Falling Dollar

Mar 10th, 2003, 06:46 AM
  #1  
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Falling Dollar

Hi,

We are planning a trip to France and Italy in May, And the dollar keeps falling. Has anyone who has been in Europe noticed that this is really making there vacation cost more? I know it is defintaly affecting our hotel search. What kind of exchange rates have people been seeing. I have not been to Europe since everyone use Francs and Guilders and Marks.

dgruzew is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 07:09 AM
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When dollar falls against the euro, anything priced in euro will cost more. What you see in the financial press as the dollar/euro rate of $1.1050 (like today) is more like $1.1350 when you come to pay with your card or euro cash. To make things worse, the inflation's been creeping up in Europe with higher oil and fear of war. If you are booking hotels independently, you'll feel the full effect of a weak dollar. It may be worth while booking through a travel agent or operator, who may have fixed dollar/euro rate agreed months ago. Dollar has also been weak against Swiss Francs, and pound sterling, but less so.
Alec is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 07:19 AM
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Today the Euro/$ = 1.10/1.00

I have noticed a big change .. if you take out 100 euros that equals $111 ..
not including the expensive international ATM fees .. I've had to cut my travel plans back because the exchange rate has been killing me over these 7 months.
Genesea is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 09:04 AM
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The dollar has declined since February, 2002 by approximately 22% against the Euro so you can expect to pay about 25% more than a year ago for meals, entrance fees, etc. Lodging may have increased somewhat less because of the decline in tourism. Don't you wish you had gone last year?
jsmith is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 09:12 AM
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ira
 
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Hi
A little perspective on this; about 20 years ago the British pound was worth about $1.75. Today it is $1.60.
Likewise, the Franc was worth $0.20. Today the Euro equvalent is about $0.16.

ira is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 09:17 AM
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Look on the bright side, in the big picture the falling dollar is the result of the low interest rates in the US and generally higher rates in Europe. If you haven't already done so, if you refinance your mortgage, the savings may make up for the exchange rate decline. If you work for an American company, you'll also be happier to know that our products will be more competitive in the European markets.
Ryan is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 09:20 AM
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Hi. I'm not sure what you mean by does the falling dollar "really" make one's European vacation cost more? As Alec said, when the dollar falls against the euro, anything priced in euros will cost more dollars.

Here's a brief related article by travel writer Carol Pucci in this past weekend's Seattle Times:

"If Europe's in your plans, you'll need to dig deeper"

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com
/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?
slug=new09&date=20030309&query=pucci
capo is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 09:30 AM
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And it's really more about that the euro has grown stronger, not that the dollar has weakened that much (a little, but not enough to account for the changes in rates).

I haven't looked at the euro rates recently, but I've been getting a pound for about $1.61. And it was just 10 years ago when I was paying about $1.75 for a pound. Obviously I'd prefer to pay the $1.44 of about 18 months ago, but currencies fluxuate. It's a fact of life.
Ann41 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 09:42 AM
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And Genesea, I question what you mean by the "expensive" international ATM fees. No European bank to my knowledge charges any fee whatsoever for using an American ATM card to withdraw money from them. The most I have ever paid my bank (Bank of America) for a European ATM withdrawal is $1.50, and on most withdrawals no fee at all. You can contact your bank and find which foreign banks you can use your card at to avoid any ATM fee at all. If your bank is charging you some "expensive" fee for withdrawing money from European banks, then you need a new bank. It's that simple.
Patrick is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 09:48 AM
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[Message: And it's really more about that the euro has grown stronger, not that the dollar has weakened that much (a little, but not enough to account for the changes in rates).]
What? It does not matter if your perspective is that the Euro is stronger,or that the Dollar is weaker your Holiday will still cost you more than it did say four months ago.
Lovejoy is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 10:00 AM
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I think Ann41 was correctly stating that what we've seen over the past few months is a strengthening of the euro, not necessarily a weakening (or falling) of the dollar. Of course, for Americans traveling to Europe, the distiction is not that important.
Brian_in_Atlanta is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 10:13 AM
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I've been following the falling dollar/strenghing Euro since last summer when my family and I first decided to take an overseas vacation.

At this point, my main question is: How far will it go? Right now, the change in cost is bearable, but if the dollar goes down another 20-25%, we might not be able to afford to go.

Does anyone care to chance a guess as to future trends?

Jennie
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Mar 10th, 2003, 10:20 AM
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Now, to be completely irrelevant, the British Pound in the 40s was about $5.00. You've cut the cost of going to the UK by 65% by waiting 60 years.

Patrick, you are right about the ATM fees. I've never paid one either but the credit and debit cards can have a fee for the currency conversion. I've just checked three of mine for this trip and the charges are 1%, 2% and 2%. Some, I understand, have been charging 3%. A call to the 800 number on the card might save a few $.
jsmith is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 10:25 AM
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Some of us are right on the cusp of being able to afford travel, and it does make a difference, not just the quality of accommodations.

For example, 3 years ago, we spent a week in Spain and our hotel was roughly $120/night. The same hotel now costs about $160 night, which means on the same budget (and actually we have a tighter budget thanks to lose income), we could only afford 5 nights, which is just short enough to make us think twice about spending $950 on a plane ticket and putting up with jetlag trashing one of the days we're there.

Canada's looking better, by contrast.
soccr is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 10:35 AM
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Jennie, Re: "Does anyone care to chance a guess as to future trends?"

No guesses as to future trends but your question reminded me of a Saturday Night Live skit from a number of years ago. A takeoff on roundtable discussions by financial/investment experts, one of the panelists was a silver-coated guy named Futureman.

"Futureman," said the moderator, "You've had nothing but success with your investments. What's your secret?"

"Simple," replied Futureman, "It's a three-step approach: (1) go back in time, (2) buy low, (3) sell high."

capo is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 01:03 PM
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Well,

I am pretty ticked about the weak Dollar, mainly because we planned our 2 week vacation in May and we cannot reschedule(at least anytime in the near future) because of other plans in our future. The worst thing is - that I went to Europe 3 years ago and everything was dirt cheap - from hotels to meals! - I guess they will get my money this time
dgruzew is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 01:26 PM
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I understand your being ticked, but that's the way the baguette bounces.

Sometimes you get a break, and sometimes the other guy gets a break and, for those whose home currency is the euro, the U.S. is now more affordable.
capo is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 03:25 PM
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I'm finding it difficult to be sympathetic about the US falling dollar. We Canadians have been paying close to $1.60 for a US dollar for years, and our prices are about the same as yours. It makes travel to the US very expensive for us, but to me it's worth it. The irony is that back in the 70's our Canadian dollar was worth more than yours, which made travel in the US quite a bargain. Re: European travel and Euros--we spend a lot of money doing the same old thing in the same old place at home--any money spent on travel is money well spent.
ipeltier is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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The dollar declining, the euro strengenthing..." the pot and the kettle'??

All I know is my IRA and 401K and stocks are in the toilet!And I am out of work...by choice and if someone screws with my medicare I am going to Branston instead of Paris!
avalon is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 05:14 PM
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KT
 
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And it IS that the dollar is weakening, against lots of currencies, not just against the Euro.
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