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  • Writer's pictureDonna Zabel

Five Reasons Why NOW is the Time to Travel to Europe

Welcome to Europe

If you postponed your summer trip to Europe you weren’t alone. You had heard about the fires in France and Spain, severe draught forcing changes or cancelations of Danube and Rhine River cruises, sky-high airfare prices, overcrowded airports with check-in lines stretching for blocks, thousands of canceled and delayed flights. Well, summer is over and right now travel to Europe has never looked better, especially for Americans.

Exchange Rates

First, the dollar has reached a previously unheard-of equality with the Euro. That means your money buys as much as 50% more than it has in recent history. Several years ago, my $100 bill would get me sixty-five euros. Now I look at prices in euros and can think equivalent dollars. That is an enormous difference. A recent 40-euro taxicab to the airport cost $40, not $60.

Second, those outrageous summer airfares have dropped by at least 35% and up to 50%. In July, an economy class ticket from Cleveland to Paris could cost $1800, in October that same ticket is less than a thousand dollars. To me that means more wonderful evenings of amazing French wine and food, upgrading to a boutique Parisian hotel, or adding a unique tour to my travel, and not worrying when I hand over my credit card at the end of a memorable evening.

Third, the rain has returned. Not enough to spoil your sightseeing, just enough to restore the wonderful waterways of Europe, to turn the countryside lush and beautiful again. Once again you can sail along the Rhine, marveling at medieval castle after castle. You can travel along the historic Danube, through ancient Budapest and imperial Vienna, visiting charming quaint cities, enjoying unique culinary experiences. My October River cruise is booked, and I am ready to go.

Castles on the Rhine River

Parisian Cafes

Fourth, Europe in the fall is less crowded, the pace less frenetic. The children are back in school, August—the month Europeans travel and vacation—is a distant memory. It is cooler but not cold, the shops are open and welcoming, the crowds outside museums and monuments reduced. It is a perfect time to find that little café and watch the world go by over a mid-morning cappuccino or an afternoon aperitif.

Fifth, with the crowds gone and the holidays still months away, many companies offer their best specials of the year. Two for one, 50% off second passenger, reduced single supplement, included select air fare—there is an offer for everyone during this value season. You need expert advice navigating the offers, determining which are the best suited to your personal style of travel, but they are there.

Bon Voyage

In fact, after waiting for the world to open again and watching pandemic related growing pains get worked out, I will plan more than one trip to Europe this year. The Danube River cruise is booked and bags about packed, but this year I will think about a Christmas market cruise. Or may just hop a plane and head out in a favorite city. Why not? Where would you like to go?



Donna Zabel, owner of DreamMaker Destinations, has been helping travelers turn their travel dreams into travel reality for over 20 years. Having explored all seven continents and over 135 countries, she enjoys sharing her travel tales and encourages everyone to find their own story to tell.

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