As the Euro reaches its lowest valuation in two decades, many American travelers will be surprised to find their money going much further during their first post-pandemic vacations back in Europe.
Economists call it ‘parity’ (the state of something being equal). Still, the almost 1:1 ratio of Euro to US dollars can be viewed by us common folk as a rare chance to save money on hotels, food, and entertainment that could be put towards some of our most coveted wishlist items.
Why is the Euro Value Decreasing?
Now, I’m no financial expert (just a nosey journalist). Still, from what I’ve gathered from sources like Bloomberg and The NYTimes, the fall of the Euro can be attributed to two things: inflation due to the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and rising interest rates in America that make USD-backed investments more enticing to the big wigs.
If investors can’t get the growth they’re after, they’ll still settle for stability.
If It’s Worth the Same as the USD, How Exactly Does that Save Me Money?
It’s not unusual for currencies to fluctuate day-to-day, but a disparity of even a few cents can cause big changes in a country’s/continent’s economic market.
Western Europe is generally considered to be a somewhat pricey vacation destination (depending on where you go and what you do) but to further prove my point, let’s take two imaginary weekend trips together, one to Berlin and another to Chicago. Both booked for the same dates.
We’ll share a room at the Ritz Carlton in both cities (in a king bed; I guess we’re BEST friends!) and eat/drink/do activities at comparable places.
Keep in mind that at the time of writing this, the American dollar has pulled slightly ahead, with the official conversion rate being $1, equating to €0.98.
Here’s how everything would break down:
2-night stay at The Ritz Carlton Berlin: €950 (€475 per night)
- Breakfast: €0 (we ate at the hotel before going sightseeing in the morning)
- Casual lunch for two at a beer garden: €26 (pork and mashed potatoes)
- Neues Museum tickets for two: €30
- Casual coffee downtown + people watching to rest our legs: €5
- Nice dinner + drinks in the evening: €146 (6oz steak, veggies, wine)
Total price for the day: €207
Imagine we spent the same amount of money on food and activities during all three days, except you also bought a Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 for €1350 on the second day.
The total cost of the weekend: €2921
2-night stay at The Ritz Carlton Chicago: $1214 ($607 per night)
- Breakfast: $0 (we ate at the hotel)
- Casual lunch for two at a pub: $34 (pulled pork and fries)
- Field Museum tickets for two: $58
- Casual coffee downtown + people watching to rest our legs: $8
- Nice dinner + drinks in the evening: $176 (6oz steak, veggies, wine)
Total price for the day: $276
Again, imagine we spent the same amount on food and activities during all three days, except you also bought a Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 for $1490 on the second day.
The total cost of the weekend: $3,532
That’s 611 in savings! Looks like you could have opted for the Speedy 30 AND a new LV scarf in Berlin.
Current Price Comparison of Classic Bags – USA vs Europe
Upon seeing those savings, I decided to get price checks on some of our favorite bags sold in the US and abroad. (Shoutout to my husband for calling the Chanel stores in France and Italy for us!)
Of course, there was bound to be some difference due to the lack of import taxes, but some of the price differences are still pretty astounding.
|Bag||Euro Price||USA Price|
|Louis Vuitton Speedy 25||€1100||$1,490|
|Louis Vuitton Speedy 30||€1150||$1,550|
|Chanel Medium Classic Flap in black||€8200||$8,800|
|Dior Medium Lady Dior in black Cannage||€5000||$6,100|
|Dior Lady D-Lite in pink||€3900||$5,100|
|Fendi Baguette in beige nappa||€2800||$3,290|
|Gucci Jackie 1961 in brown leather||€2950||$4,980|