With the strong dollar compared to the weak euro, US tourists in Europe are spending

Americans traveling to Europe have a weaker euro license to show off.

The euro briefly reached parity with the US dollar on Thursday and the European single currency briefly dropped below $1 last week. Parity occurs when two currencies have the same value. This move marks the lowest level for the euro since 2002, as the currency has fallen 15% against the dollar over the past year.

Limits for investors Several months of decline In the case of the euro, the war in Ukraine and other problems are affecting Europe’s energy supply and economy. But for Americans who roam the continent, the weak euro and … The dollar rises They go shopping.

Many tourists in the United States spend in the Residence on luxury goods, good and fine wines. Others say they plan additional return trips abroad to take advantage of the potential savings. Traveling to Europe also offers Americans a brief respite from the impact of rising inflation, as the stronger dollar helped offset some of the higher costs in Europe.

Shannon Maines and her husband recently spent a month in Europe, including a train journey on the popular Orient Express from France to Italy in a two-person cabin, starting at $3,600 per person. The couple, who live in Winter Garden, Florida, paid a total of nearly $1,000 for the trip, as Ms. Maines attributed the experience to herself through her job.

They visited Disneyland Paris and stayed in a Disney hotel. The money was spent on touring the vineyards and cycling in France’s Burgundy region. Ms. Mainz bought Gucci jewelry and accessories in Italy.

Shannon and Kevin Maines rented quad bikes in Mykonos, Greece, which they say they wouldn’t have done without the correct exchange rate.

Shannon Mainz

There were also small treats: on many evenings the couple bought a bottle of wine to enjoy the view from the hotel room. On previous trips they opted for cheaper bottles – around 3 or 4 euros – but this time they opted for the more expensive offers due to the strong dollar.

“We used to go on this trip on a budget and say, ‘We can have three drinks,'” Ms. Maines says. “But basically we decided to do what we wanted.”

Alyssa Brown, a 26-year-old design researcher, flew 24 hours from Chicago to Paris with one goal in mind: the Saint Laurent bag she’d been waiting for as an investment.

When she changed jobs in April, she made a plan.

“I made the change I was making and I wanted to celebrate the occasion,” he says.

Alyssa Brown in Paris in April, saved about $700 on a Saint Laurent bag.

Coriss Ogar

As the dollar rose against the euro, Brown flew back to Paris in April with partner benefits as an airline employee. In Paris, Ms. Brown paid a total of $1,833 for the Saint Laurent Sunset Medium Chain Bag — about $700 less than its $2,550 list price.

In total, US travelers spent 56% more money in Europe in June than in the same period in 2019, according to VAT refund provider Planet. Richemont, owner of Cartier and watchmaker Vacheron Constantin, posted a 42% increase in sales in Europe for the quarter ended June 30. The company said the increase was the result of domestic demand and the return of tourism spending from the Americas and the Middle East.

A more favorable exchange rate for Americans also helps eliminate unavoidable travel costs, such as higher hotel room rates. The average daily rate for a hotel room in Europe was €154.41 for the 28-day period ending July 9, according to STR data and hospitality analysts, nearly 44% more than last year.

Jennifer Bohm, a marketing manager from New York, recently traveled to Amsterdam and Copenhagen to visit her son, who is studying in Europe. When booking accommodation for a trip, Ms. Baum said hotel prices were higher than she expected.

But as the dollar was strong against the euro and Danish krone, Ms. Baum says she felt she was enjoying the benefits of her stay.

“When I finally got the bill, I wasn’t shocked,” she says.

Kristen Taylor says she will try to return to Europe after her visit.

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A retired high school teacher and debate coach from Stewart, Florida, recently took an 11-day tour of Europe with EF Tours, a company specializing in educational travel. The tour visited five countries, starting in Paris and ending in Vienna.

Lunch, dinner and activities are included in the cost of the tour, but Ms Taylor says she indulges in more expensive purchases than usual when visiting Europe. In Paris she tried tulips. When the tour visited the famous perfume factory Fragonard, she bought herself a bottle of perfume that she loved. In the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, she bought a porcelain flower necklace.

Ms. Taylor has another 10-day vacation in Rome planned for September. With the exchange rate as favorable as it is now, it is considering another trip later this year.

“One of my favorite things to do is spend a week in Paris, going to museums,” he says, imagining his next trip to Europe.

Madeleine Sadlovsky, 26, traveled to Italy in June for her honeymoon to Rome, Tuscany and Capri.

Ms. Sadlowsky and her husband had not checked the exchange rate before arriving and did not notice how close the dollar was to the euro until they arrived.

During the trip, Mrs. Sadlovsky was looking for a luxurious handbag that her husband had promised as a wedding gift. She ended up buying an exotic Bvlgari leather bag for about $2,750, which is over $4,000 in the United States from the Bvlgari website.

“In the beginning, we wouldn’t put that much money in a wallet,” he says. I also save on VAT refunds, allowing non-EU residents to claim tax refunds on certain goods.

Given the exchange rate and lower prices for luxury items, Ms Sadłowski made additional purchases during the trip, such as more expensive Hermès wines and sandals, which she initially had no intention of purchasing.

“It was hard to resist a pair of Aperol Spritzes and the difference in price,” he says.

Packaged planes, higher prices and less Covid-19 regulation would be a boon to the airline industry around the world. However, with the peak of the summer season, the shares of several major US carriers have fallen. Joe Wallace of the WSJ explains what influences airline action. Photo: Frank Augustin / Associated Press

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