If you have travel goals on your New Year's resolution list, I have good news for you. The dollar is historically strong against the euro right now, making a trip abroad less costly.
Compared to a few years ago, you can save up to 25 percent on a trip to Europe thanks to the exchange rate. Jason Clampet, editor in chief and cofounder of the travel trend platform Skift, says, "The dollar is stronger against the euro than it has been in over a decade." In addition, he says, "We're also seeing lower occupancy at hotels in major destinations, so the currency discount plus lower rates is an additional bonus to visitors." As for recent security concerns, like the attack in Berlin, Germany, Skift experts say that travel usually bounces back a few months after such incidents. Executive editor Dennis Schaal agrees, adding that while the events in Germany may not inspire tourists, "Europe is a big place."
While currency rates are influenced by a range of factors (including what Donald Trump will do as president and upcoming elections in Europe), there's no denying that Europe is looking more affordable than it has for a while. "Travel to Europe is all about the exchange rate in 2017, as it was in 2016," Clampet predicts. So why not start exploring? You can begin with these five affordable and beautiful destinations, each including a bonus day trip to help you get the most out of your travel.