourism counting for 6 percent of Egypt's gross domestic product, the country's economy has taken a huge hit after foreign tourists fled during Egypt's uprising. Some 15 million tourists visited Egypt in 2010 and the tourism industry supports up to 10 percent of the Egyptian population. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Egyptian visitors watch a nearly empty light and sound show at the Giza pyramids on February 15, 2011 in Giza, Egypt. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
An Egyptian man waits for tourists to take them on camel rides at the Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo on February 14, 2011. (PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture shows the Sphynx near the pyramids in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, on November 30, 2010. (PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
French movie star Juliette Binoche poses next to the Sphynx at the site of the pyramids in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, on November 30, 2010. (HOUDA IBRAHIM/AFP/Getty Images)
(PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
(HOUDA IBRAHIM/AFP/Getty Images)
An Egyptian sells souvenirs in front the Great Pyramid of Khafre in Giza, on March 30, 2010. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama poses for a photo in front of the Sphinx during a tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza following his landmark speech to the Muslim World on June 4, 2009. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by The White House, President Barack Obama ducks his head to get through an entranceway on a tour of the Pyramids and Sphinx June 4, 2009 near Cairo, Egypt. At center-right is the hieroglyphic that the President comment on saying it looked like him. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)
The pyramids in the Giza plateau in the outskirts of Cairo, some of Egypt's most recognizable landmarks, stand tall behind popular housing on June 2, 2009. (CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images)
Foreign tourists climb one of the Pyramids of Giza, south of Cairo, on February 23, 2009. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni visit the Great Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, 30 December 2007. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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