Wednesday, January 13, 2010

GULP!


Europe beckons. My dear wife and I are planning a trip to Europe in the fall, probably October. We have been talking about this trip for a while. We lived in Germany for three years, so we've seen a lot of the continent. There are innumerable places we've been to, some several times, that I would go back to. Any place in The Netherlands, for example. Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin, Paris . . . we saw all the major capitals. Today we had the first sit-down meeting with the travel agent who is going to take care of us on this trip. Our goal: spend roughly 30 days over there--if you're going, go. A week in Europe, although better than nothing is barely enough time to get acclimated--and see places we've not seen before. That would be a hell of a lot of places, but our sights are set on Ireland, the south-of-Paris part of France, plus Normandy; Spain; Portugal.

I just thought you might be interested in costs these days. These are all euro countries, and as of today, a dollar buys .68 euros, or another way, $1.42 buys one euro. Who knows what it'll cost later on. (I've already told Susan that if the dollar really tanks against the euro, trip is off.) Here's the rough guesstimate of various costs we talked about today.

  • air fare, US to Europe & return  ==  $1000 each
  •  air fare, Ireland to continent  ==  $200-300 each
  • lodging (hotels, b&b)  ==  $125/day
  • 10-day train pass (for the continent)  ==  $600-800 each
  • food  ==  $100/day
  • car + gas (Ireland)  ==  $250/wk + $4.78 per gallon
Not included: other spending like shopping and miscellaneous expenses.

All of this is, shall we say . . . daunting.
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