Traveling to Europe? Enjoy the Bargains!

cup of espresso on a table overlooking the coast

Cancellations and congestion at airports continue to create headaches for travelers around the globe. But if this is the summer you are making your dream European vacation a reality, you’re in luck! Thanks to the strength of the U.S. dollar against the euro and British pound, everything from pasta and croissants to theater tickets and designer handbags is cheaper than it’s been in decades.

The U.S. dollar is now the strongest it’s been against the euro for 20 years. While the numbers fluctuate, 1 dollar is essentially equal to 1 euro – making trips to Europe 10 to 15 percent less expensive for Americans than at the same time last year. Travelers will get the biggest bang for the buck when eating in restaurants and taking taxis, as well as shopping for luxury clothing and cosmetics.

You’ll Have More to Spend on Food and Fun

For example, a croissant and espresso in Paris that costs 3.50 euro would cost you $3.50. Last year, you would have paid about a dollar more. In Rome, a double scoop gelato for 5 euro, or $5, would have cost $6.50 a year ago. Not only does your dollar go further on certain things, but you no longer have to struggle with currency conversions since rates are more or less even. Best of all, the dollar is expected to remain strong for months to come.

The Cost of Getting and Staying There is Higher

Unfortunately, the strong dollar is not the only economic force that factors into your vacation plans. Inflation and increased demand have pushed overall travel prices up compared to last summer, when travel in Europe was depressed and rates were especially low. On average, hotel and flight costs are up anywhere from 20% to 60% in some markets. According to the airfare booking app Hopper, round-trip airfares to Europe are up 13, while international flights overall are 22 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The stronger exchange rate is helping to offset increases in lodging costs. The average daily rate for a hotel room in Europe in April was 118 euros ($123 using today’s exchange rate), compared to 109 euros ($114) in April 2019 – a roughly 8 percent increase since the pandemic. In general, hotel rates in Europe are more reasonable than rates in the U.S. And travelers can lock in a favorable exchange rate by prepaying for their bookings.

Get the Best Exchange Rate

To take full advantage of the bargains available, you need to make sure you are getting the best possible exchange rate. Experts suggest:

  • Paying with a credit card with no foreign transaction fees (check with your bank before departure).
  • Withdrawing cash from ATMs in the local currency.
  • Always selecting local currency (not U.S. dollars) on a credit card purchase if offered a choice.

Need Car Service in Europe? Book Through Us.

Did you know that Limousine Association of New Jersey members can help you book car transportation anywhere in the world? To enjoy the same reliability and safety you count on here at home, just contact one of our local service providers when planning your trip.