first, i went to Australia in April when the USD basically hit its 5-year low vs the AUD at an exchange rate of 1 USD to 1.05 AUD. the same trip today would have cost about a third less, since a Benjamin buys about 140 AUD today.
second, i went on a long road trip over the last few weeks - about 4k miles worth. we paid pretty close to $4 most of the way. today, the national average is $3.45 and falling. given the current plummeting price of crude, i think we'll see gas at the pump break the $3 barrier before New Years. January this year, crude was at the same price as it is today and gas was selling for $2.97.
the overarching theme here being that the world is realizing that while the US economy may not be in the best shape, the rest of the world has their own subprime financial issues that they'll have to freak out about at some point. that, and i have a pretty luxurious job that allows me pretty frequent vacations.