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Does the declining Euro mean . . .

. . . we will be eating lobster and caviar on our prepaid 2015 RS tours? :)

Posted by
2007 posts

For the group dinners? Oh, that would that be nice!

Posted by
693 posts

The declining Euro is, at least in part, a reflection of the severe economic stress being faced by the EU.

As can be seen in Greece, this economic stress is increasingly being accompanied by social unrest and increasing poverty.

Greece has an unemployment rate of 26%, Spain 24% and Italy 13%.

Do you really think this is something funny to joke about?

Posted by
8293 posts

Have fun with your "powerful US dollar", olym. Just don't offend the locals about it, as they wrestle with their countries' economic problems.

Posted by
247 posts

This is the first time in many years Americans have seen an almost even exchange rate for their money when converting to Euros. It makes travel to the wonderful cities in Europe within reach for some who wouldn't have considered it before.

America is no stranger to slogging through unemployment or economic downturn (2008 anyone?). We have shorter vacations and longer working hours when compared to our European counterparts. We have the right to be happy when our dollar is holding its value after so many years in the tank. By spending our dollars (be it on pizza or lobster) we're helping our European friends create jobs and we're putting our $$ into their economy.

Lighten up...sheesh. :)

I don't think Eric was celebrating in Europe's trouble...rather he was merely celebrating that his trip is becoming a reality. I've heard plenty of UK residents celebrate how cheap it is for them to travel to America because the exchange rate is in their favor. And why not celebrate your travel dreams coming to life?

Posted by
5519 posts

All our trips since 2002 (when we were in Spain and saw the dollar/euro exchange rate flip flop with each ATM withdrawal) have had a stronger euro versus the dollar. We may not be having hommard for every meal in France this summer, but we're looking forward to a bit of a financial break compared to past trips.

And look what's happened with the Swiss franc since Christmas - those crepes in Lucerne will cost travelers more, so they may have to opt for Nutella instead of lobster!

Posted by
31435 posts

Eric,

Regardless of currency fluctuations, you'll be eating well on your RS tour. The group meals are always a spectacular affair. I suspect the meals are pre-arranged, so the cost will be stable and not affected much by variations in the currency.

It's important to remember that what increases can also decrease, so the situation that exists at the time of your trip may be different than what it is today.

Posted by
724 posts

I'm allergic to shellfish! No lobster, mussels, crab, shrimp, or clams for me.

Posted by
18235 posts

"Greece has an unemployment rate of 26%, Spain 24% and Italy 13%"

Does anyone know what the GINI index is? It's a measurement of income inequality in a country. It's the percentage of the area between the perfect equality line and the Lorenz curve, divided by the area under the perfect equality line. The higher the number, the more inequality. Those three countries have an average GINI index of 32.7 (Greece 34.3, Spain 32.0, Italy 31.9). Four good economies in Europe average 26.3 (Switzerland 28.7, German 27.0, Austria 26.3, Sweden 23.0). In fact the five "PIIGS, the five economies in Europe most in trouble, have an average GINI index of 34.1 (five of the six highest GINIs in western Europe). High income inequality does not make for a strong economy.

Posted by
699 posts

Personally, I have confidence in Europe's economic recovery,

Having been on seven previous RS trips to Europe, and enjoying an average exchange rate of something like 1.30-1.35, I'm not at all unhappy to see things working the other way this time. Sorry if that offends some of you.

As another poster said, currencies go up and down. This year is good for the dollar; next year, maybe not so much.

Posted by
2007 posts

Eric, I agree. Somewhere between now and when my husband and I first started traveling to Europe, we were seeing an exchange rate of close to $1.60. I'm excited to be going to Istanbul next week; my money will go a little further this trip.

Posted by
1831 posts

Turkey is not a Euro country. It has its own money.

Posted by
2007 posts

Thanks, Monte. I'm bringing Euros as well as Turkish Lira as the hotel airport shuttle requires them. Some places actually did take euros last time I was in Istanbul, but that was a couple of years ago.

Posted by
5 posts

I agree, why should Americans all of sudden be ashamed that the dollar is strong? They have taken it on the chin for awhile, things go in cycles, maybe it is time for them to have the advantage again. Yeah
you Americans! come spend your money!

Posted by
12773 posts

Check back to 2008 especially in the summer when the exchange rate between the Euro and the $ was so dramatically lop-sided. I don't recall Europeans lamenting that fact, when the dollar was so weak, plus the GBP to the dollar was almost 2 to one.

Posted by
4529 posts

I say joke away. The euro is still stronger than the US dollar even if it has come closer to parity. And the US has plenty of its own problems and poverty to worry about.

Posted by
210 posts

mph…...…lighten up………he was joking…...

FWIW……….Eric, what tour are you on……I'm in on the lobster and caviar……..

Happy……like, Happy Travels……...

Posted by
206 posts

Many of Rick's early tours are already offering a $300 to $400 discount. That may be based on needing to fill some spots but that is about a 10% discount on many of the tours. Don't know if he locks in hotel and food prices year to year or if they are based on the exchange rate at the time of the tour. Either way, it is a better deal for anyone about to travel to Europe. My last trip the rate was $1.39. That was pretty steep for any budget, so the rates for my upcoming trip, not only make me feel better, but will allow me to stay a few extra days, as well as do some things I might not have been able to do before the decline. I would doubt anyone likes to see any economy in the toilet, but all I can do is travel and spend more time and more money than I might have before.

Posted by
247 posts

Kent - Here's the CIA's rankings of the US and others per the GINI

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2172rank.html

Gini index measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of family income in a country. The more nearly equal a country's income distribution, the lower its Gini index, e.g., a Scandinavian country with an index of 25. The more unequal a country's income distribution, the higher its Gini index, e.g., a Sub-Saharan country with an index of 50. If income were distributed with perfect equality the index would be zero; if income were distributed with perfect inequality, the index would be 100.

Ranked from worst to best (based on this index measurement).

1 Lesotho 63.2
2 South Africa 63.1
3 Botswana 63.0
4 Sierra Leone 62.9
5 Central African Republic 61.3

and further up the list we have...
23 Ecuador 48.5
24 Mexico 48.3
25 Peru 48.1
26 Madagascar 47.5
27 China 47.3
28 Dominican Republic 47.2
29 Bolivia 47.0
30 El Salvador 46.9
31 Rwanda 46.8
32 Singapore 46.3
33 Malaysia 46.2
34 Georgia 46.0
35 South Sudan 46.0
36 Argentina 45.8
37 Mozambique 45.6
38 Jamaica 45.5
39 Bulgaria 45.3
40 Uruguay 45.3
41 United States 45.0
42 Philippines 44.8
43 Cameroon 44.6
44 Guyana 44.6
45 Iran 44.5
46 Uganda 44.3
47 Nigeria 43.7
48 Kenya 42.5
49 Burundi 42.4
50 Russia 42.0
51 Cote d'Ivoire 41.5
52 Senegal 41.3
53 Djibouti 40.9
54 Morocco 40.9
55 Turkmenistan 40.8
56 Nicaragua 40.5
57 Turkey 40.2
78 Vietnam 37.6
79 Maldives 37.4

And further up the list:

103 Tajikistan 32.6
104 United Kingdom 32.3
105 Canada 32.1
106 Bangladesh 32.1
107 Spain 32.0
108 Croatia 32.0
109 Italy 31.9
110 Timor-Leste 31.9
111 Estonia 31.3
112 Korea, South 31.1
113 Cyprus 31.0
114 Armenia 30.9
115 Netherlands 30.9
116 Egypt 30.8
117 France 30.6
118 European Union 30.6
119 Pakistan 30.6
120 Australia 30.3
121 Kosovo 30.0
122 Kazakhstan 28.9
123 Switzerland 28.7
124 Ukraine 28.2
125 Belgium 28.0
126 Iceland 28.0
127 Romania 27.4
128 Belarus 27.2
129 Malta 27.1
130 Germany 27.0
131 Finland 26.8
132 Austria 26.3
133 Slovakia 26.0
134 Luxembourg 26.0
135 Norway 25.0
136 Czech Republic 24.9
137 Denmark 24.8
138 Hungary 24.7
139 Montenegro 24.3
140 Slovenia 23.7
141 Sweden 23.0

Nice feeling knowing we're one point away from being in South Sudan huh? :P

Posted by
5519 posts

Back2Italy - thanks for the list! That's one for which it's nice that the USA isn't #1.

Interesting to see how some communist/former communist countries are on the higher end of the scale now, and some are much further down.

Posted by
361 posts

If the dollar is strong, I spend a little more. If the dollar is week, I spend a little less. Either way I have a good time.

I do agree with the idea that spending less gets one more in touch with the local area up to a point. Given thenhuge increase in airline fares that I have seen this year, I will take the help a strong dollar offers

As a side note: some businesses that do a lot of business overseas will use the currency markets to lock on a good rate or limit the damage if the dollar goes down a lot. What RS does is unknown to me, but I would not be surprised if they spread the risk around so that one bad year is not fatal.

Posted by
10344 posts

Back2Italy,
Thanks for the data!
I guess it doesn't surprise me. Looks like income inequality in western Europe than here.
What a surprise.

Posted by
361 posts

Just make sure you don't fall into some of the traps to transfer the value of the higher dollar to their pocket. . In Spain last year, we had the 'opportunity' to pay a hotel bill in dollars instead of Euros. No thanks. This reminds me of the sign "Shirts $14 each. Quantity discount - two for $30!!"

Posted by
12773 posts

Having the exchange at $1.38 or so is painful, much better to be at $ 1.24, fantastic under $1.10. My spending habits too: with a favourable/great exchange I spend more (help out the local economy in France and Germany), or stay longer except this summer it will only be three weeks but I'll bring back more for use on the next trip. Conversely, with a weak dollar, I spend less, scrimp more in terms of travel style.

Posted by
57 posts

Ill tell you I feel a lot better leaving for three weeks thursday!!!! €1.06-$1:00 is a bit different from our fall '08 UK tour at £2-$1:00!!!!!
Paying double sucked. This trip, not so much. ;)

Posted by
12773 posts

You got it...2008 was most likely the worst year in regards to a weak dollar and exchange rates after introducing the Euro. Of course, I don't always follow exchange rates as diligently as I ought to. The GBP was for practical purposes 2 to one relative to the $. This year is a total reversal of 2008. With a such an lop sided, favourable rate I should be going for 70 days instead of the 20 I've planned for, a real pity.