Americans wanting to make that trip of a lifetime to Ireland and Europe can now enjoy some of the best value prices for the last 10 years.
Travellers from other countries such as Britain, Canada and Australia are also likely to benefit.
They will find hotels, restaurants etc will effectively be much cheaper than last year because the Euro – the currency used in Ireland and most of Europe – has plummeted in value compared with other currencies such as the dollar and the British pound. On Monday, the Euro was worth only $1.1864 – its lowest value since March 2006. It has since recovered slightly but it still about 15% lower than it was for most of last year.
The effect is that Americans can now buy lots more Euros for their dollars making European travel much more affordable.
Many financial experts believe the Euro could fall even lower. The crisis has been caused by the economic situation in Greece, which is a member of the European Union (EU). The Greek economy got into severe difficulties in recent years and had to be bailed out by loans from its EU neighbours. In return, the Greek government had to introduce huge cuts in public spending as part of an austerity programme to rebuild its economy.
The austerity measures are hugely unpopular in Greece and the issue is now coming to a head because of the Greek national election coming on January 24. The left wing Syriza party is ahead in the polls and is promising to end “austerity politics”.
Other EU member countries fear that if Syriza are elected, they may renege on the austerity agreement and even pull out of the Euro altogether. The uncertainty has caused the Euro to fall in value against other currencies like the dollar and the British pound.
Roger Wade, head of Price of Travel, said: “The euro is down about 10 percent to 15 percent from where it was most of 2014, so it’s an instant discount for those of us with U.S. dollars. Many analysts are expecting the euro to continue going lower, at least in the short term, and if Greece effectively votes itself out of the euro soon, it could drop even further.”
It means that if you’re dreaming of a holiday in Ireland or Europe, this could be the year to do it. One word of caution though, although the improved exchange rate will make everything cheaper once you get to Ireland, it’s unlikely to make much difference to the cost of the airfare to get there. This is because most fares will be priced in dollars anyway and are more dependent on supply and demand rather than exchange rates.
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