My wedding gift from Uncle Sam: a strong dollar for my Spanish honeymoon
I'm about to take a little hiatus from here to go get married and then for a quick honeymoon. It's been a hectic time, planning for the wedding (my fiancée, thankfully, has handled the lion's share of it, but there's always consulting to be done), so I've kept my sanity by focusing on our upcoming honeymoon in Spain. Lately, I've found myself obsessively checking Google for the latest euro-to-dollar exchange rate, trying to figure out how far
I we can stretch my -- sorry, our -- cash in Europe.
When I started booking the trip in August, I locked in some early-bird euro rates at hotels. But the dollar was weak, at $1.50 to the euro. So imagine my joy to watch the dollar's value steadily improve against the euro these past several months. I was totally geeked out reading this Bloomberg article about a 0.4% rise in the dollar by the end of trading yesterday. The current rate is about $1.36 per euro, which should save us quite a few bucks between hotels, restaurants and shopping.
I have to admit I knew very little about exchange rates before I started keep an eye on this. Basically, a country's currency is considered strong if there's a lot of demand for it. Two indicators of demand are a low unemployment rate -- meaning that more people are likely spending on goods and services -- and high interest rates. By those two factors -- U.S. unemployment continues to rise, and rates are at their lowest in years -- the dollar value should be tanking. But of course, there's more at work than just a few basics. As Bloomberg points out, the exchange rate on any given day is based on global stock markets and speculating traders.
In other words, I should worry more about things that directly deplete my wallet, like new foreign-transaction fees from credit-card companies. Awesome. Anyone out there have any good honeymoon money-saving tips for me?