We are living in an amazing time when it is possible to travel to Europe from the US for less than it would cost to fly to many US cities – from the US! This is just one of my 3 reasons why you should consider traveling to Europe now. If you have a long weekend or some vacation time coming up, this could be a great time to visit Europe!
Why You Should Visit Europe Now
I already hit on that in the opening but it is very common to see flights for less than $350 for roundtrip travel from the US to Europe. In fact, it is not even that uncommon to see flights hitting the mid-$200s for places like Spain and Italy! If you can travel light (in terms of baggage), you can easily find a deal that does not include a checked bag. And, more often than not, it is a better idea to travel light anyway since it gives you more flexibility in travel and when moving around cities.
Of course, most of these cheap flights are from major airports like JFK, EWR, ORD, BOS and others but you can always use points to get to those airports if you are in a smaller regional airport. Even though British Airways Avios are no longer the steal of 4,500 points for one-way short-haul like they used to be, other airlines are having some pretty good deals as well. You can even use American Airline miles for flights that cost around 5,000 miles or so for some flights and Delta does the same!
Not only can paid flights be found pretty inexpensive but you can also get sales like this Delta award sale from just 22,000 miles roundtrip from Boston to the UK!
Check this Google Flights page and see what is available for destinations and prices!
Great Season for Hotels and Touring!
This is kind of a great part of shoulder season for many places in Europe. The summer crowds have departed, school has started, and hotel prices have come down. For some places like the Greek islands, you could even find price drops from over $1,000 per night to just under $300 per night or less!
In addition to lower hotel prices, you can also enjoy some of the seasonal shifts in various parts of Europe. It is still warm enough in some parts of souther Europe that you could head to the beach! In fact, if you do that, you could actually find stretches of empty beaches as well – a sharp contrast to the summer months when you have to wait at least 10 minutes to find a spot at some beaches!
Plus, the weather is much more manageable. When American tourists visit places like Greece in the summertime, it is a hard thing to go touring during those hot summer days. In fact, Athens had closed the Acropolis on some days because of the high heat. Those days are absolutely built for beach visits (but then you are dealing with massive crowds again). This time of year brings temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s which is still really nice but completely bearable for outdoor touring.
Finally, you may find some tourist-type attractions to have lower prices than they do during the summer months. If you want to do day tours, those should be quite a bit cheaper as well. Also, when you visit some beautiful restaurant, you may find that the people around you are all locals and enjoy some of there culture and languages instead of hearing tourists all around you. 🙂
Points Tip: Check out Hilton hotels in the places you want to visit since those award rates can be tied to the actual cost. It means you could use points for your hotels but still do it at a great value over the regular cost in points.
Great Exchange Rate
For the first time in over 2 years, the USD has gained considerable strength against the Euro. While it was close to 1:1 back in early 2017 (it was 1.039 at the lowest point), the Euro has dropped again against the US dollar to the point that it is 1.09 USD to 1 Euro.
This means that your US dollars will get your further in Europe than they would have at this time last year. Taking advantage of currency exchange rates always makes for a cheaper vacation! However, these rates can and do change with some frequency based on a variety of factors. This is why I say this makes a compelling reason to visit Europe now as opposed to using it as a reason for visiting in the winter. However, the dollar does typically gain value in the winter time so it could get quite a bit lower.
Whether it is the beautiful streets and sights of Vienna, the history of Rome, the food of Athens, there is a lot to explore and enjoy in Europe! With the above 3 reasons, it can make a compelling reason to visit Europe now and hopefully you are able to enjoy a great trip!
The great thing about all of these factors is that it also makes Europe quite doable on a long weekend! Taking off a Friday before a Monday holiday or taking both days off gives you at least 2.5 full days on the ground for a whirlwind trip that will leave you tired but well traveled as well!
Featured image Courtesy of Shutterstock