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We went to Paris last spring to meet up with my mom and aunt who were passing through on their big European adventure. Miles and points made that trip much, much cheaper than it otherwise would have been, but as my daughter and I prepare to return to Europe with my mom, something else is making this trip even cheaper than we expected.
You don’t have to be a rapid CNBC watcher to know that the exchange rate between the USD and the euro has been changing pretty rapidly recently, and this time in our favor! In fact, the dollar is now at a 12 year high against the euro and getting better by the day.
Just last April on our visit the exchange rate was about .725 and now it is .944, or to put it another way, a 1 Euro = 1.058 USD. At this rate, many are guessing an even exchange rate coming very soon, and the dollar may even become more valuable than the euro. In fact, the rate is changing so rapidly that I just recently ordered some euros from my bank (I don’t like to go empty handed) and I’ve essentially overpaid for those euros since the price is dropping so quickly.
All of this means that essentially my USD will go 30% further in Europe than it did not even a year ago on our last trip. I’m certainly not an international currency expert, but those that are suggest that this trend of a strengthening dollar against the euro isn’t over yet. I’m glad that we only pulled out some cash to go on our trip and that most of our expenses will go on a credit card with no foreign transaction fees in euros to take advantage of the exchange rate at the time of purchase.
For those curious I’m taking the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® as a primary credit card to use on our trip as it has no foreign transaction fees and is chip + pin enabled, which can be quite helpful in Europe.
All of this means that if you want to stretch your dollar (literally), it is a great time to plan a trip to Europe. Not only are we starting to see the points cost of some European hotels come down (especially when redemption categories are tied to average daily rates), but now the things that you have to pay for with actual money are going to cost less for us as well.
If all of that isn’t enough to bump Europe on your radar, check out this fare war from today that gives us $629 RT flights to Europe – even for summer travel dates! For example, here is Dallas – Madrid – Dallas in June for $629 round trip on Delta.
The sale is not limited to just Dallas as Delta has very good fares out of many American Airlines hubs, and American is offering very good fares out of many Delta hubs. As always, these fare wars don’t last long so move quickly if you want in on these fares. Otherwise, of course using miles to fly to Europe is obviously a great way to really keep cash in your pockets.
We have had our airfare to Europe secured for a while now (booked during a similar very good sale), our hotels are all booked on points, and now with our dollar going 30% further than it did last spring we are set for a very nice budget friendly European trip!
Has the strengthening dollar against the euro bumped Europe up on your travel list? How much attention do you pay to exchange rates when determining where your family will vacation?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.