If one of your New
Year’s resolutions is to lose more than a few pounds
before summer then one fast and easy way is to
exchange your dollars for British bank notes.
With the dollar at a
wallet-thinning low against the British Pound as
well as the Euro, trimming down your travel plans
could be the key to feeling better about the
monetary rate loss workout.
Think of the exchange
rate as a ‘no pain-no gain’ dollar diet and fitness
plan and like any effective program you can begin
getting into better vacation shape by exercising
your travel options.
If you are planning a
trip to Great Britain or Europe then crunch the
numbers against your travel itinerary and grunt and
groan over some of the results as you scale down
some of the fat from your proposed activities.
How? Well, if you were
planning a three week trip then why not trim it to a
good looking two weeks instead?
Why? For any number of
practical reasons but one immediate benefit of
knocking out the additional week is that you will
save seven days of hotel costs, dining and other
daily expenses, not to mention holding onto a few of
those hard earned vacation days for something or
some place else.
If you like you can
put ‘some’ of that immediate savings to work by
up-grading your modified holiday schedule, opting
for nicer hotels, better food, and shopping for that
uglier and even more tacky BUT slightly more
expensive impulse buying vacation souvenir!
Hey, it’s okay to
admit it because we all buy them at one time or
another; the Eiffel Tower salt shakers, velvet Elvis
paintings, 18th century looking Maria
Antoinette music boxes that play ‘Don’t Worry, Be
Happy,’ baby alligators with bright Day-Glo orange
greetings of ‘Welcome to Florida’ painted on their
backs, or that two-in-one Bavarian Bayernwatch
nutcracker and nose hair trimmer that looks like
David Hasselhof and Pamela Lee Anderson in
Well, okay so maybe we
don’t buy them all BUT you have to admit we all buy
some of them. If it helps any you can always think
of your worst souvenir bargain as your best future
white elephant holiday party cheesy exchange gift.
Armed with new found savings, shop away.
As for vacation
schedules, if you’re like me then you probably try
to cram a little too much into your trip. Let’s face
it! Most of us tend to think of vacations as travel
buffets where not only do we pick and choose what we
want but we try to pack our plates with everything
we can in order to get the best bite for our bucks.
At times our vacations
are so busy being busy that we sometimes forget the
purpose of the time off is…well, time off! The
notion of ‘R&R’- those rest and relaxation stress
free vacations are all too often anything but rest
or relaxation, especially when we still try to see
and do way too much.
What’s too much? Again
that’s a question only you can really answer. But
ask yourself this: how much can you really see of
any given place, let alone get a real feel or flavor
of it if you’re racing to get somewhere else? You
control the pace.
So you might to
consider slowing down the velocity of your vacation
and opt for an extra day or two at a given city or
region. Discounts are sometimes generated by longer
stays plus it will allow you to take the time to
smell the War of the Roses and get a whiff of
why you’re on holiday.
It helps if you begin
with a little pre-trip planning by going over your
vacation schedule. Take the time to write down the
list of places you really would like to visit and
the things you’d like to do on your trip in the
number of days you intend to be gone. Next, weigh
those against your overall travel budget.
Thanks to the internet
you can use any number of good sites to get a
working idea of what hotels, food, activities and
airfares will cost. Tally those numbers and then
evaluate that against your allocated funds to see if
they balance out.
Even with the new math
if you can’t make the numbers work then go back over
your travel list, knock out some days and locations,
and trim the itinerary fat down to a more manageable
Keep in mind what the
big-time and best travel experts tell you about not
trying to see it all and returning for future visits
or getting the most out of your time and money by
traveling off-season and searching for flight, train
or hotel discounts. Their useful tips and hints
gained from years of experience traveling in Europe
are like workout partners who can keep you on
Buy their books,
consider their advice, and then talk to your friends
or relatives who have recently visited the countries
or regions you’re going to and listen to their tips
and hints as well. Armed with all of that
information you can plan accordingly.
As for currency
exchange rates well, it’s a simple fact that
currencies fluctuate. They always have and always
will. The dollar goes up or down depending on a lot
of complicated and sometimes dumb economic and
political factors. While that may alter your
vacation travel plans somewhat, you shouldn’t let it
keep you from going on a trip or having a fun and
interesting time if you do your proverbial pre-trip
Repeat after me:
‘I don’t need a fat wallet
to have a phat trip!’
Actually, this part
you don’t have to repeat. It’s just my attempt at a
bad hip pun. Sorry, yo.