5 Reasons You Should Travel To Europe Right Now
If a fall vacation is calling, there are several reasons to visit Europe. The biggest consideration for travelers should be financial, particularly as the cost of living is increasing. Right now, the U.S. dollar is standing strong against the euro and the pound, which recently sank to a historic low against the dollar. As such, a European vacation comes at a particularly good deal for American travelers this fall (pro tip: just be sure to bring along a credit card with no foreign transaction fees!).
While flights are still pricey — although slightly less so than during the height of summer — travelers can save big on hotels, restaurants, attractions, and souvenirs (while also maximizing valuable credit card miles more than ever!). At the time of publication, $1 is equivalent to €1.04 and £0.93. In other words, your dollar will stretch further when visiting countries like Greece, France, and England.
A fall vacation to Europe is especially attractive for these financial benefits, but it’s also a draw thanks to fewer crowds, more opportunities, and the possibility of adventure. Here are five reasons why travelers should consider a trip to Europe right now.
1. Your Money is Worth More
The dollar is particularly strong against the European market at the moment, which means that Americans paying for travel with dollars are essentially getting a bargain. Inflation in many European countries, as well as the U.K., is relatively high, but the strong dollar against the euro and the pound helps to offset that as your money stretches more.
Additionally, considering Eastern European countries, which often have lower prices than places like France or Italy, can be an excellent way to stretch those dollars even further. Instead of Paris, consider Prague or Tallin, or, instead of Amsterdam, head to Belgrade or Bucharest. Taking the extra step to look for hotel deals, which are easier to find during the fall, will ensure you get your money’s worth.
2. The Crowds Are Smaller
The summer of 2022 will always be remembered as one of the most hectic and chaotic when it comes to travel. The decline of the pandemic and the dropping of restrictions sent everyone back to their regular travel schedules before the industry could quite handle the surge. Anyone who visited destinations like London, Paris, and Rome over the summer can attest to the massive crowds and long lines. Now that summer has ended and kids are back to school, many popular tourist-heavy spots are far less packed.
Also, traveling to Europe during the shoulder-season or off-season is a great way to take advantage of fewer people in museums and tourist attractions. While coastal destinations like Santorini or Barcelona may be cooler, the lack of crowds will make the experience far more enjoyable. It’s also an excellent time to book a European cruise, which will encounter fewer crowds in popular ports like Athens, Dubrovnik, and Lisbon.
3. Things are Re-opening — and Opening
Some European countries have retained vaccine requirements for travelers, but most are largely back to normal after several years of pandemic disruption. As such, travelers can generally expect to visit the same museums, attractions, and restaurants that were just as beloved pre-pandemic. Similarly, hotels that remained closed slightly longer are back, while several newly renovated properties, including the Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern, have recently opened. Be sure to check out some of these new hotels since they often have deals or special packages to attract guests. It’s a great way to save money or score extra nights for free while knowing you’re one of the first people to stay there.
4. The Weather Is Mild
Summer in Europe can be delightful if you’re near a beach, but as the climate crisis has become more concerning, Europe has gotten hotter and more uncomfortable during the warmer months. Air conditioning is scarce in Europe and the U.K. (including in some hotels), but the weather is pleasantly mild come autumn. So, while you may need to pack a few sweaters and a raincoat, October and November can be ideal for travel to Europe.
Also, the mild weather makes it possible to enjoy outdoor dining or hiking in many countries. Expect northern destinations like Oslo or Stockholm to be colder, so plan your wardrobe accordingly. And if you forget something, take advantage of that strong dollar by doing a little shopping.
5. You Can Revisit Favorites or Discover Somewhere New
Europe offers vast possibilities for travel depending on personal preference, time, and budget. After two-plus years of a pandemic, many travelers are using their savings accounts to splurge on vacations that bring them back to places they’ve loved.
However, there are plenty of ways to make a European trip feel new, especially if you want your money to go as far as possible. Consider creating an itinerary that exposes you to undiscovered destinations, whether it’s picking Montenegro over the more-popular Croatia or taking a road trip through Slovenia. All in all, veering off the beaten path can mean better accommodation prices and selections, potential restaurant deals, and the possibility of unexpected fun.
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