Subject: Re: Travelling or staying home this year?
Hi Frances,

I'm travelling. Next week, I'm going to Paris for a week and then in June, we're on a small cruise ship that will go from Barcelona to southern Spain, then Portugal, France and leave us off in London. We'll spend a few days in Barcelona pre-cruise and one night on London post cruise.

I don't know where these tales of lower prices are coming from. Yes, some of the airfares are down, but with the Euro now being $1.17 compared to $.90 last year, it looks to me like everything is higher.

I use Paris as my index since I've been going there about 2 times a year for the past few years. The charming little hotel I stayed in 2 years ago for $120. per night is now $160. for the same room. I tend to visit the same restaurants over and over and keep my receipts and dinner at Rotisserie d'en Face was $80. per couple 2 years ago and cost us $100. this past December. My Louis Vuitton handbag that I bought in Paris 2 years ago was $300. cheaper there than in NY. Now buying that same bag would perhaps save me only $100 (or less) by buying it in Paris.

I keep reading what a bargain Spain is, but when researching hotels on *every* website imaginable for our pre-cruise Barcelona stay, I get very high quotes for the 4 and 5 star places (over $300. per night) and those prices don't include the 7% tax or breakfast. I finally booked a little 3 star place w/ breakfast and taxes for 155 Euro's a night ($170?) and that took a lot of work to find.

So where is everyone finding all the bargains, other than in some of the coach airfares? Where I have seen some bargains is booking an air/hotel package with the airlines directly. But so far, that the only bargain I've seen.

Candice NYC