Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Just back from 2 weeks in Italy & WON'T be going to Europe again until the $ strengthens

Just back from 2 weeks in Italy & WON'T be going to Europe again until the $ strengthens

Old Jan 13th, 2008, 03:38 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 312
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Okay- I want to take my 17 year old daughter on one last vacation prior to college, etc.
I was thinking Italy- but mostly because I have always wanted to go there- and I will at some point. Doesn't have to be now.

What would you seasoned travelers consider the "most bang for the buck" for a mother and a teenager?
I am talking about traveling this April (could even be Feb school vacation if that was possible at this late date).

8-10 days, flying from Boston area.

I have spent a lot of time researching Italy- but I could easily be persuaded to change if someone had a more "cost effective" trip.

Thanks for any input. As for the questions "what is it that you enjoy doing?" we have never been anywhere that we did not have fun. I think that just being exposed to the idea that there is a whole big world out there is educational and interesting for us both.

Thanks for any ideas or thoughts!
cpeicott is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2008, 04:02 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Julies~~will you share the info on your apartment in Rome? Thank you.
Grapestoo is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2008, 04:30 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,298
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Everywhere in the euro zone, the exchange rate is the same." Yes, but your euros buy much, much more when you get out of the main cities. You can still afford to travel to Western Europe; just spend your time in small towns and use public transportation. Cheapest are the places not discussed in depth in every guidebook.
Jean is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2008, 04:59 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,036
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love Europe as much as the next person, but I do think that julies has a point. Even without the poor exchange rate, airfare has gone up so much that we will probably only take a few more trips to Europe (the next one being back to Germany in April, although we used FF miles for that). I am pricing airfare to Europe for this fall (October or November) and am barely seeing anything under $800 per person. In 2005 we went to Paris for $330 per person! Those days seem to be long gone.

I do find Germany to be cheaper than many other countries in Europe, and we plan on renting apartments while on our trip. We have traveled to centra/eastern Europe and to be honest we haven't found it to be that much less expensive than Western Europe. True, many of these countries aren't on the euro, but many of the currencies (ie the Croatian kuna) seem to be tied to the euro so that when it goes up the kuna goes up. And hotel prices in central/eastern Europe are usually pretty pricy, especially for what you get.

We are fortunate in that we have traveled to Europe about 10 times in the past 5 years, so we have seen quite a bit. Rising airfare prices and a weak currency mean that in the future we will probably be focusing our vacations on South America and Asia.

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2008, 05:36 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,971
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Italy used to be one of the cheapest places in Europe. Same thing for Spain. My first rip to Spain, the carpenters were on strike - trying to get a raise to $2.50 PER DAY.

Darn that prosperity!
bigtyke is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2008, 06:07 PM
  #46  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,237
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I never said that I didn't think we did well as far as containing costs. Our last minute airfares were good--MSP to Rome at just undet $600 per person. And, we found nice apartments at good prices. But, I know from reading tons of posts on this site in years' past, that we tend to travel more cheaply than many, many who post here. And, I think this is what has enable us to take so mamy trips.

Just thought I'd add in that I have been reading LowCountry Islander's Rome Christmas trip report. Here are the costs she has included so far. Ride from airport to hotel--E45 ($68). Lunch E35 ($52) for 2. Walking tour--E40 ($60) per person. A nice dinner--E125 ($187)for 2.

One issue, for me anyway, is that I read a price in euros and don't think it sounds too bad. Then, I do the conversion, and it hits me what the real cost is. Maybe others are this way too.

grapestoo--

Here is the link to the apartment we stayed in in Rome. Nice location in Trastevere. As I recall, the website doesn't have a price quote. I think we just e-mailed and asked about the apartment. I suspect that we got a bargain price becaue we were filling in a last minute cancellation at a particularly slow time of year.

http://www.liveromelikearoman.com/comments.htm

If anyone is interested, here is the link to our Venice apartment. This too was a nice place.

http://www.veniceapartments.org/html/marco_polo.html
julies is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2008, 06:57 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think you are giving a fair warning to people about these cities. I think that what might bother some is that many people read in the subtext that these two extraordinary cities aren't worth it.

I think Rome is the most expensive city I have visited, not because it has to be, but because I wanted to have all the options. It worked out like this for a solo traveler, on a typical expensive day (although not all were so expensive):
50 Euros per night hotel & breakfast
35 Euros per day food (one meal + snacks, more or less)
20 Euros per day walking tours
25 Euros per day admissions and audiophones
15 Euros per day concert
5 Euros per day transport

Given that many people happily spend 150 Euros per person per night for a hotel room, 100 Euros per person per day for food, etc. the price could easily zoom out of sight.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2008, 07:43 PM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi julies, you stayed in a very nice apartment in Rome. I understand how you feel. Converting from euro into dollars it does become apparent quickly how expensive things are.
francophile03 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 12:47 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,060
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Two first courses of pasta, two main dishes with meat, one salad and wine for two would cost more than $50 at Denny's and that is a crummy place indeed. At least you dined in Rome.

I don't know Denny's, but I was thinking that 25 quid was quite reasonable for two courses plus wine.
Josser is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 02:37 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pfft I only dream of paying 25 dollars (or even pounds) for a meal with wine. I'd be delighted to get a meal for two for $50 here in Ireland.....I always pay at least 60 euro for 2 starters, 2 mains and a glass of wine, no dessert. Nothing the OP posted seemed expensive to me at all. And it's not as if Europeans earn huge salaries, I only make about 11 euros an hour. I lived in New York last year and found it cheap compared to here, and I was paid in American dollars, so it wasn't a question of the weak dollar. Europe is just expensive, even for Europeans.
mariposa85 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 02:43 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It boils down to this simple statement:

It's expensive anywhere in Europe and the US for someone that makes 11€ an hour.
logos999 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 03:32 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You're missing the point. I said a 50 dollar meal seems normal, in fact, quite cheap to me, compared to what I'm used to. Europe is expensive for everyone compared to the US - at least in countries like the UK, Ireland, Italy, no matter what you earn. From my experience, you need to be earning 6 figures (100,000+ euro) in Ireland to even begin to have the same lifestyle as a regular middle class family in the States (I've lived in both places). The higher salaries do not make up for the higher prices we pay for almost everything. The lowest tax bracket here is 20% - even on 11 euro/hour.
mariposa85 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 04:12 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So you left the US to work for less money in an far to expensive place?
logos999 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 04:17 AM
  #54  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,237
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There seem to be many comparisons to Denny's here in the US. I haven't been in a Denny's in at least 30 years & have no desire to ever go to one. But, I can get a much nicer meal for about the same total price at one of the numerous small, ethnic restaurants in Minneapolis where I live than we had at the Rome restaurant I mentioned.

I should also mention that this was a last minute planned and organized trip. We confirmed our apartment reservations only 10 -14 days prior to our rentals. Looking back I am now certain that this was the reason I got them at the great prices I did. Thus, these places would have normally been even more expensive.
julies is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 04:28 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been to Denny's and it was some of the wost food ever. The $30 pizza and beer in New Jersey were quite o.k. otoh. ;-)
logos999 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 04:34 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"So you left the US to work for less money in an far to expensive place?"

Are you talking to me? If so, I'm amused at your assumptions. I'm not American at all. I worked for a short time in New York, as I have in several European countries other than the one I live in. I have family in the US who I visit fairly often but I'm not American and was not brought up there.
mariposa85 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 05:04 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"There seem to be many comparisons to Denny's here in the US. I haven't been in a Denny's in at least 30 years & have no desire to ever go to one. But, I can get a much nicer meal for about the same total price at one of the numerous small, ethnic restaurants in Minneapolis where I live than we had at the Rome restaurant I mentioned."

What does that matter, though? You can get a lovely meal in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur for much less than in Minneapolis. Some places are just more expensive than others. You can't expect to go to Rome and eat cheaply ? You'd be lucky to spend less than 15 dollars between you in McDonalds. As I said, it's not really to do with the weak dollars, Rome is expensive for Italians and other Europeans as well.

"I should also mention that this was a last minute planned and organized trip. We confirmed our apartment reservations only 10 -14 days prior to our rentals. Looking back I am now certain that this was the reason I got them at the great prices I did. Thus, these places would have normally been even more expensive."

Even more expensive? But they were cheap, much cheaper than average. You surely can't expect accommodation, except in a hostel, for much less than that?
mariposa85 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 05:07 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,063
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
julies

cross Norway off your list of to dos - the main courses at a basic restaurant start at $60. A decent meal with wine will come in at over $250 (ANYWHERE).

I do however have to offer the stock answer to such posts - what did you expect from any major world city.

We have travelled up and down ever inch of the US East coast. I was financially raped, robbed and pillaged in NYC. In areas of coastal NC/SC could spend the money - ended up using dollar bills as firelighter paper for beach fires!!!

Its all down to location - to to certain areas of Italy and you end up paying what we did in September -2 coffees + three muffins = 5 euros. You will pay 7 euros for one coffee in some areas of Italy.
markrosy is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 05:22 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,453
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Julies's sole criterion seems to be whether it's more or less expensive than Minneapolis.

Rome has a two-thousand year history? Venice is unique in the world?

It's immaterial: They're more expensive than Minneapolis.
Zerlina is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 05:28 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,227
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, I agree with mariposa, Europe is expensive (in general) for everybody. Sure there are lots of places that are not, but none of them are on big tourism spots.
The problem is not the weak dollar, believe it or not. But, though I've never been, I can't believe that big cities and tourist spots are any cheap in the States. I still cannot afford to go to NYC...even with the weak dollar.
kenderina is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:12 PM.