Hi from Rick: Have Fun with a Stronger Dollar
|We can't lock in what you'll pay for beer, but touring with us in 2008 can pleasantly insulate you from the rising euro.|
Dear Back Door Traveler,
I'm on the road a lot this month, hosting pledge drives at public television stations around the country. The dollar is taking a beating, so everywhere I go travelers are asking me: "Should I visit Europe in 2008, or wait another year?"
Actually, you're better off traveling sooner than later — if you take the right tour. Here's why...
One euro now costs about $1.50, compared to $1.30 a year ago. So everything an American traveler needs to pay for out-of-pocket that's priced in euros has become 15% more expensive. But that doesn't mean your 2008 trip will cost 15% more.
The "out-of-pocket" part is the key. Let's assume the dollar continues to weaken by the time you arrive in Europe. If you're on one of our tours, that means you've locked in the price ahead of time (for example, our 2008 tour prices are based on a $1.35 euro rate) — and you've paid for the lion's share of your trip in stronger dollars than an independent traveler who lacks this option. Since our tour price covers most of your European expenses (hotels, transportation, group meals, sightseeing admissions and guide services), you'll only end up paying the higher euro rate for out-of-pocket extras: non-group meals, souvenirs and other personal items.
Aside from the currency "hedge", our tours give you other cost-savings vs. mainstream tours. Because we include so much, your out-of-pocket travel budget won't be eaten away by the daily, extra-cost "optional excursions" and tips that other companies use to keep their sticker prices artificially low. And did you see the article in the news this week about how tour companies are billing customers for fuel and currency "surcharges" on top of their published tour prices? They get away with it because it's in their fine print. But I'll never allow that with our tours.
Why not just wait until 2009? We haven't set our 2009 tour prices yet, but if the euro stays this strong, I'd be crazy not to charge more.
The bottom line: Taking one of our tours in 2008 will be a bargain — and a lot of fun. I hope you can join us.