Subject: Re: Dollar down, Euro Up - Ideas for coping
Hi, Candice. My daughter and I have had to budget more carefully for our upcoming trip to Paris and Rome. Luckily, she's a travel agent, and we can stay at Starwood hotels for $59 a night, which we are doing now for our entire trip (except for the Hotel du Louvre in Paris and formerly for the hotel in Milan). She just told me this evening when she got home from work that she found another Starwood hotel at Versailles (Trianon Palace), just 9 miles outside Paris. It has been unavailable since she first started booking our trip in December, but it just became available today. Instead of going to Milan and paying a higher price in Euros, we're going to stay at Trianon Palace instead, and then fly directly to Rome. It will save us money, and will give us a chance to be in the countryside. I looked up the Trianon Palace at Starwood's website, and it's gorgeous. It's like a palace itself, and it overlooks Versailles.

We also figure we can get cheaper meals in the countryside than in the city, and it will be peaceful and quiet there, and we can take walks, etc. So this is going to work out well.

Personally, I won't do all the shopping I like to do on trips -- just some souvenirs. I had planned to buy French and Italian clothing, but I already get French clothing at a very low price through a French catalog. The main thing is to enjoy our surroundings and not worry about having enough money to buy things. We also plan to picnic for lunches.

Hopefully, we'll be able to get along fine on the lower amount we'll have to spend in Europe. At least the hotels are priced in American dollars and won't change from the $59 a night, so that's going to be a big help.