Key Points:

Kiwis thinking of a holiday in America right now must be laughing all the way to the bureau de change.

And the same goes for locals planning an online purchase or two through any US-based e-commerce retailer.

The rising New Zealand dollar in the last couple of months has meant a real boon to the pockets of kiwis whose plans include doing business in, or with, the United States.

The Kiwi started off at US78.73c this morning, as its seemingly inexorable climb towards US80c continues.

And that means Kiwis planning trips to the US and online shop-a-holics are seeing their hard-earned cash going a lot further compared to five years ago.

A family of two adults and two children visiting New York's Empire State Building would have been asked for US$88 before piling into the lift in July, 2002.

While the views of the Manhattan skyline are spectacular, so too was the price in NZ dollars - $181.

Visiting the same building two weeks ago, the family would be paying $114.

If the kids had won and the credit cards weren't maxed-out, then the family may have visited Disneyland.

That one-day trip to Disneyland would cost US$232 for the tickets alone. Translate that to 2002 Kiwi dollars and you're looking at $477. The same trip two weeks ago - $301.

Fancy taking a tour out to the infamous prison island Alcatraz in San Francisco bay? By now you may be thinking about staying for a while just to hide from the bank manager.

In local dollars the ferry trip around the island would have cost US$111. In 2002 the family of four would therefore have paid $228. Two weeks ago, the same trip would have cost them just $144.

Online shoppers placing their orders for the new Harry Potter book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - will pay US$17.99. In July 2002, that would have cost NZ$37. In July 2007 the book, excluding shipping, would be $23.

CDs are also more affordable, with the Beastie Boys' latest release costing US$9.99. In 2002, that would have cost nearly $21. Two weeks ago the same album cost $13.

And the news is getting better. Just before 1pm this afternoon, the NZ dollar was trading at US78.78c

* The figures have been rounded to the nearest dollar, based on a family of two adults and two children aged over 11 and at 2007 prices not adjusted for inflation. The comparison dates used were July 1 2002 and July 1 2007.