NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the first time in 20 years, that dollar in a traveler's pocket is worth about the same as a euro.
Because of soaring inflation in Europe and the Ukraine war, the euro has weakened. Last week, one U.S. dollar and one euro were worth the same thing for the first time since 2002.
The exchange rate fluctuates often. As of July 27 to get one euro, you need one U.S. dollar and two pennies.
The favorable exchange rate is coinciding with the first summer in three years that European travel is a safe option again.
Lee Robinson is a travel advisor at Belle Meade Vacations. Many of her clients opted for domestic trips in 2020 and 2021, but 2022 is a different story because there are fewer COVID-19 restrictions.
"They didn't want to come down with COVID, get stuck somewhere and not be able to come home," said Lee Robinson.
Now, to be able to say the exchange rate for euros is the best it's been in two decades is a bonus.
"It's a great relief. It's kind of one of those secondary things clients don't think about until they're about to travel and we start discussing getting money exchanged, what's the exchange rate, what's the approximate USD of the exchange rate, and then they're all thrilled," Robinson said.
The euro is the national currency in 19 counties, including Italy, France and Spain — some of the first places to lock down at the start of the pandemic.
The ongoing war in Ukraine and spiking natural gas prices don't make expects believe the euro will not rebound this year.
If you're going on a trip to Europe, it's probably a good idea to pay now for your hotel room versus wait. Even if it is a few months away, you may also want to exchange your dollars for euros now.
Travel advisors say you should always have some local cash on you for tipping, shopping or if your bank shuts off your card.