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

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Sep 27th, 2008, 03:34 PM
  #141
 
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#1. You are complaining about a $50 dinner for two in Italy - that's a problem in and of itself.

#2. You chose to eat chinese in Italy - this is a problem (I don't care hungry you are... you just don't do this - oh and you can only find sandwiches for dinner available in America or severely touristy areas).

#3. Don't go to Europe with a cheap mentality. $50 for dinner for two (with wine and a primi, come on!) is CHEAP!!! Even compared to Olive Garden, which I'm sure is where you frequent.
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Sep 27th, 2008, 04:49 PM
  #142
 
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Hey Neverfull:

Your first post and you pick out a 10 month old post to make a oomment?? Any reason?
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Sep 27th, 2008, 04:51 PM
  #143
 
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...and a nasty comment at that...
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Sep 27th, 2008, 07:49 PM
  #144
 
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NeverFull, Yours is a very strange 1st post on a very old subject. Why in the world did you top a thread from January? How did you even find it?
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Sep 28th, 2008, 02:31 AM
  #145
 
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Well, the dollar got a lot worse since that original post but did strengthen since its lowest point.
Life is too short to worry about the exchange rates. At least its too short too always worry and obsess about it. A little obsession is allowed though. When I was in Europe this past summer, I was in one of the most expensive cities. I was surprised at the prices in Dublin but having said that, I still managed without spending too much. I am planning a trip to Portugal for a week in April. Yes, I will always check the exchange rate but I wont let it get me down should the dollar continue to decrease in value. I just want to go and enjoy myself.
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Sep 28th, 2008, 12:06 PM
  #146
 
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t all;

I responded to Julies OP back in January...and just came across this today....postings are full of "same old,same old..."

We did Portugal and UK (London and Cotswolds)in May of this year. € Ex.Rates were 1.56 in Portugal, and £ was at 2-1 in UK. We researched, studied, shopped for the best deals (lodgings and food), still spent a bunch more than usual for our twice annual trips (to Europe, Asia, SA)..but as I've stated sevral times on similar subjects..a few months after you get home...the differences fade out...you're no richer or poorer...but you had a great trip, beautiful pics and fond memories...and you begin to look forward to the next one anyway!

Ira hit it on the head in another post when an OP mentioned that he/she would not tolerate the € at
any more than 1.55.
"So that means that if the € weakens to 1.54 you'll continue trips to Europe?!" Well put, Ira, I'd say.

stu
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Sep 28th, 2008, 12:27 PM
  #147
 
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Well as Stu Tower knows I so agree with his comments.

People while at home can spend so much money on eating out a restaurants, buying "stuff", driving a very expensive vehicle that has to be the newest model etc., and yet cringe about what a trip will cost them.

In my opinion the most beautiful memories I have is all the trips my late husband and I took, and usually with our daughter until she was an adult. And since being on my own my trips also hold special memories for me.

I do not believe in taking trips if one cannot afford them. But I don't believe in not taking trips just because one thinks the euro is to strong or airfaire is too high..again assuming one can afford to take the trip.
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Sep 28th, 2008, 08:39 PM
  #148
 
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Hi LoveItaly:

Thanks for the kind words...I knew you would agree with this cavalier philosophy.

Remember my motto..."travel 'til you unravel"..none of us knows how many more trips we'll be taking overseas...so grab the passport and go and enjoy.

Knowing how much Julie and her family love to travel...I'll bet she'll be heading east from the Mpls. airport by next spring, since her post was written 10 months ago.
She is a fine, contributing veteran of this forum All of her points above should be well taken without rancor. She has spoken her mind and spoken well.

JS: You just won't be able to stay away. ..no matter the exchange rate...none of us will..and we all know it! (Our flights to Russia, Belarus and Ukraine leave in two weeks)

Happy travels everyone, and especially JS. Please let the thread end with these words.

stu
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Sep 28th, 2008, 10:51 PM
  #149
 
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I'd just like to echo some other posters on countries in western Europe that are cheaper than Italy: from experience, Portugal, Austria (Tirol, Carinthia at least), Slovenia and Germany. Berlin especially, perhaps surprisingly, is a great bargain even in German terms. I live in Barcelona and certainly those places offer great value compared with here, so hope the person who thinks Spain will be cheaper won't be disappointed! Northern Spain (the "green coast" is also more reasonable and the larger portions of food are a noticeable difference.)
As others have said re Italy, the problem with cost of meals there is that there is always a quite hefty charge for bread (ie cover charge) and a charge for vegetables as extra. In Germany you quite often have a salad included in the price and will ALWAYS have vegetables served with the food. In Spain vegetables rarely included and no option to pay for them as an extra either, apart from salad!
Another expense, the cost of entrances to museums etc, tends to be lower in Germany too.
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Sep 29th, 2008, 04:51 AM
  #150
 
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As to traveling to Europe if the euro costs $1.54 vs. not traveling to Europe if it costs $1.55--most people do not have unlimited funds, so there will be some point where that penny makes the difference.

For one person it might be $1.55, for someone else it was probably $1.25, and for someone else it could be $5.55. But there is some point where it would become too expensive for most of us.

Keep in mind that the person for whom $1.55 is the limit might already have stretched their budget and cut back on expenses as much as they possibly could to make it at $1.54.
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Sep 29th, 2008, 06:19 AM
  #151
ira
 
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Hi rtf,

>most people do not have unlimited funds, so there will be some point where that penny makes the difference.<

I suggest that you rethink that.

It's one thinkg to have a budget that can tolerate $1.40/E but not $1.56. That could make a difference of $900.

But a difference of $0.01 is only $100 for two-three weeks on a $10,000 budget.

Don't get 2 Bellinis at Harry's Bar.

Go to a fancy restaurant for lunch instead of dinner.

Buy fewer souvenirs.

etc

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Sep 29th, 2008, 06:27 AM
  #152
 
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Ira--then there is never a limit? You can always go one more penny no matter how high the euro gets?

No, at some point most of us have to say "Not one more cent." Many people could never afford even 1 Bellini at Harry's to start with; many already don't go to a fancy restaurant for any meal, let alone just lunch; many already don't buy souvenirs because they couldn't afford them in the first place. There is a limit for most of us--and that limit will be one cent more than being below the limit.
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Sep 29th, 2008, 06:30 AM
  #153
 
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Julies, The prices you quote are the dollar estimate...what were they in Euro as i think you got good prices for meals compared to Dublin. I could not eat 2 starters, 1 main and 1/2 of wine for the equivalent of 50 dollars in Dublin. I guess it all comes back to where we live and the price comparisons. Some places in the mid west are much cheaper than NY which at times is on par with europe prices.
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Sep 29th, 2008, 07:10 AM
  #154
 
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Agree with Rufus. Everyone has a breaking point -- fiscal or emotional. If yours is $1.55, and it affects how you feel about the trip, find somewhere else to go. Nothing's worse than traveling and spending your time thinking about how you're getting gouged.

I mean, if you take the "it's only a few cents" approach, then why not raise the limit to $2/euro? Or $3/euro? The point is, no one can question another's limit.
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Sep 29th, 2008, 07:16 AM
  #155
 
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The good news is Harry's in Venice is offering people with US passports a 20% discount on food , if you want to show it;-)

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun...rld/fg-harrys1

That means that the 37 euro burger is now only 30 euros.

These days when in Europe I have to think in Euros and put dollars out of mind. If I don't I find I am thinking about money too much when I should be enjoying vacation. It's payback for the great years.

Never did the Chinese restuarant in Italy. Seems to me I could find a pizzeria that would be more satisifying and cheaper. A pizza still costs about 6 euro - $9, a good deal considering my local supermarket is getting $20 for mozzarealla di bufala from New Jersey and the local pizza place is getting $20 for a large pie full of Sysco ingredients - I'd have to say in the good ol USA if we go out we get an incredibly lousy meal these days for about $60 - and we do not drink. In Italy you may spend $50 - but it should be good.
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Oct 1st, 2008, 05:53 AM
  #156
 
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I guess we are fortunate in our part of the USA, we can get excellent meals for $60 a couple (with a glass of wine), or less for that matter. Can't imagine paying as much as $20 for any pizza--good or bad! Glad I'm not in NJ.
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Oct 1st, 2008, 06:31 AM
  #157
 
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We pay 20 bucks for a good pizza here in FL. Bad ones can be had for less but they frankly aren't worth the calories
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Oct 1st, 2008, 07:41 AM
  #158
 
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I'm leaving for Italy in a few days so glad I found this reminder.

But I tend to be able to find so many free things that charm, excite, seduce and entertain me each trip that I think I'll be OK. It has helped me tremendously that I learned the language, so that is nothing else I can always find a great conversation on any street corner, park bench, or espresso bar!
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Oct 1st, 2008, 04:35 PM
  #159
 
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It's not just the lousy exchange rate, but the prices for restaurant food have increased quite a bit since my last trip. Basic pastas are about 9€, contorni anywhere from 4-9€ and main courses usually 12€ and up. I also found grocery prices quite a bit higher than in the states.
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