The dollar and the euro reach parity. Travel to Europe is cheap.

Tourists sit on the hill of Areopagus, overlooking the Acropolis of Athens.

Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images

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Traveling in Europe is much cheaper for Americans since the


reached parity with the US dollar this week for the first time in 20 years.

This means that a dollar buys a euro, compared to €0.95 a month ago and €0.85 this time in 2021. Travelers will receive less, given the conversion costs and the fact that normal people do not can’t exchange currencies at the rates banks pay, but it’s still a good deal.

Enjoying it takes some thought, as the move comes as pandemic-weary Americans flock to popular destinations like Barcelona and Venice. “People are coming back excitedly to make up for lost time,” said Rick Steves, author of 50 Guides to Traveling Europe.

The dollar has strengthened against the euro for most of the year, and currency strategists predict that the greenback’s relative strength will persist for at least another few months.

The Federal Reserve’s aggressive stance in raising interest rates to fight inflation was the main factor behind the dollar’s early rally. But more recently, recession fears in Europe, coupled with fears that Russia could cut off vital energy supplies to the continent, have become the main driver of the dollar’s relative strength against the euro, Francesco Pesole said, currency strategist at ING.

People are eager to travel anywhere, but the strength of the dollar against the euro may mean travelers head first to the 19 countries that use the currency, including France, Germany, Europe. Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal, said Kareem George, director of Culture Traveller. in Franklin, Michigan. “That’s where currency will come in as a factor because people are smart and savvy,” he said.

The favorable conversion rate will partly mitigate the high prices of international airlines. Round-trip airfare from the United States to Europe for flights this summer costs $1,143 per ticket, up 14% from this time in 2019, according to travel app Hopper. But once you’re in Europe, you can take advantage of low-cost flights within the continent that are charged in euros by carriers like SKY express, a Greek company.

“You save a lot of money,” said Peter Vlitas, executive vice president, partner relations, Internova Travel Group. Just be sure to make your reservations in advance, he added, as availability is limited.

Meanwhile, the average hotel price in Europe is now €151.67, up from €129.62 in 2019 (equivalent to around $148 at the time), according to market data provider STR. on the hospitality industry.

Be sure to pay for goods and services in the local currency whenever possible, experts advise. When a merchant offers to process your credit card transaction in dollars or euros, choose euros.

You don’t need to buy a lot of euros before your trip, George said. Instead, find out in advance if your bank has partner banks in Europe where you can make withdrawals free of charge, then collect most of your money at those ATMs.

Many of the most popular destinations are busy this year, Steves said. He recommends travelers spend time in vibrant “second cities.” In addition to Dublin, for example, consider Belfast and experience Glasgow alongside Edinburgh. In France, Lyon and Marseille are less crowded than Paris, while Porto in Portugal is less crowded than Lisbon, he said.

This strategy will likely save you money and could lead to more authentic contact with locals, as the economy isn’t as tourism-driven as larger sites, he said.

Aside from the strong dollar, Steves recommends travelers think more about their experiences abroad than anything they might buy. “How many memories do you create? ” he said. “How do you get out of your comfort zone? »

Write to Elizabeth O’Brien at

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