Jul 22, 2015

Euro Trip

Jul 22, 2015  |  Finance

Save Money While Traveling

As July is coming to an end, it is now or never to book your summer vacation. But instead of taking the same predictable trip you take every year, why not change it up and take that hop skip and jump across the pond and explore Europe.

Currently the euro and dollar are only nine cents apart. This is the closest they have been since 2002 (when the euro and dollar were equal). Back in July of 2008, €1 bought you $1.60, which makes it obvious how the dollar is now on the uproar while the euro is continuing to suffer.

American travelers are now finding themselves in an exciting predicament. For years, tourism has been becoming cheaper and cheaper in Europe, not to mention all the free tourist attractions Europe already has to offer. Just imagine, casually walking past the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and sipping sangria every night for two weeks, while saving more money than if you decided to fly down to Florida.

But what is the cause of the Euro’s decline? This past March, the European Central Bank kicked off its €1.1 trillion asset buying program. The plan is to have the banks print €60 billion per month to buy out the debt until inflation hits that 2% mark. Though, the banks hope this will be completed by September 2016, experts feel that date will be pushed back. According to Goldman Sachs, the euro will fall €0.80 per $1 by the end of 2017.

According to TripAdvisor, travel expenses for popular European destinations have dropped an average of 11% year after year. Now, travelers are saving about 25% on their summer trips. In the last year alone, the number of U.S. visitors in Barcelona hotels increased 4.3% in 2014 from 2013 according to the Barcelona Tourism Board.

If Barcelona doesn’t do it for you, how about Italy? According to Ginger Pozzini of Minnesota-based Italy travel specialist Designing Italy, a three-star hotel room last year went for $350 a night, this year decreasing to about $270. Last year a €3,000 villa rental for a week would have cost $4,200. Now that same villa rental is going for a little more than $3,000.

Now that you are keeping more Benjamin’s in your wallet, and your travel options are endless, the question is where do you want to get your passport stamped?