How You Can Take Ad­van­tage of the Low Euro

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For any­one con­sid­er­ing a Euro­pean tour this sum­mer, things are look­ing pretty good right now.

As has been widely re­ported the euro has tum­bled in value over the last sev­eral months. In fact many ex­perts think it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble that the cur­rency may soon reach par­ity with the dollar for only the sec­ond time since its in­cep­tion. At time of writ­ing the value of a euro was around $1.06, and Deutsche Bank thinks it might bot­tom out some­where around $.085.

Much of the change has been at­trib­uted to a weaker than av­er­age bond mar­ket as well as pro­found, struc­tural con­cerns brought on by the pro­longed Greek de­pres­sion. While trou­bling for in­vestors, the euro’s plum­met is great news for va­ca­tion­ers. For 20 years the strong cur­rency has bumped up the cost of Con­ti­nen­tal travel, but right now there’s a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity. Here are a few ways to take ad­van­tage of it, be­fore the cur­rency has a chance to climb back.

Start plan­ning now

This one may seem like a no­brainer, but fore­thought is your friend. Start plan­ning that sum­mer va­ca­tion in March be­cause mar­kets are fickle things and prices can bounce un­pre­dictably. Not only that but lots of peo­ple see­ing th­ese num­bers are think­ing the same thing: I’ve heard the French are quite at­trac­tive th­ese days.

“Air­fares will rise,” wrote Al­bert Her­rera, se­nior vice pres­i­dent at travel net­work Vir­tu­oso. “Peo­ple will be clam­or­ing to re­turn to Europe. Sum­mer will not be an easy time to visit, be­cause ev­ery­one is think­ing Europe is on sale so air­fares will go up.”

About three months in ad­vance is the right time to price air­fare, so now’s the time to buy for early sum­mer. As for the price of the euro, will it keep fall­ing? Yes. No. Maybe. No­body re­ally knows. Maybe the struc­tural weak­nesses of the euro will keep driv­ing this bus into a ditch. Maybe bullish in­vestors will smell their chance to make a killing and push prices up on the cur­rency mar­kets. There’s no way to con­fi­dently tell.

What we know is this: one euro is a com­mod­ity just like any other, and right now it’s his­tor­i­cally cheap. In fact…

Buy cash now

No, this is not a scam. We won’t try to buy or sell your gold and no one here has a bunker to lease. Un­less you’re up af­ter mid­night this is not a late night in­fomer­cial. How­ever, cash is a com­mod­ity that can be bought or sold like any­thing else. With­draw­ing at an ex­change rate is no dif­fer­ent than buy­ing eu­ros for $1.06 apiece, and that’s a heck of a lot bet­ter than wait­ing for them to go back up to $1.29 again.

Af­ter all, if you’re headed to Europe, you will need those eu­ros sooner or later. Why not get in on the fire sale?

The best strat­egy is to load up a pre-paid card like those of­fered by Visa and MasterCard. They come with many of the se­cu­rity fea­tures and func­tions of a debit card and can be used at any ven­dor or ATM on that net­work to pick

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