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I knew in my brain what the dollar to euro conversion rate is, but the reality hurts...

I knew in my brain what the dollar to euro conversion rate is, but the reality hurts...

Apr 29th, 2005, 02:27 PM
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I knew in my brain what the dollar to euro conversion rate is, but the reality hurts...

Okay. I'm not whining, but I have to say this. I knew full well how badly the dollar has been doing when I booked our tickets to Spain last month. But, now that I am actually making the reservations and doing the research, it is so much more real than just knowing that the dollar is doing poorly. We are already budget travellers who know all the moneysaving tips and who could afford to go more upscale if we wanted, but prefer our style of travel both because we enjoy it and because it allows up to travel more frequently. When I put the figures through the converter now it kind of hits me in the gut. The reasonably priced B & B room at E65 is now going to cost me $84. If I ask the cash machine for E100, it is going to cost me $129. Maybe it is better to be a first time US traveller to Europe because then one wouldn't be making these comparisons and wincing. Don't tell me not to whine. I'm just putting this out here because I am sure some others must be feeling the same way and because it may cause some people to stop and think before they decide to travel. This isn't going to kill me financially, but it is not too thrilling. Maybe by the time I get there I'll just have forgotten about it and just be in the here is what it costs in euros mindset rather than in the wow-this-is-this-much-in- dollars mindset.
julies is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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That's why I make my European relatives visit me instead!

Try and have a wonderful trip!
seetheworld is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 02:33 PM
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When I first bought euro notes, 1 euro cost me 88. Now it costs me about $1.30.
That is a percentage change against dollar holders of 48% (rounded up).

In other words, that 100€ hotel room now costs me $130 whereas it cost only $88 a few years ago.
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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Try being Canadian! 100 Euro costs us $162 CDN. Ouch.......
100 British pounds is $242 CDN. Double ouch.....
Canadian6 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Yeah... it's a changing world - - one of the few things that have been constant since the dawn of human history.

88 dollars worth of GOOG stock bought last fall (depending on when you bought it) would pay for that 100 euro room today - - and leave you enough left over to buy a nice dinner.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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Hi julies, I am part of the club that is cringing too. I know that some people say just don't pay attention to what our dollar is worth versus the Euro. Well I am not going to Italy this year due to other unexpected expenses etc. that I have. If the dollar was as it was a few years ago I would would be going this year.

Seetheworld, that is what I told my friends in Italy that have been begging me to come and visit them. You come here! For them it is a bargain. But how I love Italy (obviously).

LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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Sorry, but I can't stop laughing at those examples of "try being Canadian" as if the fact that it takes more Canadian monetary units to buy something, then it actually "costs" Canadians more than US travelers. Please get over the fact that both our currencies happen to be called dollars -- they are not the same, nor were they ever meant to be. It's almost as silly as saying "if you think it costs you a lot in dollars -- pity me because I buy everything in dimes and it takes me 10 times as much to buy things as you!" Dimes and dollars aren't the same, just as US and Canadian dollars aren't the same -- trying to make them equal just doesn't make any sense. My classic example is just think of the poor Italians before the euro. Do you really think everything in the US cost them 2000 times as much as Americans because that's how many of their "dollars" it took to buy one of ours? The fact they called their "dollars" lira seems to make the whole thing more understandable for some. Yet, many seem to think the euro and the dollar or the Canadian dollar and the dollar should all be equal, even though they have totally different values -- always have -- and probably always will.

Patrick is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Okay, listen up...

The same steak that costs $15 in Kansas City is priced $23 in New York.

A $69 hotel room in St. Louis costs $95 in Los Angeles.

Stuff costs more or less in different places.

Get on with it.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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By the way, don't think my ranting about different monetary units has anything to do with the original post that the dollar is down and the euro is up. Yes, that's true, and I agree that things are costing a lot more now than they did a few years ago. To me that mainly means Europe may not be quite the bargain it was -- but I still think many costs in Europe are lower overall compared to many similar things in the US. We aren't going to Europe this year, but we will spend a lot more going to New York City and later to Washington, Oregon, and California that we would be spending if we were in Europe.

A nice Paris Hotel may cost 170 euro, which comes out to over $200 -- but I find it harder to find as nice a hotel in New York city for $200 as many of those in Paris for the same actual "cost".
Patrick is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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Give yourself a break, and stop comparing all the time. Just think in euro... it is what it is. You're giving yourself a needless migrane here. I do not feel the same at all. The reasonably priced B&B costs E65 and leave it at that!

Please listen to yourself and follow your last sentence's advice:

<just be in the here is what it costs in euros mindset rather than in the wow-this-is-this-much-in- dollars mindset.>

I couldn't have said it better myself!

suze is online now  
Apr 29th, 2005, 04:30 PM
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Patrick: Who was trying to say American dollars are the same as Canadian dollars? On a dollar to dollar ratio, things cost basically the same in our repective countries and yet it takes considerably more of our dollars to aquire the same amount of European currency. I pay the same for a Big Mac meal or a pint of beer in Canadian dollars as you do in American but yet it costs you $130 for 100 Euro and it costs me $162.
Keep laughing Patrick............
Canadian6 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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Why am I always seduced by these threads? I'm leaving for France in 20 days, and at this point I'm just thrilled to see the Euro is at 1.30 instead of 1.50! I just try to look at my 2002 trip--when the Euro was around .85--as the bargain of the century. And I wonder if three rfrom now I'll be wishing for the days of THIS exchange rate! Sigh.
abbydog is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 04:41 PM
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Ooops -- typo. I meant "three years from now."
abbydog is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Patrick...glad to hear Oregon is on your list for future travels
Carmen is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 05:33 PM
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The day I flew back from the UK last year, 100 us dollars got you 48 pounds.

Just be happy it isn't that bad.

dsm22 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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I agree with abbydog. I leaving next week for 2 weeks in France, and I'm thrilled the euro has stayed around 1.30. However, when my VISA bill arrives, I'll probably be whining!
Sue4 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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dsm22, you must have gotten ripped off at the exchange booth with a rigged exchange rate and/or commission fees.

julies, I bet you will have such a good time in Spain that you won't feel pain thinking about the exchange rate. Spain is one of the cheaper destinations anyway, and E65 for a good room is a great deal.

For some people like me, it's no good to say not to think about it, because I instantly convert everything without thinking and without a calculator. To work in Canadian dollars, I multiply Euros by 1.6 (and round up a bit) and pounds by 2.4 (round down a bit). No special effort is required.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 07:12 PM
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Canadian6, I totally agree with you.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 09:03 PM
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Patrick: Canadian6 is generally correct, for as a rough rule of thumb something that costs $1US in the US costs $1Can in Canada. The concept is purchasing power parity, best illustrated by the famous Economist magazine "Big Mac" index, which compares the cost of Big Macs in a number of countries, as expressed in US dollars. By that measure, the Euro is overvalued against the US Dollar, (the Swiss FRanc outrageously so) which is what many Americans are complaining about, and the Canadian Dollar is undervalued, which is what many Canadians are complaining about.

One really interesting thing about the index is that the most undervalued major currency is the Chinese yuan, which has been deliberatly undervalued by the Chinese government, and is a major source of the weakness of the US dollar internationally.

For more on purchasing power parity, see the Economist article and index at:

laverendrye is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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Well I guess we all whine, I'm going to Europe in June so certainly watching exchange rates, I'm accepting on that front but really wondering what gas prices are now with spike here....its always been expensive in Europe and of course that a concern, but won't affect our travel plans. You need to just accept what it is and plan accordingly, there's nothing you can do, you can eat cheaper while you're there, particularly in Spain you'll find great opportunity to get out eat a bit without robbing a bank. Most of all, don't sweat it, what can you do? But just have fun and enjoy. There will be a day again where Europe is a bargain, just not this year, however its coming soon, though not next month or even year, over next few years.
Traveler863 is offline  

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