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Old 06-01-2010, 09:32 PM   #21
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The Htown family will be in France for two weeks in July, with Harry, DW and DD#2 visiting DD #1 now studying in Paris.

We'll spend some easy time in Paris at her host's home, then head out for 10 days testing how fast euros spend in southern France (Provence).

Although the drop in the exchange rate is certainly welcome news, it had no impact on our decision to go.

I don't think it will have too much of an effect on the itinerary, either. Compared to our typical vacation, this one is in already 3x or 4x more expensive. If the exchange rates makes it 2.5x or 3.5x as expensive, so much the better.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:11 AM   #22
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We live in Canada. We are planning an extended trip to Europe next spring, probably three months or so-maybe more if we can get a decent rental. We have been spending more time in the US for the past two years-more cruises etc. because the exchange rates are very good (comparatively). We maintain US dollar bank accounts and credit cards in order to avoid those excessive bank charges. We are now just looking at starting to buy Euros and GBP's for our trip next year. We will probably average down as I suspect both the Euro and the GBP have a little way to go yet vis a vis our CAD dollar. Last time we were in Europe, to CAD, the GBP was $2.20 and Euro was $1.66 ish. It is now about $1.50 and 1.35 respectively. This should make a huge difference. We are also looking at doing something in the fall as transocean air fares show signs of decreasing in price. Exchange rates always play a part in our vacation decisions. We avoided the US and US based cruises when our dollar was low in favour of trips to Mexico, Cuba etc. and to places like Turkey. There are so many places on our list so it is just as easy for us to pick somewhere with an exchange or price advantage and it makes our vacation dollar go so much further.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:04 AM   #23
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We are going on a 12 day Cruise departing from Barcelona in August, visiting France, Italy and Croatia also doing a 4 night pre cruise tour of Spain starting in Madrid. While the Euro is relatively weak, still is about 30% higher than it was last time I was in Europe, a year or so after the Euro was adopted.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:53 AM   #24
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We are going to Venice->Salzburg->Verona->Florence->Rome->Sicily->Paris in July. So far hotel prices have been reasonable. Since I started planning the trip in January, the exchange rate has dropped from 1.5 (or so) to now 1.2. Can't complain!
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:23 AM   #25
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We hope to squeeze in a European vacation next year. We are working on spending on our BA visa card so we can get a free ticket for one of us. We truly do not have time to get to Europe in 2010, all vacation time has been promised to other locations.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:38 AM   #26
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Thumbs up Cruising.....

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Originally Posted by Cruisinthru View Post
In the Spring of 2011 we will take a TA cruise from Galveston to Barcelona. We plan to stay in Spain and France for a week or two. We are just planning out where we want to go and see on that trip.
Ditto,,,Voyager of the Seas?
We are planning on Voyager of the Seas repo in the spring and the Epic back in the fall with a round trip ticket IAH to BCN using the Chase British Airways points or free companion ticket program. Will spend some time in Spain on one end or the other. Along with the better exchange rate it will make the vacation seem "almost" free compared to last years.
I am also looking for a London-Miami/ Miami- London double repo for 2012 as I think the pound is still going down further. We want to spend some time in Scotland and England.
Repositioning cruises are such a great deal if airfare can be arranged and they go somewhere you want to go anyway. We are going Miami to Valparaiso Chile in December thru the Panama Canal. Cost about half what a comparable vacation would have and the airfare home was included so no penalty for one way flight.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:54 AM   #27
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Twofortheroad,

Are you saying you plan to cruise from the US to Europe, stay all summer, then return in the fall on the Europe-US repo? If so, that would be quite a stylish way to get to/from Europe.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:05 AM   #28
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Fuego,
No, but that would really be a vacation!! Even though retired we just have too many obligations to spend that much time away.
We are cruising over to Barcelona in spring, flying home then flying over to BCN in the fall and cruising home. We will spend a week or two in Spain while there.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:07 PM   #29
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two4throad,

Yes, We are going to be on the Voyager of the Seas repositioning May 1 out of Galveston. Right now we are planning on spending a few days in Barcelona after the cruise and then taking an overnight train to Paris. After a few days in Paris we will fly home. It looks like we will be traveling with a good number of our neighbors. We booked it and the word has spread about what a great deal. Everyone is jumping on. This will be our first TA, but we love to cruise, so we know we will love it.

We will have to meet up at the coffee shop or the Duck and Dog on board.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:07 PM   #30
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I just booked a trip to Switzerland. I pretty much always fly into the same European airport every year and last time I saw such cheap air fares was in 2004! Same flight/airline as last year, similar time of year too, but the price was 23% lower.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:20 PM   #31
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Twofortheroad,

Are you saying you plan to cruise from the US to Europe, stay all summer, then return in the fall on the Europe-US repo? If so, that would be quite a stylish way to get to/from Europe.
Oh, ok. I have often thought how awesome that would be - travel to/from Europe via cruise ship, then stay 4-5 months in Europe exploring. 2 weeks on either end of the vacation to transition yourself into/out of vacation mode while crossing the Atlantic.

I have considered using repositioning cruises as the backbone of our itinerary for a trip around the world spanning many months, or maybe a year. Cheap, relaxing one way international transportation. The idea has not been explored further I might add.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:31 PM   #32
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Since repositioning cruises are usually about four to five months apart it would make for a long time in Europe. For instance the boats leave the caribbean in April and May and usually start coming back in Sept thru November. The same with the ones from the west coast. They are going from South America, Caribbean, and Mexicos in April or May on their way to Alaska and don't return until late Sept. and into November.

One way trips on them can be an inexpensive way to get to Europe, We will be spending 14 days on the Voyager in a balcony cabin for $1044 each. That is about the cost of the cheapest air fare we could find. The ship is wonderful and as retirees we have plenty of time, so why spend time in a cramped flight and fight our way thru the airports when we can enjoy 14 days at a floating resort.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:51 PM   #33
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We did the European vacation thing approximately six years ago before we started having kids. But if we ever make it across the pond again, we'll be returning to Dubrovnik, Croatia. My family is from Croatia but it's also gorgeous.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:45 PM   #34
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A good friend of ours used airline point tickets to obtain open jaw return air to Europe. They then did two transatlantic repositionings-one each way. They did one trip in the spring, the second in the fall.
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:53 AM   #35
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We are going on a 12 day Cruise departing from Barcelona in August, visiting France, Italy and Croatia also doing a 4 night pre cruise tour of Spain starting in Madrid. While the Euro is relatively weak, still is about 30% higher than it was last time I was in Europe, a year or so after the Euro was adopted.
Airfare was a shock. We ended up using frequent Delta Frequent flyer miles and buying DW's ticket. Definitely waited to long for booking it. My 100K frequent flyer miles with the British Airway card were useless as they have no available program seats during our timeframe.

Euro is now only about 20% higher than last time we were in Europe...keep dropping.
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:48 AM   #36
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I just booked a trip to Switzerland. I pretty much always fly into the same European airport every year and last time I saw such cheap air fares was in 2004! Same flight/airline as last year, similar time of year too, but the price was 23% lower.
Switzerland

Which part, French, German, or Italian?
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:11 AM   #37
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Switzerland

Which part, French, German, or Italian?
French. Geneva is my European home base.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:26 AM   #38
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French. Geneva is my European home base.

Do you hotel it or rent in Geneva? We too are looking into that area for a base. Annecy to the south and Wengen/Grindelwald to the east for hiking.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:48 AM   #39
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Do you hotel it or rent in Geneva? We too are looking into that area for a base. Annecy to the south and Wengen/Grindelwald to the east for hiking.
Luckily, I have family in the area. They provide us with free lodging for now... But we are looking into buying a small condo in the area. If the dollar were to strengthen some more, we might be able to jump on some opportunities.
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:47 PM   #40
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I lived in Troinex (right at the base of the Salève and the last stop on the Geneva city bus line) from 1984 to 1987 and it was probably the best three years of my life. In the winter you could wake up on Saturday morning, decide to go skiing and be on any number of fine slopes with a couple of hours.

My Texan/Genevois accent really perplexed the French though. In Paris folks would occasionally respond to me in German. One old lady in a tiny town earned my everlasting gratitude by asking me which department I was from.

Apologies for reminiscing. Good memories though.

I envy you your trip. Have a great time, and keep us posted.
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