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TravelHaven News — Euro’s drop means vacation savings

European vacations are cheaper than they’ve been in years thanks to the euro’s steep decline against the dollar. For Americans, the dollar’s relative strength means a discount of around 25 percent compared with this time last year. U.S. bookings to some European countries have risen by up to 20 percent in 2015. Europe is now competing for American business with popular U.S. destinations.

The euro has fallen against many currencies, but the loss has been particularly pronounced against the dollar, now trading at about $1.05 on Wednesday, having been as high as $1.40 a year ago. The European Central Bank’s policies have been weakening the euro, while those of the U.S. Federal Reserve have been bolstering the dollar. Many experts predict the euro and dollar will reach parity later this year.

Comparison of room prices this year in Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Berlin indicates that the average price in U.S. dollars for a night in a 4-star hotel in those cities is 21 percent lower, and down 17 percent for 5-star accommodation. That means that seven days in Palm Springs, for example, an American could spend 14 days in Barcelona.