Let’s All Run Away to Europe Together

Italy
There is one purchase I didn’t include in my weekend spending yesterday because it would have busted my budget big time: I spent $1,332.61 on a roundtrip ticket to Italy for a summer vacation trip I’m doing with a few friends. We still need to sort out lots of details: Cities we want to visit, accommodations in those cities, how we’ll get around, what we’ll want to spend on food and wine—but we’re excited about it for lots of reasons. Some of those reasons are complicated (we’re getting to an age where this kind of trip is increasingly less likely to happen in the future as our pals begin to have children and move to new cities and are less able to take a week off to run away to Europe, so it’s feeling a little now or never), but one big reason is pragmatic: the dollar is strong and the euro is weakening. As publications like the Los Angeles Times and USA Today are putting it: This is the summer to travel to Europe.

“For those looking to save, Europe is a great option,” says Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor, a travel booking site.

Booking.com has found that Americans may even pay less for accommodations in Europe than one in the USA.

For instance, a 14-day stay here in Barcelona can cost as much as a seven-day stay at a comparable hotel in Palm Springs, according to Booking.com’s calculations.

“What may have once seemed unaffordable is now an attractive option for U.S. travelers,” says Joseph Moscone, senior manager of public relations for the Americas at Booking.com. “Compared to some popular domestic destinations, Europe is actually more affordable for many travelers given the weaker euro currency.”

Of course, summer is peak travel season in Europe, so if you’re looking for flights under $1,000, you’ll be looking to go now or later in the fall. Nancy Trejos, the USA Today reporter, says she was able to get a roundtrip ticket from Newark to Barcelona for $800.80 this Easter. My former roommate, who will be joining me on this trip, was able to get a ticket using miles she’s accrued: 85,000 SkyMiles on the Delta program.

Are you planning a trip to Europe to take advantage of the euro’s decline? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Photo: Moyan Brenn

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