Sunday, February 1, 2015

Why You Should Travel to Europe NOW


Are you an American? Perfect, this post is meant for you- or, truthfully, anyone looking to travel to Europe (hey, friends and family back home- this is a not-so-subtle hint to book your trip and come visit!) Beyond the obvious reasons of why you should go to Europe- culture, history, and general wanderlust- there are now more reasons than ever to book your flights and vacations to Europe. The dollar has clearly been hitting the gym over the past year and now it is stronger than ever. A strong dollar and a weak Euro means that your trip to Europe just became infinitely cheaper.


Because of the recent strength of the dollar, right now it is trading at $1.12 per Euro. This is a significant change, especially when you consider that for much of 2008, when the Euro was at it's peak, the dollar was trading $1.60 per Euro. For most of last year, we were looking at $1.3-1.4 per Euro. Now, that can get a little bit technical- so let's look at what this actually means.

€100 hotel room per night.    2008 = $160     February 2015 = $112
€60 dinner for two.                2008 = $96       February 2015 = $67
€25 bottle of champagne.      2008 = $40       February 2015 = $28
€12 museum entrance.          2008 = $19       February 2015 = $13

When you put it this way, it is quite easy to picture the savings adding up! For a ten-day trip staying in $100 hotels, you are saving close to $500 by traveling now versus 2008. Add in food, transportation, and other various activities, and you can easily see a huge cost difference! 

What About Airfare?

While daily expenses have become much cheaper, there are definitely large costs such as airfare to look at. Fortunately, Europe has tons of low-cost carriers (such as Air Berlin) that can offer significant savings over traditional carriers. Some of these carriers have even started offering flights from the U.S. to Europe, in addition to their traditional routes throughout Europe. Definitely consider these carriers for any flights you may have throughout Europe, and even for your round trip flights! 

Travel Tips

For the best travel tips to Europe, check out these 19 money-saving travel tips you should be using. In addition, when planning your travels, consider either waiting to purchase and book things until you actually arrive. If you must book in advance, pay in Euros, not dollars, and this will save you money given the current exchange rate. This is something Nick and I recently did for a trip to Latvia, and by paying in Swedish krona (SEK) versus USD, we saved almost half the cost of the trip! 

Other than that? My best travel tip for Europe is to book your trip and go now! What is holding you back?

30 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. My boyfriend was like super encouraging me to travel to Europe since last month. My only worry was the budget. My impression on going to Europe has always been that it's an expensive tour and everything from food to souvenirs isn't cheap. Thanks for showing the cost and the differences. They really speak to me. :) I'm now more open to the idea of going!

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    1. Europe can be expensive, but it has definitely gotten more affordable! You should definitely look more into it!

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  2. Wow, I had no idea that the exchange rate had changed so much! How crazy is it that the last time I researched a trip to Europe was actually 2008, the date that you cited in your comparisons lol!I am curious to see where Air Berlin runs flights out of and wonder if they are coming into JFK. I have always thought Europe was way out of our travel budget, but you've inspired me to give it another look :) Thank you for posting this!

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    1. I'm not sure if Air Berlin flies to JFK, but I believe Norwegian Air does! If you have any questions definitely feel free to ask- hopefully you are able to make the trip!

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  3. If I had money in hand right now I would totally do it. I have only have been to a few states and never any where else. I want to travel one day. Even if it's just once. I think it would be an amazing experience and for those prices... That is not bad at all. Maybe one day I can save enough up to visit Europe. It would be so amazing!!! Thank you for sharing this!!! Always thought it would be so much more expensive.

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    1. Amanda, I hope you are able to make it! Europe can seem expensive, but as long as you are smart with your money it doesn't have to be.

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  4. I was born in England and want to go back to visit so badly! M y parents went back a couple years ago on a cruise and loved it. Their pictures were absolutely beautiful and amazing!

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    1. You should definitely look into it! I bet you would have a terrific time.

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  5. I'm so envious of anyone that is able to travel to Europe before me. I've always wanted to go there, I just haven't had the opportunity yet. It's high on my list of places to travel before I die.

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    1. Terri I will be hoping you are able to make it! There are so many great places to visit here.

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  6. I'm always looking for excuses to travel, so thanks for providing so many lovely, compelling reasons to travel to Europe! ;) Europe certainly can be expensive, so hearing that the USD is currently going strong is a great thing to hear. I went several times last year, and top of my 'wish list' this year is Istanbul, Turkey. Also, if I had the opportunity to revisit some favorites, I'd jet to Paris for macarons and foie gras. :9 I hope to one day bring my mom there... maybe this year! Thanks for the tips!

    xo,
    lauriel
    EyeForElegance.com

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    1. Ohhh, Turkey! I've looked into Turkey several times and just haven't quite made it yet. Definitely hoping to one of these days though!

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  7. We've been watching the falling Euro and are so excited to plan our next trip to Europe. I remember when the Euro was actually less than the dollar, but that was over ten years ago. It's been high for quite a while. Now we'll be able to treat ourselves when we travel. Yay!

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    1. Mindi- you could see those rates again! I've heard it is possible by the end of 2016 they will be about 1 to 1. Even now though, definitely much more affordable than a few years ago!

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  8. I 100% agree with you! My friend bought her tickets the middle of January for a trip to Europe the end of January...for $630 roundtrip!!! It was an amazing deal! Plus, with the Euro dropping, my rent decreased by $60...yippeee! Now if only this would have happened a few years ago... :) I was here when it used to be like $1.35 to 1 Euro...ouch!

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    1. Oh gosh, your friend definitely got a great deal! Isn't it nice when you convert how things are becoming a bit cheaper over here?

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  9. That's so cool! I never knew about the money exchange rate and it really changed a lot since 2008, wow! I have never eve been out of the country but I sure would love to go to Europe. Especially if we would be able to save s little money and still have an awesome trip!

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  10. Oh geez! I wish the Canadian dollar would get stronger too! It's like $1.43 Canadian to 1 Euro. I just try not to think about it, haha.

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    1. Haha I feel you on that! I'm sure everything will even out in the end though!

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  11. Thanks for these! It just makes me frustrated that I really really really wanted to go to Europe but time (&funds) does not agree. I guess I have to wait a little bit longer to get to see Europe.

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    1. Chester, your chance may be coming soon! As the dollar strengthens, Europe is becoming more and more affordable for Americans.

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  12. Well I already live in Europe and have visited a lot of the countries in the western side of the continent but I would highly recommend a visit to Europe to anyone! :) It's great to see that prices here in Europe for travel and expenses are really coming down in recent years. I always use price comparison sites to check for the best hotel room rates and flights too, it's such a help and a great way of saving for other fun things for your trip instead :)

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    1. Fiona- that is how I feel! Price comparison sites are so essential- usually before booking any trip, I look at at least 3 for each item (hotel, flight, etc)!

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  13. I travel all the time, but don't often go to Europe. (I usually go to the Caribbean, or South and Central America.) However, with the strength of the US dollar right now, Europe is a great deal.

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  14. I'm too broke for those prices, haha. I also don't have a passport either, it's on that to-do list. I have kids, no babysitter.. Yada Yada.. However, one day.. I wanna go visit my friends over there.. Until then, I'll read about how much I should go and spend money I don't have.

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    1. Let me know when & where you are booked! ;)

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  16. Being from London and now living in the USA I so miss it. Before 2009 I would travel home every couple of years, maybe twice a year. Then the market went NUTS!!!! Now my family travels to meet us as it is cheaper. We are having a blast discovering America and the Caribbean, one day soon we hope to pop back to Europe. My favorite other than London is Italy.....

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  17. You are so right! Now is the perfect time to travel to Europe. We thought we wouldn't head to Europe this year (because honestly Scandinavia was so expensive last summer), but the prices have changed so much, I don't know if we can pass up the opportunity. Keeping fingers crossed that the price deals last until I can book my tickets! Another great post!

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