Peso’s Decline, Traveler’s Gain

David Simmonds

I wake up every day now hoping to find some good news for my wallet. Where I live in SoCal housing values have tanked, including mine. Everyone I know is worth about half as much as they were two years ago. Well, maybe worth isn’t the best word to use…they are still fine, worthy people…for the most part. But they are now resolved to working about a decade longer than they had planned and Saturday nights are being spent watching Mad Men reruns and SNL instead of dining out and drinking expensive Scotch.

Oh well, did we really think we would get out of here without some tough times after hearing tragic tales of the Great Depression and WWII from our parents? All in all, we Boomers have had it pretty easy, now lets see what we’re made of now that 30 years of failed “trickle down” economics have left us trickled on and a little p.o.’ed  and confused.

So since I wasn’t paying attention I hadn’t noticed that my Mexico travels will be a little cheaper for a while. The peso has been roughly about 10 to the US dollar for a long time, floating between 9 and 11as the globalized market (whatever that is) dictates. But now suddenly the rate is 13.27 to the dollar, making a peso worth about 7.5 cents US and a 100 peso note is $7.50 instead of $10.00. Now this won’t affect most high-end tourist hotels that price in dollars, but the way I travel I should notice a real savings. A six-pack priced in pesos will be cheaper as will my meals at street tacos stands and family-run restaurants where the locals eat.  The domestic airlines that fly from city to city within Mexico will be even better deals than they were. Ditto for my rental car, bus and cab fares, bribe jewelry for my wife for leaving home, t-shirts for my kids (uh…gee thanks, Dad) and a new guayabera shirt for me…all about 25% less than the last time I traveled south.

I leave for Oaxaca in a couple of days on a press trip for Day of the Dead. I’ll let you know how my theory holds up.