Unfortunately, war and the threat of war is nothing new and we continue to see rumors of conflict each year. With the Ukrainian “revolution” and Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the prices of both currencies have plummeted. Baron Rothschild, an 18th Century British banker took advantage of the Napoleon wars to corner the market in England and made himself a fortune. He is credited with saying, “The time to buy is when there is blood in the streets…”
With that in mind, Russia and Ukraine are “on sale” for Western travelers. There is indeed “blood in the streets” in Kiev and the currencies of both Russia and Ukraine have fallen about 20% and 33% since the Maidan “revolution” (coup). The Russian Ruble was about 30 to a Dollar when I was last in Russia. Now it is 36 to a Dollar. This is a discount of about 20% A hotel room that normally costs $100 in Russia is now only $80 at this exchange rate. If you figure that a vacation to Russia or Ukraine could cost $3,000, this could mean a savings of US $600-1,000!
In Ukraine, the currency has sold off even worse. 3 months ago it cost about 8 Ukrainian Hyrvnia to a Dollar. Now it costs about 12. That’s about a one third discount. A $15 lunch in Odessa is now about $10 for any traveler using US Dollars, Canadian or Australian Dollars, British Pounds or anyone who spends Euros.
Additionally with the new “cold war” that is brewing between Russia and the Western countries, you will probably see a curtailment of tourism to Russia and Ukraine. Expect to find cheaper airline tickets, hotels and many tourist deals. I was looking at airfare last week and saw that a ticket from Madrid, Spain to Moscow was only US $180.
If you’ve ever considered making a visit to Ukraine or Russia, now might be the time to hit the road!
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