Skip to content

The dollar and the euro are equal for the first time in 20 years: What that means for summer travel

July 12, 2022
5 min read
Travelex currency exchange
The dollar and the euro are equal for the first time in 20 years: What that means for summer travel
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


Trying to plan a European vacation but worried about ever-increasing travel prices? We have good news for you: For the first time in 20 years, the dollar is at parity with the euro.

At press time the exchange rate is $1 = 1 euro.

With the strong dollar to the euro exchange, Americans will see a nearly 15% discount on purchases compared to the same time last year when the exchange rate was $1= 1.19 euro, and a 12% discount since the beginning of the year when the $1 = 1.13 euro.

That means once you arrive in Paris, Amsterdam, Rome or any other city in the 19-country European Union, you’ll be able to make purchases without running conversion charts in your head or worrying about the built-in markup on everything.

Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.

If you're wondering why the euro is losing value, according to a report from Reuters, a recession looms across Europe — the result of “Russia’s move to cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland” and the fear of gas restrictions throughout the rest of Europe.

That’s coupled with “the twin headwinds of a surging dollar and sweeping COVID-linked lockdowns in China, a major market for bloc exports.”

The dollar is expected to continue to increase in value against the euro.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

This exchange rate was last seen nearly 20 years ago, in December 2002, and it's good news for anyone planning a trip to Europe this summer, according to Leslie Overton, the director of travel operations at travel advisor consortium Fora.

“It would be difficult for there to be more interest in Europe than there is right now,” said Overton.

She also noted that while summer is always a popular time for Americans to visit Europe, it feels “more urgent now” with travelers eager to return to pre-pandemic travel.

The problem? Although interest is high, affordable hotel availability isn’t.

This is because some hotels remain closed after the pandemic and some properties are facing staffing shortages. There’s also an overall surge in interest, making everything seem “tight,” according to Overton.

Recent hotel data backs up this trend, with hotels in Europe the last week in June performing 11% better than the same time in 2019, according to data from hospitality analytics firm Smith Travel Research (STR). The figures were also a nearly 3% increase from the prior week.

The silver lining is the advantageous exchange rate, Overton said.

“Travelers who had been on the fence about pulling the trigger on trips have been suddenly ready to commit after seeing parity come into view,” she said. “I had a client call me at home last night and say, ‘I want to pay for this right now!’ in case the exchange rate goes back up.”

Overton added that within her company’s advisor pool, there are always clients looking for rooms in the $200 to $300 range in Paris, which wouldn’t have been possible a few months ago but can actually happen now given that exchange rate.

“My advice is for anyone who’s been thinking ‘maybe’ about booking hotels in Europe this summer is take advantage of the exchange rate and lock it in, and don’t miss this opportunity,” Overton said.

One note from TPG: It’s always best to find a hotel deal that will let you cancel and rebook instead of locking you into a nonrefundable hotel rate.

Related: Traveling to Europe this summer? Here’s what to expect

The strong dollar also bodes well for shoppers who would gain even more purchasing power if the euro continues its devaluation.

One sweet spot, according to PurseBop: luxury goods from companies such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton. These internationally popular brands use what the site calls a ‘price harmonization strategy’ that makes prices equal across the globe.

Here’s an example from PurseBop: Chanel priced a medium classic flap bag at 7,800 euros and $8,800 in February 2022, when the exchange rate was 1.13 euros to $1. When converted, the euro price came to $8,814, about the same as the U.S. dollar price.

At press time in early July, that euro price hadn’t been adjusted — which means U.S. shoppers buying that bag in Europe, for now, will receive the equivalent of a $1,000 discount.

Of course, these luxury companies could adjust their pricing soon to reflect the changing euro value.

However, if you’re headed to Europe in the near future and are in the market for an investment bag or designer goods, now just might be the time to crunch the numbers — and get shopping.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

Earn 60,000 points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.