Where travelers can stretch their dollars farthest

I finished up a pile of work (hence my lack of WalletPop blog postings so far in 2009), I've got a pile of frequent-flier miles on American Airlines that's nearing their expiration date and with the daily doom-and-gloom headlines, I'm ready to blow this joint. What other excuses do I need to take a vacation? You may not feel like it's the right time to travel for pleasure, but with nearly the entire world in economic doldrums, there may never be a better time to scoop up so many travel deals that won't put a big dent in your wallet. And besides, you deserve it!

I chatted with a few travel agents about overseas destinations that offer more bang for the U.S. buck than ever before. They include: