For Americans, the best way to beat the Euro or any other rising foreign currency is to buy your
vacation package ahead of time in U.S. dollars. That's one of the
reasons that summer cruises are so popular with Americans traveling to
The Euro, a currency used by most countries in Europe, is high in value against the U.S. dollar. Trips to Europe continue to get more expensive as the value of the U.S. dollar falls, meaning that prices rise for hotels, meals, even a cup of coffee.
In May 2008, a Euro cost $1.55. In February 2009, a Euro cost $1.26. So, you can see the amount fluxuates. That hotel room at 200 Euros in May 2008 would cost Americans $310. The same room in February 2009 was $252.
The best way to beat a rising or fluxuating 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.
That does not mean a cruise vacation is cheaper than a land vacation in Europe. Many small lodgings in Europe are less expensive than accommodations on a cruise ship. But cruise vacations tend to be less expensive than comparable accommodations and meals on land.
Some all-inclusive land tour operators also guarantee prices in U.S. dollars. Make sure you know the policy, and get it in writing.
Most major cruise lines will have ships in Europe in 2010.
-- By David G. Molyneaux, editor, The Travel Mavens