Exchange rates are a tricky thing, since vacationers and holiday seekers don’t generally follow financial markets. In Europe, though, the instability of countries like Greece could mean good deals on hotels and airfare for visitors from other continents.
Investors around the world have reduced their confidence in the Euro because of debt in EU countries like Greece and Spain. In fact, while the Euro is still worth about $1.35, that’s the best exchange rate since roughly 2008, according to the New York Times.
The upside for U.S. residents considering crossing the pond is that the drop in the Euro means hotels will cost less. Even though the rates haven’t changed in Euros at each location, the 10 percent rise translates to a savings of $100 per 800 euros spent, according to the newspaper. Demand is increasing as Americans find the economy more sure-footed, so it pays to search around.
One of the other major issues is that while the Euro is likely to stay weak until the southern European countries figure out their finances, the ash clouds over Europe may take more than a month to stop affecting traffic. Stranded travelers have found that airline reimbursement may not occur for another couple weeks. Keep that in mind when you prepare to book, as airfare is at a historic high.
The best bet may be to search low on hotel prices, since owners can’t cut capacity like airlines do, and then once the prices on tickets drops to a more reasonable level, combine the two for a good bit of savings.