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Where is the $ a good value in travel ?

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Dec 14th, 2007, 08:22 AM
  #1
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Where is the $ a good value in travel ?

Seems like the Euro is making it impossible to travel in thoses countries. Is there anywhere in Europe that our $ still gets you good exchange rates ?
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Dec 14th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Well 1USD will get 5.2 Kroner in Denmark and a whopping 6.5 Kroner in Sweden.

You get more units per dollar but I think most of Euro-land will be cheaper.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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The currency in every country in Europe except Belarus has appreciated against the dollar in the past year.

There are a few countries near Europe whose currency has remained fixed against the dollar: the UAE and Bahrain for example, and more relevantly for a pleasant holiday, Jordan. A number of American countries - like the Dominican Republic - have currencies that have actually FALLEN against the USD.

But I strongly suggest you forget about currency movements. What matters, surely, is where's nice and lets your depreciated dollar go furthest. Most people would give answers like Croatia to that, even though the dollar's falen 10% against the doodah in the past year.

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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Another possibility for making the most of your funds is to purchase as much as possible in dollars before you go. If you are able to plan your stay, you can often prepay hotels/apartments, transportation, etc. ahead of time. Sometimes in dollars, other times you can pay in Euros, but budget the amount in your head in dollars.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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In the south of France, they refill my water bottle with wine for only One Euro. Can't beat that anywhere.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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>Where is the $ a good value in travel ?

The USA
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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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Ira beat me to it. I would add Mexico City. Or just suck it in and maybe stay in Europe 30% fewer days than you originally planned.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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This is brought up every few weeks, and most folks really do not grasp the concept that places where things are cheap almost always has nothing to do with the US dollar being a good exchange rate. Nothing. It also has absolutely nothing to do with the number of units of a foreign currency you get to a dollar.

The only place the exchange rate is good, as far as I know, are places where the local currency is fixed against the dollar. I think that is Mexico and Cuba, for two places, several other countries in the Caribbean, Belarus and maybe Hong Kong (and some place in the Middle East, as mentioned, like UAE -- Lebanon also maybe). I read recently it was also set in some country in S America, which surprised me -- COlombia or Venez. or Peru maybe. I mean it was just pegged to the USD. This has nothing to do with places being cheap, though, as Hong Kong isn't cheap.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Give Argentina a try when it comes to costs of housing, food, transportation, etc. compared with the cost of similar or identical goods and services in Europe. Your dollar goes much farther in Argentina. For how long? Nobody knows.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Yes, Argentina is a tremendous value for hotels and for food. And of course, many Asian countries still offer great value for your money...there is a big wide world out there...
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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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The former communist countries of Europe will give you more bang for your buck than western Europe, and they are delightful.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Since you asked about Europe (and not elswhere in the Americas), I would say there are still plenty of great values around. The exchange rate may be weak, but you can still have a lovely holiday, even in France, Germany, Austria, etc.
If you want to go to those countries, skip the capitals and explore the off the beaten path areas...Limousin in France, Styria in Austria, Muensterland and rural Nord-Rhein Westfalia in Germany, etc. Go off season (Muensterland/rural NRW are gorgeous in late September/October, ditto for the Limousin). Rent a gite or stay in small inns. Maybe try a cycling trip...Muensterland is perfect for cyclists and will help you plan your route.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Turkey will also give you more bang for your buck & it is an AMAZING country with more Greek sites than Greece and more ancient roman sites than Italy.

It is also much more European than most people realize with absolutely the best hospitality in the world. Lots of Europeans know this, but most Americans have not caught on yet.

Take a look at our blog on Turkey, to see how magnificent it is ( starts here):

http://www.soultravelers3.com/blog/2...E77CCDDC4.html


We also winter very cheaply in southern Spain in a small village. If you skip the big cities ( or do less) and spend more time in the smaller villages in Europe ( which is really the heart and soul) one saves lots of money.

The dollar will probably continue to sink, but the other currencies might as well, since the dollar is the world's reserve currency & worldwide banks seem to have exposure to the credit problems.

If the US goes into a bad recession, most think Europe and the world will follow. No one knows yet how that will unfold or affect travel.

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Dec 14th, 2007, 10:24 AM
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I have to chime in on the last few comments because we have done a number of them and enjoyed them all thoroughly. We were in Turkey in May and loved it! I wouldn't say it was dirt cheap however; prices were pretty comparable to the US in many ways.

On BTilke's advice we did a fabulous Muensterland cycle trip for 5 days in July 2006. We'd do this over again in a heartbeat.

About 5 years ago we visited Andalucia in March for 2 weeks. Part of our time was spent in a very affordable house rental in a small house south of Granada. Another great experience!
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Dec 14th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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I think there is a misconception that if euro is high, then Europe is expensive.

If I was a traveller from Europe and came to NYC...would I say, boy the US is expensive...or if I went to Idaho, would I say boy it's cheap?

Similarly, being high or low against the currency does not automatically mean it is more expensive...for the EXACT same thing, it is NOW more expensive versus a year ago...but you can change the "exact". Are flights more expensive than a year ago because of the euro, no (may be some affect from oil prices). But I would be willing to bet that you could go many places in Europe cheaper than...Disneyworld (as an example, on a per diem cost).
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Dec 14th, 2007, 10:33 AM
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I was in Turkey in August, cheap but not a huge bargain. I'd go back in a minute.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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One more thought if you are still interested in mainstream Eureope. I just checked back on a very nice apt. we'd rented in Paris several years ago for 11 days. Price is currently E550 per week, not outrageously expensive in my book. Check out VRBO #43745.
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Dec 14th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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We were in Turkey for about a month and had a fantastic time. We stayed in some fantastic places and all of them ( including the one in Istanbul, a world class city that reminded me of SF) were 20 to 30 dollars, ( including some with sea views and or pools).

It is easy to plan your own budget trip to Turkey. Our only expensive hotel was the famous Esbelli Evi ,which was also quite cheap considering what it is like. I have paid more at Best Westerns in LA.

Croatia is another fantastic country that can be very reasonable ( although not nearly as cheap as Turkey).

I agree that there are still great bargains to be found in Europe and it can be done on a budget. Live like a native ( not everyone in Europe is rich).
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Dec 14th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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I am by no means an expert - been to Germany and Austria once - but I will chime in too One thing I found about Germany and Austria is that the quality of the lower to mid-level hotels was much better than in the US and you can eat pretty well without spending much.

In Munich, we stayed at a hotel that was about 80 euro/night (about $115, I believe), The hotel didn't have a lot of frills, but it was absolutely clean and comfortable, and in a cool old building. The people were nice, breakfast was of good quality (included), and it was in a nice neighborhood. It would be a challenge to find a decent hotel in a large US city for that price.

We had similar experiences with hotels in Nuremberg and in Reutte, Austria - paid 80-90 euro for a room including breakfast and the hotels were great.


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Dec 14th, 2007, 04:57 PM
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Totally agree, for the same amount of money (and less) I can find much nicer places to stay in Germany than in the U.S. The breakfast anywhere in the U.S sucks! You can hardly swallow the bread, it's so dry, soft and lacks any taste. The serials are o.k. however, cheese (where available) tastes like chewing gum. Milk is somewhat watery and tasteless.
I just skipped breakfast most of the time and went to either McD or a chinese buffet place later in the day. Begels can be great, when done properly, but what you get at those hotels is made out of sawdust ;-( , then you need the watery milk to wash it down. What a way to start your day!

I do enjoy a german hotel breakfast!
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