About 35 of those comments were from readers who say that next year they plan to go to Alaska, Asia, and Latin America instead of Europe because of the weak buying power of the dollar.
Here's a sampling of the comments:
The last two years I've visited Thailand and Japan, and will continue visiting Asia until the dollar recovers against the euro. Even in allegedly expensive Tokyo, I spent $200/night for a 4* hotel and less than $100 day for all other expenses, including food, transportation, etc. Right now, I think much of Asia is a better value for the money. Posted by: Mark Plimpton
I just canceled a three-week 2008 vacation to Italy because of the currency problem. The prices for everything there were more than I wanted to pay. My last trip to Europe was in 2001. Even Canadian vacations are priced beyond what I am comfortable paying. So, for 2008 I have booked a nice vacation to Brazil and Argentina. Europe will have to wait.Posted by: James Miller
Ditto to James' comment. My mother and I made a trip to Florence and Pisa back in March. Even though it was not yet tourist season, we were shocked at the prices, to the point where we ended up eating ethnic cuisines instead of Italian food because the restaurants, overall, were so pricey. I've opted for a trip to Argentina this year. Airfare is steep, but I feel confident my tour partners and I will be able to enjoy ourselves Plus, the country offers interesting cultural events and has a laid-back atmosphere, or so I'm told! Posted by: Nichole
The short answer is "No" we won't be going back to Europe anytime soon. In Feb we went to Vietnam and Cambodia where the $ still buys something. Previously we had been on inexpensive trips to Thailand and China. Next we're going to India and South America. A few months ago we went to Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania ending up for a week in the Bavarian Alps. We made out OK mainly because I had worked and lived in Europe for about 10 years and sort of know my way around. The travel magazines would be wise to focus more on the dollar friendly countries and less on the Euro countries. Posted by: Jerry Gross
We went to Greece this past summer with our 3 children and were very suprised as the cost of eating out. 200 to 250 euros was typical for the 5 of us. We're skipping France/Italy this summer and doing Alaska instead. If the dollar goes back up then France/Italy for 09, otherwise it's China. Posted by: Nick Exarhakis
I am still skipping Europe because of the exchange rate. This year I did Vietnam and back to Argentina. Vietnam is a great bargain. Argentina is costing more than in the past few years but still a bargain. I am also avoiding Australia for the same reason. I will go back once the exchange rate is a better value to us. Posted by: John Roberts
My sister and I went to Italy in October. It was her first visit. My last visit was 1995 and everything was a steal. I looked at leather in Florence, but couldn't justify that price when I remembered how little I paid before. The cost of food was considerably higher. We conserved by having smaller meals and trying to find small establishments off the beaten path and away from the piazzas. Our guide in Rome indicated that cost of living for Italians has tripled since advent of the Euro. We won't be visiting Europe again until the dollar improves. We are considering South America or Alaskan cruise/tour or a return to Big Island of Hawaii for our next trip. There's alot of the states that we haven't seen yet too. Posted by: Sarah, from Michigan.
Six of us went to Rome & Almalfi this fall and did curtail shopping for mementos due to the poor exchange rate. I like the idea of renting houses or apartments to help reduce the costs. We have also considered cruising the Mediterranean but will definitely look for an American line that uses US dollars on board rather Euros. The UK? Forget it. Basically, we are waiting for the dollar to become stronger as I think all US travelers should consider. There are many new places becoming more attractive..S. America, Chech Republic (before they convert) and even the good ole' U.S. of A!! Posted by: Vicki Mitchell