Americans haven’t always had the upper hand when it comes to travel budget. Far away from most countries, it’s not so easy to hop on a plane for less than $100 like our European brethren.
We have to spend around $1000 for a simple jump across the pond, and then, thanks to the strong Euro and Pound, hundreds of dollars on restaurants and hotels. In 2007, exchange rates maxed at a whopping $1.60 per euro, and for nearly a decade $1.30-1.50 was average.
So here’s why NOW is the best time for Americans to travel!
In 2015, however, everything changed. Shaky economics all over the world led to a value increase on the US dollar. Growth in China and Europe has slowed dramatically, and even Japan is in full recession. Over the past year, the Euro dropped from $1.34 to a shocking $1.09! For once, the dollar is on par with the Euro, with the British Pound not far behind.
A stronger dollar means better bang for your buck across the board. Let’s say that you want to enjoy a romantic dinner for two in Paris for around 75 euros. In 2014, this would set you back about $100 (merde!). Now it’s only $81 (ooh lala!).
Yes, Paris and the capital cities are still expensive. But it’s much more affordable now than before.
Everything from hotels to designer clothes to fish and chips are almost 20% cheaper than a year ago. Even Scandinavia, notorious as the most expensive region in Europe, is down in average hotel prices by 11-19% this year.
How Else Can You Take Advantage of the USD’s Strength?
Go soon, on the shoulder seasons—this means late winter and early spring. Avoid the hot cities like Amsterdam and Florence and opt for more budget, but equally as fascinating, destinations: Zagreb, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, for example.
EU countries that haven’t yet adopted the euro still base themselves off of it—Czech, Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Poland, to name a few. This is all great in terms of making your dollar last just a bit longer.
And it is not just confined to Europe!
Brazil, faced with a looming recession, is at a 12-year low. Japan is suffering in terms of major electronics and car producers. Sanctions and collapsing oil prices led to the Russian ruble losing nearly 40% of its value last year, and it is still recovering.
The value decrease of oil has also forced the Australian dollar to drop the lowest in the past six years, and the Indian rupee dropped by a whopping 42%. Recent civil unrest has also been a contributing factor, especially in countries that are not traded so widely worldwide, such as the Ukranian hryvni, Iranian rial, and Argentinian peso.
This means that you can eat, sleep, shop and play for less than ever, all over the world.
So What Are You Waiting For?
This is the time to take advantage of our strong dollar, booking hotels, cars and trains at a better average. Treat yourself.
Hire that private guide to the Venetian Canals, dine in a Michelin restaurant, hop on the Glacier Express, and pamper you and your special someone with an amorous oceanview suite. And who knows—with dropping gas prices, we may even see lower flight tickets.
Take advantage of it now, because who knows when it will shift again!