If it feels like everyone has been flocking to Europe recently, most likely due to the exchange rate between the dollar and the euro.
Toward the end of last year, Americans could buy one euro for just 96 cents, giving tourists a lot more bang for their buck when visiting any of the 20 European countries that use the euro. Since then, the dollar has lost about 14% of its value compared to the euro, and Americans now have to pay around $1.10 for one euro.
But that doesn’t mean you should cancel your European dream trip just yet.
Sneaky Travel Tip
Currencies constantly fluctuate against each other based on economic factors like interest rates and central bank policies. When the US dollar is “stronger” relative to other currencies, it means the dollar can buy more goods in other countries.
The US traditionally has a strong currency compared to third-world countries, which is why traveling to places like Mexico or Guatemala is typically more affordable. But this doesn’t usually apply to European countries, which also have strong currencies.
That changed toward the end of last year, when the US dollar grew stronger than the euro. For a brief time, an American tourist could book a European hotel room that cost 200 euros for just $192. Today, that same hotel would cost $220.
Planning Your Trip
Traveling to Europe may no longer be the fire-sale it was last fall and winter. But booking a European trip is still a bargain right now compared to historical standards.
If you plan on traveling internationally, travel experts recommend locking in flight tickets, hotel rooms, and excursions sooner rather than later. With exchange rates constantly in flux, you might never know a good thing until it’s gone.
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