With the strongest dollar in the last 9 years, it can be a good idea to consider Europe as a perfect summer destination this summer. Exchange rates are very favorable for US travelers and you can enjoy Europe without much buyer's remorse.
I put together some data and decided to compare typical travel costs for popular destinations in Europe. Most of them can offer a traveler both cultural and beach experience with magical European flavor and charm.
For our comparison, we used "3 star traveler Index", calculated by Priceoftravel.com. However, we adjusted the numbers, based on actual currency exchange rates and handpicked our favorite destinations that are not only inexpensive, but also exciting and worth spending 10 and more hours on a plane. For domestic travel option to beautiful St. Petersburg. FL we used data, provided by budgetyourtrip.com for a budget type of travel.
What surprised me - the most affordable Euro destinations are in line with domestic travel in terms of cost effectiveness.
Here are some assumptions used in our calculations.
Calculations are based on two persons sharing standard double room and taxi rides for 10 days.
Cheap but good 3 *** star hotels in a center location (having good and excellent average user reviews on booking.com). We used out-of-peak season prices.
Airfare calculation is based on Hipmunk.com best prices for economy class return tickets between New York City and a selected destination. Travel time is less than 14 hours and there is no more than one stop for all destinations on the list.
Other expenses represent midrange traveler expenditures, not the luxury type, but not the cheapest one either. Typical everyday expenses include one short taxi ride per person (two for a couple per day), one attraction (a museum or similar), 3 decent meals, 3 wine or beer.
Some European currencies got a big hit last year with a strong dollar and oil prices drop. Russian ruble (RUB) is among them, which makes one of the most beautiful and European-like cities of Russia – Saint Petersburg the cheapest destination on our list, despite the long flight. Total costs per person for a 10 days trip will be around $1276.
It is funny, how close it is to its sister city – Saint Petersburg, Florida in terms of total travel costs - we came up with a $1265 number.
Italian and Spanish cities occupy the middle of the list, some of them are more for beach relaxing, and some offer more cultural experience, but all of them will give you a charm of southern Europe. Our calculations got us a range of $1700-$2100 for Naples, Milan, Tenerife and Ibiza islands, Barcelona and Rome.
Oslo, Norway had been on the pricey side just not so long ago, but Norwegian krone (NOK) is also struggling with low oil prices, putting the Norway trip in the middle of our list. You can also note that the flight cost for Norway is significantly cheaper than for the rest, thanks to a generous Norwegian airlines offer (which in addition is a nice flight on a board of Boeing 787 Dreamliner). The trip is $1935 per person.
The top of our list is occupied by two beautiful cities of Venice and Paris, both inimitable, alluring and usually expensive. You can notice that total costs for the top destinations on our list is in $2200-$2500 range which is twice higher than for the bottom ones.
Buckle your seatbelt, relax and enjoy your virtual trip to Europe with our chart.
Most of the counties on our list use Euro currency, with the only exception of Russia and Norway. Regardless, it is true for all of them that the most convenient and less expensive payment method abroad is using your credit card wherever it is possible – you cannot beat the exchange rates that VISA and MasterCard offer for automatic currency conversions. Get yourself a card that does not charge an international transaction fee – it will also save you up to 3% on your travel – see our editors picks for cards with no foreign transaction fee.
What is your top summer destination? You can share your thoughts in the comments below.