The story of the strong dollar destination….
Back when I was a little girl (aka 2-3 years ago), I remember how expensive it was to travel to Europe. Flights hovered around the $1300 mark, and almost everything you bought was double the U.S. price — 10 euro lunches were really $18 lunches, and 100 euro dinners were really $180 dinners. For penny-saving peeps like me, the mental math of how much we were spending on vacation was literal torture.
OK, enough reminiscing. We are in a new age, where it’s actually cheaper to fly to places like London and Amsterdam than it is to fly to L.A.
Best news I’ve heard in a long time: we are almost at a 1:1 exchange rate where $1 is actually the same value as 1 euro. EQUALITY FOR ALL!
What does this mean? The time is now to travel to Europe.
Strong dollar destination #5: Amsterdam
I’ll be honest — my initial perception of Amsterdam was not good. I thought that the air would be polluted with gigantic gusts of weed smoke, prostitutes would litter the streets and that the city itself would be dark and grungy. I have literally no explanation for why I felt this way.
Then, I visited….and found out that Amsterdam is one of the loveliest cities on earth. Imagine canals dividing rows of beautiful homes and shops, with colorful bikes parked along the water. The streets are filled with inviting sidewalk cafes, hidden gardens, hundreds of bicyclists and FRESH air. Some of the world’s most renowned museums are located here, making the city one that is incredibly rich in culture and history.
Flights from major hubs this week were less than $400 per person, and I found packages priced at $1499 for TWO PEOPLE to spend about a week with roundtrip flights and 4-star hotels.
Strong dollar destination #4: Portugal
Are you all about that beach life? Are you someone who loves delicious wine, fresh seafood and gorgeous views? Portugal has it all.
The capital city of Lisbon is one of Europe’s sunniest cities, offering more daylight hours than most places on earth. Here, you can really seize the longest day ever…..carpe diem, my friends! The second largest city is Porto, the birthplace of port wine, so you’ll def want to set time aside to sip many-a-glass during many-a-sunset. And when you’re done experiencing all of that magic, there’s also a collection of even more beautiful beaches along the Portuguese Riviera.
Strong dollar destination #3: Vienna
As the wise Billy Joel once said….”Vienna waits for you.” Vienna, thank you for your patience!! I made it!
The city felt like a combo of Paris and Barcelona, with ornate buildings on every street corner, a ton of pedestrian walkways filled with boutiques, bars and restaurants and a ridiculous amount of gelato shops. No matter where you looked, someone was always eating gelato.
You’ll find balance in this vibrant city — you might spend an afternoon touring the extravagant Hofburg Palace and then hit the pub an hour later for copious amounts of beer and sausage. #Equilibrium
The classical music scene is also pretty awesome, for all you secret Beethoven afficionados. We know you’re out there! Even if you don’t make time for a night at the opera, distant melodies flow through the streets, as musicians practice in open gardens and on popular street corners.
Click here for some of our favorite Vienna activities.
Strong dollar destination #2: Florence
What’s there to say about Florence that hasn’t already been said? It’s an ideal destination for foodies, landmark lovers and hopeless romantics. After a casual climb to the top of the Duomo for sprawling city views, you can explore open-air markets, down some delicious pizza and pasta and then make way to the Ponte Vecchio bridge for Instagram opps.
Foodies: if you listen to anything I say, let it be this…YOU MUST EAT AT ACQUA AL TU. Order the pasta primi for the table, blueberry steak and a bottle of wine and then come back and thank me as soon as your plane hits the ground.
We also love that Florence is the gateway to Tuscany, where you can explore all the charming little villages and towns that make this wine region so special. There are a ton of wine tours and Tuscan cooking classes that start in Florence, so you’ll have a DD at your disposal which is v. important.
Click here to book some of our favorite Florence activities.
Strong dollar destination #1: Santorini
While there is no proof that heaven actually exists, I can confirm that I’ve seen an earthly version with my own two eyes. All you have to do is travel to Greece to experience it for yourself.
As if the seemingly endless stretch of vast blue sea wasn’t enough to make you weak in the knees, the caldera villages that border the water create an ambiance that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. The sunsets here can quite possibly not be rivaled by any other sunset, as pastel colors light up the sky every single night, without fail.
I sound like I’m a creeper, obsessed with Santorini, but that’s because I am. I’m not ashamed. Santorini, ILU! The views will never, ever get old and guess what? They come free with your sea-facing hotel room. Not a penny spent.
All joking aside, you can hop on a flight to Athens for about $600 per person, and then either fly or ferry over to the islands for cheap. Meals can be as inexpensive or as fancy as you want them to be — some of our best meals were 2 euro handheld gyros.
Click here to book some of our favorite Santorini activities.
Moral of the Story
Want my best advice? If there’s a special trip you’ve been wanting to take or a bucket list destination you’ve been dying to see, cross that sucker off now. Be spontaneous. Cheap flights can disappear at any moment, so book them as soon as you see them and then let us figure out all the details for you later.
Click here to start planning your trip.