With the economic crises now hitting Europe hard and the dollar gaining strength overseas, a trip across the pond isn’t such a stretch these days, especially when we’ve found ways to stretch your dollar.
To compensate for poor bookings (hotel occupancy across Europe has fallen by 6 percent since last year), European hotels are offering lower rates and incentives, like air credits and euro-to-dollar price matching. Plus, winter airfare rates are as attractive as ever — it is the low season after all.
Our editors dug up bargain deals running the gamut from $500 flight credits, $100 Amex card, free AirFrance stopovers, hotel rates from $90/night and multicity air-and-hotel combo packages from $635.
Centrally located in Berlin’s Mitte district next to the landmark 368-meter TV Tower, the recently renovated Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz offers deluxe accommodations at value rates. A former communist-era high-rise, the hotel now offers a full range of amenities and services, including a rooftop bar, sundeck, casino and several onsite bars and restaurants.
Rates for a business-class room for two, with private marble bathroom, start at just $90/night.
The crème de la crème of luxury hotels, we’re talking Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental, are offering a great deal available through Classic Vacations. Now, travelers who book a five-night stay at participating European luxury hotels will receive a $500 air credit towards the cost of their flight and a $100 American Express Gift Card.
Our favorites include London’s posh Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park from $607/night and the classy Four Seasons Prague from $374/night. It’s hard to beat Vienna’s decadent Hotel Bristol for just $337/night.
Spend a week exploring Italy this winter or spring from just $635, thanks to EuropeanDestinations.com. The six-night jaunt to Rome, Florence, and Venice, includes 2 nights' hotel in each city, airfare from the US, breakfast daily, and train transfers between cities. If you want to see even more of Italy, try the nine-night Highlights of Italy package from just $829 per person, a cost that covers airfare, rental car, and hotels throughout Florence, Milan, Verona and more.
For a classic Mediterranean cruise, try this four-night spring voyage aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. Embarking from Barcelona, this round-trip cruise docks for a day in Marseille and spends a weekend in Ibiza, for just $349 per person (oceanview cabins start at $529).
Along the way, you’ll have opportunities to check out Barcelona’s renowned Las Ramblas promenade and Gaudi-designed churches, Marseille’s picturesque waterfront in the Vieux Port, and Ibiza’s trendy shops, historic Old Town, world-class cuisine and famous nightlife.
Discover Europe’s fascinating waterways and the cities that surround them with affordable river cruise tours on offer from Globus. Save $200 off the air-inclusive price on any 2009 Globus or Avalon Europe river cruise. Or, receive $100 off the cruise-only price. Just be sure to book by Feb. 28.
We’d recommend the 12-day air-inclusive Black Sea Discovery cruise from $2,849, or the 12-day Legendary Danube cruise sailing from Prague to Budapest for the low price of $2,399, flight included.
Fly to any Air France destination in Europe, the Middle East, India, or Africa, and enjoy a free stopover in Paris on your way there, your way back, or both. Use this offer to climb the Eiffel tower, explore the Louvre’s remarkable collections, simply grab a baguette and some wine for a picnic along the Seine. At the time of writing, we found round-trip flights to London, with a free stopover in the city of lights, for $564.
The Eurail Pass
Don’t neglect train travel when overseas. It’s a great way to get around on the cheap while enjoying the scenery. Plus, the new and improved Eurail Pass offers a series of options for convenient train travel between countries. A consecutive-day pass offers unlimited rail travel for a particular length of time, while other flexible options include a pass available for a specific number of travel days scattered over a longer time period. The Eurail Select Pass is a great bargain; it affords unlimited travel on the national rail networks of 3 to 5 bordering countries, and starts from about $419.
Taxes and fees are additional.
After your romantic European getaway, it's right back to your same old routine.
For the European river cruise offer, visit www.globusjourneys.com or call 1-866-755-8581. is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.