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FOREX WATCH: Countries To Travel To This December Holidays

Three holiday destinations where you can get the biggest bang for your Singaporean Bucks

 

It’s holiday season soon. In this series of our Forex Watch, we cover three countries Singaporeans can consider for holiday destinations to take advantage of our relatively stronger Singapore dollar (SGD).

Do note that the SGD itself has seen pressure in recent days since the result of the presidential elections in the United States of America (USA). These countries that we’ve highlighted have dropped even more than the SGD.

1. Malaysia

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Let’s start first with a country that’s closer and familiar to most. Malaysia.

News of Trump’s election triumph in the USA was bad news to the holders of the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). The currency has been negatively impacted due to the uncertainty of USA’s policies with Trump in place. Locally, news of a US$34 billion bilateral deal signed with China recently has not been able to stem the outflow of the ringgit. Moreover with an expectation among the financial community of further interest rate cut in the near future, the Ringgit looks to have more gloomy days ahead.

The SGD/MYR is standing at 3.10 as at writing time. This means that for every SGD 1 you will get MYR 3.10 – this is the weakest the MYR has been to the SGD this year.

There are many places of interests in Malaysia with Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi among few of the favourite tourist destinations. Oh, and did we mention Genting Highlands? With its Casinos for the adults in the family and theme parks for children, it can be a good family outing. Though it is our responsibility to advise you to be prudent with your bets! Remember the House always WINS!

With the budget airfares going slightly above $100 (to KL for a one-way), it’s time to pack those bags.

Read Also: Why The SGD Is Depreciating Against The USD, And Why The MYR Is Even Worse Off

2. England

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The dates June 23 & 24, 2016 will hold much significance to the people of the United Kingdom. Dubbed “Brexit”, it was when the combined peoples of England, Wales, Scotland and Northen Ireland voted to leave the European Union (EU), which they had been a member of since January 1973. This was a vote that had the same level of anticipation going in and disbelieve coming out, as experienced in the recent election in USA. The Sterling or Pound (GBP) had a single day drop of 10% (after the vote to exit EU) against the US Dollar (USD) and has remained sluggish since.

SGD/GBP is standing at 0.57 as at writing time. This means that for every SGD 1 you will get GBP 0.57. The weakest the Pound has ever been. We’re gobsmacked!

There is never a shortage of places to visit or sights to see in England. What are they, you ask? Postcard places like the Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, to the iconic structures like the London Tower or even the unexplained and mysterious site of Stonehenge. If you don’t fancy taking photos with bricks and stones, we understand. Then why not head down to the famous Madame Tussauds in London to take a photo with a wax model of Beckham or Princess Dianna? Or how about watching your favourite English football team in their home ground?

Flights aren’t cheap though, with a return trip from our national carrier, Singapore Airlines, costing more than $2,000. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea (pun intended), but with the best currency advantage we have ever had, it’s definitely one of the best times to make England / United Kingdom your travel destination this coming holiday season.

3. Mexico

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A country that has been much “walled” (sorry), talked about during the recent Presidential campaign in the USA, Mexico, is the final country to get coverage in our Forex Watch.

The Mexican Peso (MXN) was down by more than 12% against the US dollar after Donald Trump was confirmed as the new elected President. Mexico is an export-driven economy and has viewed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as instrumental to growing its economy. With 80% of its exports going to the USA, it is heavily dependent on the continuity of this agreement. However, with new President-elect Trump, opposing to the terms of the NAFTA and threatening to deport the millions of illegal Mexican immigrants from the USA, the MXN has seen detrimental effects. This could continue in the mid-term due to the uncertainties surrounding USA’s polices.

SGD/MXN is standing at 14.26 as at writing time. This means that for every SGD 1 you will get MXN 14.26. The exchange rate has doubled in our favour since 2007. This could be the best time to plan for a long-haul vacation to see a totally different part of the world.

Mexico is not only home to Speedy Gonzales, it is also the birth place of the Mayan Civilisation. One would get Goosebumps taking in the sights of the Great Ancient Pyramid El Castillo in Chichén Itzá; if one decides to explore the ancient ruin sites.

Mexico has a rich cultural history that can be experienced through a relaxed stroll along the cobblestoned streets of San Miguel de Allende. For city dwellers like us, the 500-year-old colonial city with its narrow walkways and baroque architecture might give much respite from seeing the typical concrete blocks of buildings (our HDBs or skyscrapers) in our back yard.

And we cannot end without mentioning the beautiful blue beaches of Cancun. If a beach resort holiday is what you seek, then this 7-shaped barrier island is your kind of place. Voted as among one of the best spring break destinations, it’s time to put on that Sombrero and chill with a martini in hand while working that tan.

With flights ranging from under $1,000 to over $2,000, you should do your research into flight arrangements prudently before heading to this destination. “Ándale! Ándale!” before the President-elect of USA makes good on his promise to erect a wall.

There you have it. Our top picks of the month to get the biggest bang for your Singaporean bucks.

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