Currency exchange rates have never made a European getaway look so good at least not since more than a decade ago. The value of the dollar against the euro is at its highest in years. At about $1.12 to 1 euro on Jan. 25, it’s the most favorable exchange rate for the American currency since 2003.
The value of the dollar against the euro is at its highest in years. At about $1.12 to 1 euro on Jan. 25, it’s the most favorable exchange rate for the American currency since 2003. In the years since, the relative value of the euro has varied between $1.26 and $1.60.
Europe is popular in the summer — and of course that’s a lovely time to visit — but travelers will find better prices and fewer crowds before and after the seasonal crush.
The best prices for international flights are usually found several months in advance, but the slower winter travel season can make for some great last-minute deals. Hopper shows nonstop flights from New York to Madrid available for about $600 rountrip in February and March.
For lodging, Priceline pulled available rates for four-star hotels in various European cities for Mashable, both for spring and summer, and there are options for most budgets.
Nightly rates for four-star hotels for April 8 through April 14 ranged from $77 to $541 in Paris, and $70 to 229 in Nice, the second most-popular French destination according to TripAdvisor. For July 15 through July 21, rates were $75 to $476 and $108 to $506, respectively.
For estimates on what it’ll cost to visit, we pulled worldwide price data from Numbeo. An example “basket of goods” in Paris, with typical items and services purchased on a week’s vacation, came out to about 410 euros. Actual costs will vary depending on your tastes, of course.
In addition to some of the best airfare and hotel rates, Spain and Portugal tend to have a lower cost of living, making meals and services for travelers all the more affordable. The week’s worth of services in Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon all came in at about 300 euros and less.
Travel writer Ed Perkins says the old advice that you can just withdraw local currency when you get to the airport is out of date: A near monopoly on terminal ATMs means travelers could be getting about 10% less than the going exchange rate if they change money at the airport.
If you can’t plan a European getaway right now, some investors say the currency could continue its slide to become equal to the dollar —which hasn’t been the case since 2002 — by next year. Read more…