For Americans, your trip to Europe this summer just got more expensive for hotels, meals, even a cup of coffee.
The Euro, a currency used by 13 countries in Europe, continues to rise in value against the U.S. dollar and has climbed to an all-time high. The British pound, meanwhile, is at its highest value in nearly 15 years.
A Euro now costs $1.36. That means that a hotel room at 200 Euros will cost Americans $272. If the Euro rises to a $1.40 by the time you travel, the room will be $280. A room at 200 British pounds will cost you about $400.
The best way to beat a rising currency like this is buy your vacation package ahead of time. That's one of the reasons that cruises are so popular with Americans traveling to Europe. When you pay for your cruise, that's the price. Your meals, cabin and transportation are included. While the cost of traveling on land is rising, the cost of your cruise is not. Some all-inclusive land tour operators also guarantee prices. Make sure you know the policy, and get it in writing.
All the major cruise lines have ships in Europe this summer, and many are planning to expand their Europe focus next summer, adding more ships. Carnival Cruise Lines announced this week that its new Carnival Splendor will debut in July 2008 and sail on 12-day voyages in Northern Europe -- Denmark, Germany, Finland, Russia, Estonia and the Netherlands. The Splendor will be Carnival's second ship in Europe. The Carnival Freedom, which is in the Mediterranean Sea this summer, will return for 2008. Contact a travel agent who specializes in cruises or visit Carnival at www.carnival.com.
The writer: David Molyneaux is editor of www.TravelMavens.net.