5 ways the strong dollar is good for U.S. consumers


If you have been saving for a trip to Europe, now’s a great time to go, says Tom Meyers, founder and editor of eurocheapo, because you’ll get more bang for your buck. Sure, airfares are still high despite lower oil prices, but once you touch down, you’ll reap the savings. After all, the exchange rate [track rates online at X-Rates] for the euro, used in 19 countries, is better than it’s been in more than a decade.

Consider this example from Meyers: A 10-day trip to France today for a budget-conscious couple would cost $ 3,990 (assuming this couple spent a conservative 350 euros/day on lodging, food, ground transportation, attractions and shopping). This same trip a year ago would have cost $ 4,865 (savings: $ 875). In 2008, when the dollar hit lows, this vacation would have cost a whopping $ 5,600 (savings: $ 1610).

Vera Gibbons is a financial journalist. A former analyst with MSNBC who appeared regularly on the “Today Show,” Gibbons has written for numerous magazines including Inc., SmartMoney, Kiplinger’s, Real Simple, and All You. She recently hosted a series on Yahoo! called “Savvy Spender” and has just competed a personal finance insurance series for msn.com.

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