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the euro is killing us!

We are 4 couples traveling to Italy in June for 23 days. We have been looking forward to this 'trip of a lifetime' for almost 8 months. All of our hotel reservations are made. We can't imagine having to cancel our trip due to the exchange rate euro/dollar. Is it EVER acceptable to contact our hotels and ask for a 'lock' in the rate at the time of our booking? (which was over 4 months ago) Or does anyone have any other suggestions? If we start over with cheaper hotels we may be too late....

Posted by
46 posts

My family, some friends, and I have been planning a trip for a year. When we started out with a 1.3 to 1 rate It wasn't too hard to handle, but with the current rate, we're cutting way back on everything... movies, eating out, skiing, shopping. Every time we think about spending money, we remember the Euro!

Posted by
73 posts

The only way I could imagine you being locked into a cheaper rate is if you were able to pay in full at the time of booking. Remember, this is US currency that is declining in value...not the Euro. For these hotels who quote rates, 100 Euros is still a 100 Euros. The hotel owners don't benefit because of our weak dollar.

Posted by
7209 posts

Just call them up and tell them to go ahead and charge your credit card. We've done that for several of our hotels this year.

Posted by
683 posts

WEe suppose that trying to lock in rates is perfectly ok but it is also highly unlikely. Look at it this way-- you are running a hotel and somebody from a country whose currency gets weaker almost daily wants to pay you when they use your service but at the exchange rate that prevailed months earlier, when their currency was worth more. What benefit do YOU derive as a hotelier? Maybe you hget to smile while recording the loss on your accounts.

Posted by
70 posts

We've been planning our trip for 10 years! We booked some of our hotels through an agency (won't post here, but message me if you are interested) and that locked the rates for us. Otherwise we have to pay what the euro dictates at the time.

We are literally saving change, having a garage sale, etc. to make up the difference between our budget and the exponential growth of what the ACTUAL cost will be.

We also shortened our ininterary by 2 days so we had less expense and could fly on cheaper days.

Posted by
166 posts

I'm a little confused on what you are asking. How did you reserve your hotels. Did you reserve through each individual hotel website or through hotels.com or a similiar website? Did you get a confirmation back with your reservation confirmation number and price per room in euros. If the answer is yes to this question then your rate is locked in, just bring your written confirmation to each hotel. I travel to Italy at least twice a year and usually for a month at a time and I never had a problem with rates being changed for our rooms. We always pay the price for the rooms that is confirmed at the time of booking, and even a discount when when paying in cash. Don't cancel your trip of a lifetime because of worrying about the euro.

Greg

Posted by
26 posts

I'm feeling your pain with the exchange rate. It's a nightmare! About a month ago when I first checked it the rate 1.44 to 1. Today it's 1.55 to 1! It's been going up a penny a day for the last few days. I see us eating a lot of street pizza while we're there.

Posted by
40 posts

My husband & I are also planning our first trip to Italy for 17 days. Like everyone else we are concerned about the euro and where is it going to stop. I had all rooms booked all over Italy. When we finally sat down to figure it out we realized we were over budget because of that blasted euro. We decided to book an 11 day Mediteranean cruise out of Rome with an American ship - Celebrity. We will still be in Italy for 6 days but now we will see Greece, Turkey & the last day in Naples. As of this time I do believe that we have saved over $2000.00 making that decision. If you are set on Italy, there are many cruise lines that cruise around the coast lines but at least you know that you will pay most things in American Dollars. Your room, good food on the ship, any excursions if necessary, etc.

Posted by
23437 posts

Sally, you are correct. We have been on six European cruises and you are right. You really lock down your prices and control your expenses. For four of us we have been able to travel very economical this way but you are limited to sea ports and to the ship's schedule. We were going independent this summer but are looking at river cruises.

Posted by
252 posts

I checked with my bank to see if I could convert my travel money into euros now for my Italy trip this September (I don't think the exchange rate will get any better) They said they could, but the exchange rate would be 1.65 plus a "small" service fee

Even if they offered a good exchange rate, it would only be worth it if you paid 100% of everything in cash but you'll be walking around with a bulging money belt.

Posted by
31 posts

Since this is a Rick Steves site, I am surprised that no one has mentioned that going on a Rick Steves tour gives you the advantage of locking in your price early on. We booked our Italy trip last October with RS. Almost everything is covered except a few meals. All of the hotels, transportation, museums and tours are already paid for. We have traveled with Rick on 3 different itinerary's over the last several years and found that one of the advantages is knowing what you are going to have to pay upfront. Other than a few incidentals, such as gelato etc. we are already set. I searched the internet for a couple of months and have now locked in and booked our airfare. While the euro is a big issue, I think I was able to minimize it's effect on my upcoming vacation.

Posted by
261 posts

We are 4 travelling in June. I am finding I can rent apartments with 2 bedrooms for much less then a quad hotel room. Plus having an apartment will give us a frig and some have washers. We can eat our own breakfast, and maybe lunch, and do our own laundry. I'm finding lots of apartments all over Rome. Check VRBO.com and cross-pollinate.com. Check with your hotels, you may be able to cancel and rebook an apartment and save. 2 bedrooms in Florence was 130 euros, 2 bedrooms in Rome are running 130-180 euros depending on area. Good Luck.

Posted by
10 posts

The apartment idea is great. We will be arriving in Rome on Dec. 27th..3 couples. We found a 3 bdr/2bath apartment on cross-pollinate.com for 49.50 USD per person per night..has private balcony,washer/dryer and full kitchen..a lot less expensive than many places. From there we go to Florence, haven't found anything reasonable there yet..still looking.

Posted by
705 posts

The only solution I could see would be to ask if you can prepay now by charging the total amount to your credit card. As others have said it is the weak US dollar that is your problem not the price of the hotel in Euro. The other thing I do is buy Euros when the rate is good. I keep an eye on it, as it fluctuates so much, and buy when it's at a rate I think is good.

Posted by
261 posts

Yes, Eli. Rome, and the rest of Italy seem more expensive than other European cities. I have read the Rome and London are the 2 worst. Your 950 euro for a week in Rome actually doesn't sound too bad. It's at the low end of what I've been looking at. You can shave off a few more euros if you do without A/C. But if you're travelling in summer I wouldn't recommend that. We are attempting to negotiate a room rate with a VRBO apartment owner since we'll be there 4 nights. I'll let you know how that goes.

Posted by
11507 posts

Yes Mark good point. I too booked a 14 day RS family tour for this July ,, we are going to Europe for 26 days,, but included this tour . I am relieved to know that my hotel rates( not the rates, but my costs I should say) are NOT going up for the 14 nights,, and that at the time I booked I was "locked" in when the conversion was 1:38 ,, so a good savings there. I am not normally a tour person,, but in this case ,, with the dollar dropping like a stone,, there is a huge advantage to paying the trip up front in American dollars.

Posted by
1317 posts

My dad and I are going to Italy for nearly two weeks in November. The second week is a RS Tour (so most everything is locked in). The first week is on our own, and I think it's going to end up costing us one and a half times more than the tour.

When converting from Euros to dollars, I've just been doubling everything for easier math and higher budgeting. That way even if the euro hits 1.99 to 1 by November, we're covered. Anything lower is gravy.

Italy is generally expensive. I just reserved two nights in Orvieto (much "cheaper" than big cities like Rome and Florence) for 70 euro a night. That's $300 right there (in my double and round guesstimate budget) and we have three more nights in Rome to book!

Posted by
70 posts

Sorry to be slow returning, my rate is locked in in DOLLARS. In order to get this deal, I had to pay $39 per person for calcellation insurance, but it was WELL worth it to lock in the cost (in dollars) of 4 nights accomodations now.

Posted by
621 posts

It may be too late now but you could try booking an apartment or maybe two apartments. Convents can often be cheaper than hotels as well. My husband and I will also be going to Italy soon. We are staying in two agritourismos, one in Umbria and one in Tuscany, an apartment in Cinque Terre a convent in Rome and one night in an actual hotel in Genoa. We'll be eating lots of pizza and picnicking.

Posted by
1 posts

Is this a good time to BUY Euro??? We are not leaving until Sep- Oct. If it goes up, won't we be in good shape THEN???

Posted by
23437 posts

Ask a new question. You woke up a two year old posting that has no meaning for today. Just look a bit on this site and you will find a dozen question just today on the same subject with the same answers.

Posted by
1 posts

Not understanding how the 'euro is killing you'. If you booked in November the exchange rate was 1 Euro = 1.50 US Dollars. So a 100 Euro hotel room would have cost you $150. A 30 Euro train ticket would have cost you $45. If the exchange rate stays where it is today at 1 Euro = 1.25 US Dollars then your hotel now costs you only $125 dollars and that same train ticket is just $37.50.

Unless you prepaid for everything the current trend in the exchange rate is actually working to our advantage.

Posted by
7737 posts

This is a zombie posting from over two years ago. PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE THIS THREAD.

Thanks.

Posted by
348 posts

Feel bad for your situation but when you prepay to get a better rate, it is a risk you take. The other comment was correct the hotel gets only the euro and is not affected by the rate of the dollar