Tag Archives: Europe

Europe on Sale

Euro Exchange Rate

Bad news for the European Union is good news for U.S. travelers. Over the past six months renewed economic concerns in Euroland have driven the area’s currency down nearly 16% versus the U.S. dollar. That means every country using the Euro, all 19 of them, is on sale. Every hotel, every meal, every taxi ride is 16% cheaper than it was just six months ago.

As with most sales, these bargains won’t necessarily last. So if you’ve had your eye on a shiny new European vacation, it’s just gotten a whole lot more affordable.

If you’re in the market for even deeper bargains look further east where the Russian ruble is down about 45% versus the dollar.  

Europe, a Tour for All Your Senses

The Louvre

What makes this style so distinctively French? A certain je ne sais quoi!

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: we’re at a dinner party with some Russians, Germans, French and Dutch when the parrot asks an intriguing question.

Ok, the parrot didn’t ask this particular question, but I had to work the parrot in somehow. Surprisingly he was not part of the menu.

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All Play and No Work

Too Many Roses to Smell

The problem with Europe is that there are too many roses to smell.

“Slow and fast are the Yin and Yang of our travels. Oftentimes we have difficulty striking the right balance between the two. Move too fast and we risk burnout. Move too slow and we get antsy.”

That’s what we said during our first year of full-time travel. It’s just as true more than three years later, although in a bit of a different way.

We eventually got pretty good at finding a balance while traveling in the motor home. After that first year we seemed to develop a bit of a feel for how long we’d need to spend in each type of place. Sometimes that was three days. Other times it was a week.

We usually knew even before we arrived how long we’d want to spend at a destination. And how we’d split that time between sightseeing, work and chores.

Now that we’ve landed in Europe that old sense of balance has gone completely out the window. And there is one reason for that: there’s way too much to do here!!!!

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Magical Madrid, a Surprising Budget Destination

Madrid Skyline

One of the most shocking things about Madrid is how affordable it is, especially for a major Western European city. Compared with places like Paris, London, and even some of the surrounding cities in Spain, Madrid struck us as an absolute bargain.

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5 Things we learned researching our European trip

Louvre at night, Paris

One week from today, we’re setting off on a six-month exploration of Europe. In truth, we don’t know exactly how long we’ll stay there. One thing we do know is that in six month’s time the weather will turn cold again. After enduring this past winter in the U.S. we promised ourselves we wouldn’t spend another one anywhere near a cold climate. So six months sounds like the right amount of time before we’ll want to start a southern migration.

The other thing we know is that we’re limited to 90 days in any and all Schengen area countries. After that we’ll need to exit the visa area, which encompasses most of continental Europe, for another 90 days before we can return again. We intend to spend all of our “Schengen days” this time around in Spain and France.

With our flight to Madrid fast approaching, we’ve spent these past few weeks trying to catch up on trip planning and have made some surprising, and some not so surprising, discoveries.

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