As Americans wage through a bitterly cold winter, many of them are keeping their eye on where they’ll head once their vacation hits this summer. While flipping through flights to France or Italy, consumers in the United States will be excited to find out that despite the prices of travel to these tourist meccas, their dollar will a lot further against the euro than it has for a while.
The euro has now officially reached its lowest exchange against the U.S. dollar in years, down from $1.45 a few years ago to $1.15 today, according to The Washington Post‘s Matt O’Brien. He explains that it’s an ideal time to look for flights to top European destinations right now, while countries like Greece, Italy and Spain face economic uncertainty that drives the overall value of the euro down. That’s contrasted, he says, by a strengthened outlook on the domestic front.
“The U.S. economy is in a lot better shape than Europe’s right now. U.S. gross domestic product just grew 5 percent, jobs growth was the best in 15 years, and falling oil prices are putting even more money it into people’s pockets. It’s enough that the Federal Reserve, despite still-low price and wage inflation, is expected to start raising interest rates this year or the next.”
Even though that might put you in a frenzy to look up flights to that European destination you’ve always wanted to visit, it is unlikely that the euro’s numbers are going to be on the up and up anytime soon. A Greek election is likely to bring Syriza to power, a party that rejects austerity practices waged by Angela Merkel, previously reported Inquisitr. Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, told CNBC that the United States is on a trajectory of growth against Europe that he doesn’t see turning around anytime soon.
“The problems in Europe are not going away, just in the near-term. You have the U.S. doing better, and Europe continuously being behind. That will continue to put downward pressure on the euro for quite some time.”
If you’re a budget traveler feeling like this might be the time to finally take that trip to Europe you’ve been waiting on, you’ll want to take a look at Price of Travel‘s list of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe this year. Among those on the euro are popular tourist destinations like Madrid and Barcelona, Spain; Athens and Santorini, Greece; and Berlin, Germany.
[Image via Flickr]