Every teacher or band director dreams of taking students to Europe for the ultimate learning experience. But often the budget just won’t support an adventure abroad. For those educational explorers with wanderlust in their hearts, here’s some fantastic news.
Editor’s Note: This information is courtesy of Kaleidoscope Adventures.
If you’re planning student group travel (or any kind of travel), it might be cheaper to go to Europe in 2022-23.
The US Dollar vs. The EU Euro
For the first time in 20 years, the dollar is on par with the euro – putting European travel within reach.
In June of 2019, the average conversion rate was roughly 1.13 US dollars to one euro. As of June 27, 2022, $US1 = €0.94. That’s a significant difference, especially when you are planning group travel.
Translated, your travel budget will stretch 15% further than last summer and 6% further than in 2019.
When we consider the increasing costs at some of our favorite theme parks, suddenly visiting a castle in Ireland seems much more achievable!
Right now, domestic airfares are roughly 24% more expensive than this time in 2019 and 45% higher than just one year ago. That’s a big chunk of your travel change!
However, air travel prices to Europe are actually about 5% cheaper than before the pandemic – $868 for the average round-trip ticket.
Recently, I had to travel from Pittsburgh to Orlando for work. Typically, I fly a bargain carrier (think Spirit or Frontier) and pay less than $200 round trip. This time, my ticket was nearly $475 before paying for my bag.
Of course, fees will vary, but when a Florida flight is in the same ballpark as a flight to Europe, it’s worth checking out!
Best Places to Save
Where you go plays a big part in how much you save as well. Some of our favorite student overseas student destinations could actually cost less than domestic favorites, depending on where and when you go.
For example, London can be a great city to visit on a budget – especially if you plan an early spring or fall trip. It’s walkable, hotels may be more affordable, and many attractions like museums, parks, and galleries are free.
Oh – and you can barter for a great meal (or a great buy!) on the cobbled streets of Brick Lane. Competition for your business is fierce, and many proprietors will work a deal to get you in the door.
Ireland is another hot spot for savings. While some attractions may be pricey, there are lots of fantastic free things to see and do. Transportation between cities is very reasonable (particularly if you book in advance) and getting around in cities is easily accomplished on foot, by bus, or by tram.
A Few More Tips to Save
- Statistically, it’s cheaper to fly mid-week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
- Stick to one country and get a direct flight (where possible)
- Book everything in advance when possible (hotel, bus, and dining staff shortages are worldwide – don’t get caught off guard)
- As Always… Be Prepared
- Remember that it’s a new world out there, so always check testing and vaccine requirements for your European destination!
Check with an Expert
Kaleidoscope Adventures has been a trusted student travel planner for 28+ years. The expert team includes Ireland-based Keith Kelly. Keith has lived in Galway for more than 20 years. His extensive band experience (including as host of the popular Global Bandroom Podcast) and Irish roots make him the perfect partner to plan an incredible European performance trip!
It Really Might Be Cheaper to Go to Europe This Year!
Think about it. When you’re planning your next student trip, it really might be cheaper to go to Europe than plan domestic travel. Now’s your chance to live the dream and take your students abroad for the adventure of a lifetime!
For more information from Kaleidoscope Adventures, head here.