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Here are the facts on the $ vs. Euro since the millenium

Here are the facts on the $ vs. Euro since the millenium

Old Jan 16th, 2008, 07:59 PM
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Here are the facts on the $ vs. Euro since the millenium

To satisfy my curiosity and to see just how drastically things have changed, I looked up the $/E exchange rate in early January for the past 7 years. I was a bit surprised to find out that there had been a definite rebound on the part of the dollar at the beginning of 2006. Other than that, however, its been a long downhill slide.

2008 $1 = .67E
2007 $1 = .76E
2006 $1 = .84E
2005 $1 = .74E
2004 $1 = .79E
2003 $1 = .96E
2002 $1 = 1.12E
2001 $1 = 1.05E

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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 08:11 PM
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Yup.

When I bought my house in France 17 years ago there were 6.7 francs to the dollar. Thank God I paid it off 3 years ago, as even the smallest renovations are killing me now. I knew it was a crapshoot and was willing to take that risk, but sheesh! I never imagined it would get this bad.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 08:28 PM
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The dollar is weaker now than in 2006.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 08:59 PM
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We vacationed in Europe in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2004, we went to the UK. I really don't think that our travel style has changed that much. I try to spend a little less for hotels but that's about it. Prices have gone up here at home too for hotels, food, gas, so it's not that different traveling in Europe than in the US in my opinion.

It may not be good for travelers to Europe, but it has been good for those selling their goods and services overseas.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 10:54 PM
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Here's another one just for a bit more perspective:

1992 $1 = .71E

Plus ça change...

-Kevin

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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 11:24 PM
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<<< 1992 $1 = .71E >>>

??? Euro was introduced in 1999 to Financial markets but it wasn't until 2002 that you could actually buy things in shops with it
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 11:37 PM
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The financial industry is stuffed with techniques for creating "virtual euros" - either real ecus (if that's not a contradiction in terms) or weighted baskets of eurozone currencies - to track "euro" performance against the $ and £ before its launch.

The details of the techniques differ, but the underlying message is clear and totally reliable. For twenty years before 2002, the "euro" went up and down against the dollar, there's no one simple long-term trend, and by some measures the dollar's worth much the same now against the franc or the DM as at several points in the recent past
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 12:36 AM
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kevin_widrow:

You are my hero. Thank you for introducing the proper perspective to all of this handwringing.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 02:14 AM
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My parents retired to France in 1972 and returned to the US in 1981. They made the decision in 1980, because the dollar went down at one point to 3.92 francs to the dollar ($1 = 0.60€ at that rate). By the time they sold their house, the dollar was at 5.75 ($1 = 0.88&euro but it was too late to change their mind. In 1982 or 1983, the dollar hit a high of 10.80 francs at one point ($1 = 1.65&euro.

Anything is possible.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 03:03 AM
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I don't see anything that will make the dollar go up and I think the powers that be actually like it going down as it is good when you owe a lot of money.

But the pound is already joining the dollar on a downward slide ( & lowered interest rates) and many seem to think it will start falling far as well.

Many think the euro will have to start cutting interest rates ( as it is being hurt by the low dollar as well) despite inflation...so that should bring it down too.

It might be an interesting year or two with interest rates and how the US recession & exported credit crunch will affect the world.

I do not think it is "handwringing" to consider interest rates when one travels. Kevin has a beautiful Inn in Provence, so of course he would think of it in those terms. If one is an American traveler you might see it differently.

It is a fact that people tend to go where they can get more for their money. American tourism to Europe is down because of the dollar/Euro difference and European travel to America is up because of the same thing.

Many Americans are staying home ( in a huge and devastatingly beautiful & diverse country) or going to places like Argentina and Thailand where they can get more for their buck. That is only logical.

I still think Europe can be visited on a budget, but I also have not been affected by the dollar decline ( since I put money into pounds and euro when it was high) nor do I have the restrictions of a week or two visit.

Long stays and living like a native can make things so much cheaper, but not everyone can do that or wants to do that.






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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 05:01 AM
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It's interesting to see, that noone seems to have any knowledge about the ECU and it's history here.(Sigh)
Any why it was renamed to Euro... The ECU was notoriously weak against the DM. It was at two Deutschmarks just a few years before the name was changed to Euro. Mr Weigel really thought Germans would like the currency better, if they renamed it to Euro. Do Giscard d'Estaing and Schmidt sill ring a bell?
Who cares, I'm not the history teacher here
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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The Euro was actually introduced on 13 March 1979, then under the name "ECU" = European Currency Unit (and name of a historic French coin).

Then, the ECU was just a clearing unit for financial transactions within the European Union. It later became the "Euro" and replaced the national currencies.

The Eurozone has now an interesting problem:

Before introduction of the Euro, inflation in one country was corrected by the exchange rate. Now, this is no longer possible. This is the reason why Italy has become so expensive as a travel destination.

Most Americans who complain about the falling dollar have just a problem with Italy. Other European countries are still affordable.

In many European countries, hotels, restaurants, groceries, services are still less expensive than in the USA (only gasoline is more expensive).
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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Hi

the dollar, historically, has been a very volatile currency.

Against the GBP :

1983 GBP1 = USD 1.05
1992 & 2007 GBP1 = USD 2+

Compared to the Euro & previously the FF :

18-7-80 USD1 = Euro 0,615253744
15-1-85 USD1 = Euro 1,490189143
26-2-85 USD1 = Euro 1,609861622

The good news is that it always strengthens after a presidential election. Doesn't matter who wins - the market is looking at stability.

Peter







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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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the question is who are we going to vote for to fix this?
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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Who said what goes up must come down, and it is all a matter of the time one spends waiting?

Then again, let's just vote for ira
 
Old Jan 17th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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traveler1959--

I'm intrigued about your comment that most Americans only complain about Italy since many on this board are at my throat for saying how expensive I felt Italy was. I thought it was because the dollar was so weak right now. Has this always been the feeling and perception that Italy is the most expensive? We've visited many, many European countries but just revisited Italy for the first time in lots of years. Off the top of my head I would have cited Scandinavia and Switzerland as the expensive places.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 11:44 PM
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<restaurants, groceries, services are still less expensive than in the USA

We have not found this to be true in the 16 months that we have been traveling all over Europe ( and we do not have to worry about the exchange rate unless we use a credit card which we rarely do).

We lived in an expensive area in the United States....near silicon valley in California....but still prices were less there for things like groceries and cheap restaurants ( like chinese or mexican).

We do find small pensions much cheaper than the US ( easy to find 20-30 euro decent rooms etc) and monthly rentals of great furnished apartments with ocean views are ridiculously cheap in Spain ( especially off season).

But to buy a house here in Spain is actually MORE expensive for what you get which is amazing considering we lived in one of the highest housing markets.

We manage to live VERY cheaply here by buying things from local farmers and by our lifestyle ( we are almost vegans so love beans & rice etc) but even if we see the euro and the dollar as equal, we find the prices higher here for the most part for things like food or restaurants.

In small towns the prices are better than cities. Things like electricity cost a LOT more in Europe, so we do like natives and do not dry clothes, but hang them outside to dry and we watch our lights and heat even more than in California. We wear extra layers inside like the natives do at night. One tends to live more simply here.

We never took mass transit in the U.S., but we save lots of money by using the mass transit and trains here some. We also do not spend much money on fuel as we can walk to most everything we need & sites are dense here. We have not even put much mileage on our RV even though we have traveled from Amsterdam to istanbul & Prauge and back to Spain.

Our first year in Europe we only spent $25, 000 for a family of 3 , but that had much to do with our lifestyle choices. We spent very little money in Italy or anywhere else ( and we spent time in Rome & Venice etc).

We spend most of our time in a small village in Spain (wintering), but could probably live almost as cheaply in a small village in Italy or France as small villages are much less expensive than cities ( in Europe & America). Even on the road we only spend about 10-20 dollars a night for lodging and sometimes we pay nothing. We manage to live very well on very little with lots of splurges.

Medical, dental and our insurance costs are MUCH cheaper here ( & high quality). My doctor made a housecall here to me the other day!

So it can be done and some things are cheaper in Europe, but for the most part, much is more expensive even without the exchange rate problems ( like groceries, restaurants, services).

www,soultravelers3.com


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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 02:13 PM
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"Off the top of my head I would have cited Scandinavia and Switzerland as the expensive places."

Yeah, but nobody ever posts asking about those places. And those that go there are usually aware enough to realize that those places are expensive.

You want expensive? Try $100 for dinner for two. At a place that you will not remember for anything other than the price. Welcome to Scandinavia.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 03:30 PM
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There are, of course, differences in costs of living or typical costs a tourist may face in the different countries.

But: You cannot say that Italy is expensive. Rome, Venice, and Florence may be expensive. That beautiful bar or ristorante next to a world-famous sight will most likely be very expensive. Chances are that the quality does not always meet the price tag.
If you went to some nice Umbrian village which did not make it into guides like Fodors or others, you won't pay that tourist-trap premium.

Since most tourists still prefer to visit only the most overrun "Top 5 to Top 10 European cities" they expose themselves to only the most expensive 1% of Europe.

I gets kinda odd when some posters complain about the prices for restaurants, but then say that they have to give a 20% tip or they would feel weird.
Others seem to be victims of the misconception that "fine dining" must mean expensive dining. Fine food can be found in many (mostly even more authentic) restaurants. Ask you local hotel personnel for advice, and don't always follow the "best in town" advices of travel books.

The list could go on forever. Since you cannot change the exchange rate, you have to adjust the way you travel. Some are just not willing to adjust by one inch. Those are usually the "ruined people".. my vacation was ruined because... my hotel bathroom in Venice was just half the size of the Sistine Chapel and did not even have a view of the Colosseum... and so on..

Not saying that any of the posters in this thread would do that.
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Old Jan 19th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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"Since most tourists still prefer to visit only the most overrun "Top 5 to Top 10 European cities" they expose themselves to only the most expensive 1% of Europe."

No. Visiting the Top 5 to Top 10 wouldn't get you started on the most expensive 1% of Europe. I was in Helsingborg, Sweden today. I went to dinner at a pretty nice place. Dinner was well over $100 for two people, without wine and without dessert. The wife and I were commenting how reasonable the price was - but that is only because we live in Copenhagen.

I get annoyed when folks complain about how expensive London and Italy are, but that is only because Scandinavia is so ridiculous. McDonald's is $10 or so in Scandinavia. Hot dogs from a street cart are $4. Going to a small town off the map will not save you, it will only reduce the quality and variety.

There are a lot of places in Europe that are absurdly expensive and these aren't even the ones folks are complaining about.

And, no offense, but "Fine Dining" has a specific connotation and it is not some rustic local. Now, I think anyone who complains about the cost shouldn't have gone in the first place, but let us not degrade true "Fine Dining" by claiming that you can get the same experience at some mom-and-pop nobody else has ever heard of. You can't. Whether the experience is worth the money is a personal choice, but the experience is objectively different.
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