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The dollar is down, but we're going to Europe

July 21st, 2008 at 09:54 am



Oh how the mighty dollar has fallen, and fallen, and fallen... It has been declining steadily for six years, when will it finally stop? While it's true that the cost of everything stateside has been climbing, imagine going overseas where the dollar now buys 30% less of what it used to just a few years ago.

The odd thing is that around two million Americans come to Europe every year no matter what's happening to the dollar. If they're rich, they don't worry about the exchange rate. If they're on a tight budget, they look harder for bargains.

All year long both my fiance and I funnel money into our travel fund, and about once a year we make a huge dent in it heading overseas. While most travelers change their vacations for somewhere closer and cheaper, I don't get the option because I go to see my family and birthplace.

Usually along with our yearly family trip we try to squeeze in a week or two in another country. This year is no exception. And even though we'll be visiting one of the less expensive E.U. countries, we're really feeling the financial pinch.

Here are a few things we are doing on this trip to try and make our dollar last longer:

-- Staying at small B&Bs which include breakfast. These are often just as cheap as hostels and much much better.

-- Hitting the local markets early in the morning for lunch fixings, snacks, water and alcohol.

-- Communicating by email and texts.

-- Taking public transit everywhere and using bikes to get around in some areas.

-- Keeping a log of our spending day by day so it doesn't get out of hand. We've done this on last trips to see where we could have cut back.

We will be thinking and spending like we did when we were students because in the end it's the experiences and the memories that matter, not the thread count of our hotel sheets.

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