Make Your Dollar Go Farther in Europe This Summer

This just might be the summer to splurge on a European vacation.

On a recent trip to Italy, I withdrew €50 from an ATM, costing me a respectable $56. While a €100 taxi ride from Milan airport to my hotel actually cost me $112 dollars.  Another €310 for two nights’ hotel showed up on my statement as $353.

"Without a doubt, the dollar is back baby," says John DiScala of johnnyjet.com.

Besides the bonus of a gutsy greenback packing a punch overseas, there are other ways to save. For one, consider a cruise where many elements are included.

"So much of the cruise has been prepaid, so most of what we are getting, we haven’t had to spend money on. But however, when we have ventured into town, going to a coffee shop a bakery or whatever, the dollar does go very far right now," says European cruise passenger John Avant.

For extra value, consider scoping out tour operators offering special incentives such as two-for-one airfare or single supplement fee waivers.

Land-based tour operator TourCrafters, for instance, is offering a discount of 7 percent on top of packages that already cost close to 15 percent less than last year.

Eastern Europe is another region where you will get more bang for your buck.

"Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, those are, you can really stretch your dollar there," says DiScala.

Even stubborn Great Britain is gradually loosening its stiff grip on the dollar, making the U.K. a smidgen cheaper.

Even though my $25 Starbucks card was suddenly devalued to sixteen pounds, compared to past visits, this summer’s exchange rate makes a lot more pence.

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