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Former frequent poster from the US has temporarily given up on Europe because of the costs. Any more like me?

Former frequent poster from the US has temporarily given up on Europe because of the costs. Any more like me?

Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
I am on the fence about this more than I have ever been. This latest trip cost pretty close to 100% more for hotels and meals than comparable trips during the pre-euro period (1999-2001 for example).

We'll be looking into a "big" trip for summer 2008 (family of six adults). My short list will include Sicily (plus maybe a little bit of mainland Italy?), Greece (primarily Crete?), and I will try to find a few alternatives - - Argentina sure seems appealing (but not such a good choice in June?), French or maritime Canada (probably NOT all that much cheaper than Europe?), or a dive destination.

I'll bet that our kids will still think that Greece deserves to be at the top of the list.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:37 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 384
Definitely not. Travel to Europe is life to me and so intrinsically intertwined that it would not even be an option. But then I do not think I am a normal traveler - I feel the need to be in Europe and think about it every single day. It goes way beyond being a tourist. My husband and I are going to retire to Europe.
travel2live is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,659
Wow, Rex, that's amazing and totally different from my experience. Since 1998 we've been budgeting $300 to $325 per day in Europe for everything (for two), and pretty much staying within that budget. We've gone every year except for one in that time period.

This summer our averages were:
Paris: $306; Rome: $380; Venice: $362; Amsterdam $367. (Let's not look at London at $583 -- as much of that is four theatre tickets nearly every day).

What's more those figures all included really nice apartments rather than the 3 star type hotels we used to stay in. I don't think our meals have been any more penny pinching than they used to be -- in fact many of our meals were in the same restaurants we've been going to for years. I can't imagine how our costs would have doubled unless we REALLY upped our standard of hotel and restaurant.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 398
I am a retired guy with a fixed income. I enjoy golf and my winter, solo trip to Great Britain. I love all of the planning and advice from this forum. So, yes I am going again, I will be a bit frugal, stay away from expensive cities and move about on pre-paid bus and rail passes, paid in $'s. If it cost $300 more this year, so be it. I am going to enjoy my retirement and not sit around waiting for the cost to fall--the clock is ticking you know!
rogerdodger is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,630
Doesn't effect us much. I and now the "we" part of us both have always enjoyed travelling off season. We have a great place to stay at the Beach so that covers a glorious summer time. Anyway, we're going in November, we discovered we like apartments more for the space than the $$$ but the one we have in Rome in November is 130E's a night...and its beautiful...one can't get those kinds of amendities at a hotel...I don't need maid service, in fact, it annoys me. Seems to impinge on my time and my schedule.

Hopefully, we get back to France in 2008.
SuzieC is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,659
By the way, a trip to the grocery store costs a lot more than a couple of years ago. A trip to the gas station costs a whole lot more. A trip to the doctor or the hospital costs -- well, I don't want to think about it. A trip to the mall to do some shopping is a whole lot more expensive than a few years ago. A trip to the hairdresser? A trip to the dog groomer or vet? A trip to the local restaurant?

Why on earth wouldn't a trip to Europe cost more?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,291
A couple things to think about:

By the time the Dollar goes back up, Fuel prices could cause airline prices to go way up.

It might be time to check out other parts of the world, Asia, South America.

But in the meantime, for those of you going to Europe, here are a few links that will help you keep your costs down.


wally34949 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,324
Having just returned last night from France I do feel that it is getting more expensive because of the bad exchange rate, will it stop me from going again, absolutely not.

The only thing that it stopped me from doing was shopping. It was the first time in many years that I actually did the math on a pair of shoes, 115E , very cute with that wonderful worn distressed look, but, when I figured it out to be about $165usd they weren't such a deal and they weren't 100% comfy, only 80% so I had to pass. Do I regret it, no, I still had a wonderful time in France.
susanna is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 493
It's really not the exchange rate or increase in prices in general that would keep us from Europe. We've been lucky to enjoy trips twice a year for several years now.

This year, it was just one trip. I want to re-do the house a bit with the leftover money.

Next year, it'll probably be only one trip again, but it will be for twice the length we normally go for - 16 days instead of 8. I'm finding I can't do short trips with long flights anymore. I just don't enjoy it.

If we were to cut back on anything for the next trip it would be the food expense. We don't go to Europe for the food (yes, sacriligious, I know!!). I still like a nice place to stay and we will fly business or better using miles and paying for upgrades. We like to walk and use public transportation, so we save there.

Probably the only thing I'd really cut back on would be shopping, if it meant going to Europe or not. I like to have a few nice memories but I don't have to bring back something for everyone anymore.

Now, Argentina really intrigues us. We're thinking that after we see Ireland next year, we might just head to South America for a change.
connecticutyankee is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,659
What's all this talk about Argentina? Is our Scarlett starting a B&B in Buenos Aires?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,804
Not I. As a matter of fact, we are going for our longest trip ever to Europe in 2008. We just decided to stay in apartments for longer stays, and less expensive hotels for our shorter stays. I always find I can dine as reasonably anywhere in Europe as I can in Los Angeles.

With the dollar performing so poorly, you just have to think "outside the wallet."

maitaitom is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 132
DH (dope husband) and I are staying in the Americas...North and South. Won't be going back to the Euro anytime soon!
Pago is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Buenos Aries...Paris of South America.

I've also heard very good things about Argentina and how cheap it is...
Michel_Paris is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,063
I think another issue compounding matters for US visitors to the UK is the silly prices that our hotels charge. Land prices have gone through the roof and many old hotels have been converted into apartments.

It is now cheaper for us to fly to Italy/Spain and use their reasonably priced hotels (of a similar rating) than it is to stay in the UK.

We found take away meals and restaurants to be considerably cheaper in Vancouver than in the UK. The lack of access alcohol way a shock to the system (literally)
markrosy is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Argentina may be cheap, but it costs more to get there than to Europe, and it takes longer than going to Europe also. I'd still like to go, but saving money is not the reason.

I did see a really cheap fare to Mexico City, and I'd like to go in a way - but I am just too intimidated.

For Canadians, of course, the exchange rate vis a vis the Euro is better now than it's been for a while. But time availability and airfare costs are much more pressing concerns than the exact exchange rate.
WillTravel is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
JULIES-- aren't you the one who posted about how you say you are Canadian when in Europe to avoid any anti-American sentiment?

Well Dear, seems appropriate you get acquainted with Canada. Would you like tips about Toronto?
Viajero2 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,502
We are still planning trips to Europe...but more time in apartments, fewer expensive dinners, visiting low or shoulder season and flying using frequent flyer miles. We're looking at Paris in November, Antibes in January and Croatia end of April.
Judy is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229

You've got the wrong person. I've never said I was Canadian.

And, by the way I did enjoy Toronto when I visited it.
julies is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,063
Light at the end of the tunnel for US travellers - Ryanair seem to be trying to secure transatlantic slots - they are legends in Europe for offering seats for 1 euro plus tax - they then charge a fortune for any add ons (such as food) but as long as you only breathe on their flights its very cheap.
markrosy is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
If my kids were of different ages, I'd be ready to stop traveling to Europe for a while. But two of them are in high school, and there are so many places I want to show them before they leave home.
missypie is offline  

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