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The famous walking area of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain: get more bang for your bucks. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

The famous walking area of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain: get more bang for your bucks. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

I just returned last night from a week in Europe (more about that in subsequent posts) and found my euros going much further than on my previous trips there.

And I don’t mean going further out of my pocket, but into my pocket. Spain, which I left yesterday morning, was dirt cheap. My wallet was still stuffed with euro notes when I flew out.

A year ago, one U.S. dollar would get you about .73 euros to spend when traveling in Europe. Looked at another way, Americans would have to ante up 1.364 U.S. dollars to get one euro in exchange.

So for every admission or food item or souvenir costing 3 euros, Americans would have to pay the equivalent of $4.

Now, as of this writing, one U.S. dollar is worth about .90 euros, meaning Americans with dollars to exchange only have to offer up $1.11 to get one euro back.

That’s a big difference from last year — and for a good many years before that.

The bottom line is that it means traveling in Europe is more affordable for Americans. (The euro still has the edge, though, so don’t stop coming to the U.S., Europeans!)

Even if you’re an American taking a mostly prepaid tour to Europe, you’re still going to need spending money. And the U.S. economy is gaining steam, allowing more people to have additional funds for travel.

Tour operators are taking notice, too, and many are lowering their prices in dollars or offering special deals to Europe for 2015.

So now’s the time to take that trip to the Continent you’ve been thinking about, baby boomers (and everyone else), but weren’t sure you could afford!

 

(An earlier version of this post — when the dollar wasn’t even quite as strong as it is now — appeared in StrideTravel.com. Check out Stride for all the best in organized travel.)

 

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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