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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, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,063

where are you from?
markrosy is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,939
Still going to Europe twice a year despite the low dollar. It just got in my blood to travel, and nothing will stop me. I can still purchase my Louis Vuitton handbags for less than in the states, plus I get back about 12% VAT. So it is not entirely too bad with our unfortunate dollar value. But I do hope it gets better before next May.
scatcat is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,627
No, I'm not giving up Europe. I'm much older than 50 and also have begun to think about how many years I have left to be able to go wherever I want to. My niece accompanied me to Italy this year, and she climbed every tower, hill, and flight of steps she saw. I watched a lot.

I agree with Patrick about the cost of U.S. trips. We spent a small fortune this spring driving from KY to Utah and then into Colorado where we had free lodging for a family week and cooked most meals in. Not only the gas, but motels are much more expensive. Coming home, we made our last overnight stop in a small town in Kansas and randomly chose a place that was just awful--but not awfully cheap! I must say it was offset by our staying at the Strater Historic Hotel in Durango, which was super (but high).
carolyn is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Someone mentioned value in Banff, Canada. I'm surprised. It's a tourist destination and we found it hardly a bargain. Even Jasper was pricey. We found the food in restaurants (even a simple breakfast place) more expensive than I would have thought, and the quality of all the food we got was very mediocre. The scenery - well that was something else.
kenav is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:22 PM
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I'm not giving up either, infact, I'm moving there even with a crappy exchange rate.
laartista is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:47 PM
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kenav, icithecat was joking about the "bargains" of Banff and Tofino.

But like many places, if you feel it's important to see a certain place, Tofino has a hostel that is reasonably priced. A bigger problem is that you really need a car to see it properly, IMO. I can't say about Banff.

As has been pointed out before, if someone is OK with a 2000 Euro vacation at a 1.30 exchange rate ($2600 USD), this changes to a $2800 USD vacation at a 1.40 exchange rate. Maybe it's like a frog being boiled in ever-increasingly hot water, but I can't see foregoing the pleasure of a European vacation for $200, if you can afford to take the vacation in the first place.
WillTravel is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 32
GO, GO, Go, Now!

The years of age grow much faster the the exchange rates decline.

We traveled to many places around the world when Frommer's guide books said Spain, Ireland, Greece, Europe for $10 a day. England and Israel for $15 a day. Many other countries were more or less the same.

We made a lot of trips with charter groups that, included air, 10 or more hotel nights, transfers, a daily breakfast, a dinner or so plus some tours. The total price was $299 + 15% a person. Of course that was seventies.

We have also traveled a lot by buying airfare to our destination, renting a car and just "winging" it.

Now, more the 40 years later, we are retired and living on a "Fixed Income". Each year I withdraw my required amount from our IRAs, so the money is avaible but we have lost most of our youthful vigor.

At least we have our memories, pictures, and souvenirs, Jj
Jimjim is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Definitely. Lately I've gone where my dollar is worth more and airfare is cheaper. Mostly South America (Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, and Aruba).
mini_mon is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,945
From everything I am seeing the only real "bargains" anymore are in eastern Europe and Asia. Worth looking at if money is a major concern.
Jack is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,116
Hi, julies,

I'm doing most of my travelling vicariously on this board, but mostly because our girls are college bound soon and having orthodontic work to boot.

I look at Paris apartments online as a substitute for gazing out their windows.
stokebailey is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Posts: 92,032
I'm carrying on as usual.
suze is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,663
The exchange rate does sting, but it's still cheaper to travel to the great cities of Europe than of the US.

I just did a quick search (a longer, more serious search could turn up better deals, I know) and found that there's very little in the way of hotel rooms in NYC or Boston for less than $350. That's even looking at places like Choice Hotels, Hotels.com, etc. A week at that price is about $2500. Then I went to hotels that I've actually stayed in in Paris, London and Rome and the average price for a double room there (now, it was cheaper a few years ago when I was at those hotels) is €120 which at 1.42 is $170. A week at that rate is less than $1200 - or half the price of the NYC/Boston rooms. (And the Eruopean room rates include taxes which is not usually included in US room quotes).

So things would have to get a LOT worse to make it cheaper to travel to major US cities than major European ones.

Then there's the cost of flying. A quick search on Kayak.com for March (the next time I'm likely to travel) showed prices from NY/Boston to Rome at about $600, prices from NY/Boston to LA were about $400. Definitly not enough of a savings to make it "worthwhile" to vacation here in the US. I think the summer fares to Europe will be worse (in comparison to summer fares within the US) but still.

Yeah, it hurts, but I'm still going. It doesn't even make sense not to. EVERYTHING costs too damn much everywhere.
isabel is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 184
Nothing's really changed for me. I feel the pinch, but not enough to give up on Europe.

I have to agree with Isabel that it can be less expensive to travel to Europe than to some major cities in the US. My mother and I stayed for three nights in a budget hotel in Boston for a bit more than it's going to cost me for my 5 nights in Copenhagen this November.

I will, however, think twice about any major purchases!
trsny is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 05:01 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,166
Well, I haven't been to Europe in 25 years and I am going next June! I am so excited. I know the cost will be huge, but I can finally afford to go and my kids are at great ages to travel and soak up the culture (teens)! So, even though it will be costly, I am excited about going. Now, if only the dollar could gain a little strength over the next six mos.....
girlonthego is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
Maybe in addition to learning some new definitions here today ("random" et al), we should add some more lessons from the post-modernists:when it comes to the travel/cost ratio, it is all relative.

Personally, I have nover made a destination decision based on whether it was a "bargain". The Canadian $ will permit our family a little more leeway in deciding THIS year, but maybe next it will go the other way and we will delay our trip to _____ for another 6 months while we save our loonies.

BTW, at one point in this thread there was a discussion of whether "Canada" was still a deal. I take exception to this characterization of an entire country (one that is actually larger than the USA) as a "deal" or "mot a deal".

The variations from region to region are just as great as that within the US. You wouldn't expect to pay the same for a steak or hotel room in Manhattan as you would in Watertown, NY, would you? What about Panama City, Florida versus Portland, Oregon? Well, trust a Canuck, the differences between Corner Brook,NL (Newfoundland/Labrador) and Vancouver, BC are just as vast.
LJ is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:31 PM
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For all you folks who can't afford Europe any more, you're just not looking far enough South ... i.e., to Greece. I'm a peppy retiree but my bank account is far from peppy... yet Greece is do-able, and the history, culture, weather etc are all splendid.

I sometimes feel like an alien in a strange land when I read about people exulting over a 'bargain' 100E room in Paris or Italy (both of which I've traveled to several times thankyou). In late May/early June in Greek islands, aside from Greedy Santorini/Mykonos, I always get beach-side rooms with pvt bath, a/c, fridge, balcony etc for 30-40 Euros per double, often including breakfast. Lunches (picnic-style) are always under 5E, and enjoyable harborside dinners at friendly family tavernas are typically 9-12 Euros for authentic slow-baked Greek meals including a glass of red (and you have to fight off the free raki at the end).

Yes I love gourmet French food, and the Lake District, and Tuscany. But the thrilling ancient ruins, the sublime golden CLEAN beaches, the splendid June sunsets of Greece at 55-60 Euros per day (Including EVERYTHING)... there's the answer to the tanking dollar.

Please when you say you can't afford Europe, be more precise and say you cant afford upscale trips in France, Italy, Grmany and UK ... I certainly cannot, but thankfully, there's Greece.
travelerjan is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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LJ, I think you're being overly sensitive about the Canada being a deal comment. It is in the spirit of this entire thread. Clearly the basis of the original post is just as vague -- talking about giving up ALL of Europe due to the currency exchange. And the Canada reference was in regards to the same thing -- a "deal" only in the sense of the currency exchange. I don't think anyone is going to argue with that last paragraph of yours that various places have high and low prices and "deals" and "no deals". Of course we all know that. But that isn't what the comment referred to at all.

NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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travelerjan, your post agrees with what many others are saying -- it all depends on how you travel. Ironically we visited Greece for a month a couple of years ago. We loved it, of course, but frankly our daily cost was considerably higher than our daily costs in Italy. I'm not sure why that was -- I don't think we stayed in "better" hotels or ate in more "upscale" restaurants, but yet somehow we spent more money. I think it goes to show you can travel cheaply or expensive anywhere you go -- but some people know better bargains in some countries than in others. We invariably spend the least money the week or more we are in Paris -- but many others find that their most expensive place (if they aren't doing London).
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 05:57 AM
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Markrosy: Dallas.
missypie is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Time is exponentially more valuable to me than money. At age 44, I am in the peak of my traveling years right now. It would cost my soul entirely too much to save a few bucks now because of an unfavorable exchange rate. I can't afford to be thrifty.

Your mileage may vary.
mr_go is offline  

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