The Canadian Dollar: Hey, At Least It’s Not the Euro

With the U.S. dollar in the tank, Americans can no longer rely on cheap Canadian ski trips, shopping sprees, or bar tabs—at press time, the exchange rate hovered at 1.01 Canadian loonies to the greenback. As the rate has fallen, so has tourism to our northern neighbor: Visits to Canada dropped 14 percent in 2007, mostly among day-trippers. But U.S. visitors to Italy, France, and Spain increased in 2007, even as the dollar fell from 0.76 euros?to 0.69 euros—and at press time, you got 0.64 euros for your buck. Compared with that, Canada's a steal. Consider the trips mentioned in this article. Last July, that mountain-bike tour of B.C. would have cost $229 less than it does now. The Wapta Icefield traverse? You'd have saved $41 by going last July. Buy some Canadian bacon instead of wild salmon in Alberta, or guzzle Molson instead of your favorite microbrew in Vancouver. Recession's no fun, but it's no reason to stay home—unless you're stuck on Europe.

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