It’s a great time for that bucket-list trip to Europe. (Thinkstock)
Just in time to plan your summer vacation, currency exchange rates favorable to Americans — better than they have been in more than a decade — are making European travel super attractive.
Normally, Europe is a notoriously expensive getaway. But with the euro-to-greenback exchange hovering near one to one (€1 was equal to $1.06 at publication time, compared to $1.30 to $1.47 in recent years), Americans now get an instant discount when spending there.
As if you need another reason to want to go to Paris or Rome or Berlin, the cost of visiting many European hotspots has gone down an average of 11 percent since last year, according to TripAdvisor’s just-released TripIndex Europe report, with some destinations down as much as 25 percent.
“Compared to last summer, Americans can expect to pay about 20 percent less on hotels in Europe when booking on TripAdvisor, and eight percent less on roundtrip airfare,“ said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for the company. The average nightly rate for a European hotel booked on TripAdvisor for this summer is $133, compared to $164 in 2014. And roundtrip flights from the U.S. to the European destinations on the index cost $1,448 on average between June and August, compared to $1,579 in summer 2014.
Istanbul — a great value. (Thinkstock)
Istanbul is currently the best value in Europe, according to the TripIndex report. On average it will set you back $1,877 for a week-long vacation (at $97 a night for hotel and $1,197 for airfare), 25 percent less than last year.
A week away in Stockholm comes in at $2,184, down 23 percent from last year (hotels per night average $156.04 and $1,092.35 for a roundtrip flight).
Even the costs to hit the most expensive destinations in Europe — London and Zurich — are down five percent and nine percent, respectively. Only Moscow has gotten more expensive overall (up eight percent), thanks to airfare, says TripAdvisor, though hotel rooms there are down an average of 43 percent.
And it’s just not the big-ticket items that are cheaper overseas: Every meal, every souvenir tourists buy with American dollars is cheaper too. As the L.A. Times put it: An American tourist in Paris “can buy 25 percent more croissants, cafe au laits or mini Eiffel towers than a year ago with the same dollars.”
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