One lower cost of traveling

As the economy has recovered, air fares are up.  Hotels are more expensive, and gas isn’t giving us much of a break either.  As people begin to make their summer vacation plans, does anything look like a bargain? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

If you can afford it, if you can afford those air fares and hotels , traveling Europe is looking very, very good.  And specifically, travel in Europe to any country that uses the Euro.

The value of our dollar against the Euro has gone up by 15 percent in the last two years.  And I think this is largely due to the economic problems that we’ve seen in Europe, which has made investors shy away from Europe, and those investors have looked more favorably at U.S. investments.

And when that happens, that tends to push up the value of our currency — the dollar — and push down the value of the European currency, the Euro.  So that means that if you do travel in Europe and anything that you purchase is Euro based, you’re going to get much more of a bargain than you did a couple of years ago.

So I would argue in terms of making your travel plans this year — I certainly don’t want to sway people from going to our great beaches and mountains in North Carolina or anywhere in the U.S. — but if you are looking at Europe this could actually be a good time to go in terms of what it would cost you once you’re there.

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