Travel to Europe now is a virtual bargain. The dollar hasn’t been this strong against the Euro for about a dozen or so years. The Euro has fallen to a low of about $1.05 down about 25% from a year ago and even more within the last couple of years. My Vacation Lady has had clients traveling to Europe when the Euro was over $1.60 so the strength of the US dollar against the Euro is a huge plus for travelers.
So how can you stretch your dollars even further when planning a vacation to Europe?
- Start buying Euros NOW. We’re not suggesting that you stockpile them but if you buy them now for next year’s travel, you are hedging your bets against the Euro increasing in value
- Prepay if you can but make sure you understand the cancellation penalties.
- Pay in Euros. If you are in Europe now, pay in Euros vs US Dollars or even with a credit card.
- Speaking of Credit Cards— choose the right ones. Some cards will have a foreign currency transaction fee (up to 3%). The currency exchange rate offered by your credit card may not be as good as what you can get by paying directly in Euros. Capital One and Chase are 2 of the banks that offer no foreign transaction fees.
- Lock in your 2016 European vacation with a tour operator as soon as the prices are available. We’re waiting on pricing right now for many of our clients for 2016 travel. The tour operators that we recommend to our clients like Globus, Insight, Collette, Tauck and others are all getting their contracted rated in order now (during the summer of 2015) for their 2016 tours. These prices will be based on the current cost of the euro and will be locked in — even if the euro surges in value.
Whether My Vacation Lady is planning an escorted tour, a hosted tour or customizing an itinerary for you, 2016 is going to be a great time to travel to Europe if you follow the tips above.