If you thought you could never afford a Greece trip, think again. Hotels.com Hotel Price Index says that the average nightly rate in Athens dropped 10% in 2010, to $132. And it is still falling. What about a week-long trip to the Emerald Isle? Totally doable. A seven-day package--with flight, hotel and car rental--costs $800 per person, down 11% from 2008.
If these prices do not intrigue you--and I cannot imagine why they wouldn't--just think about the good you will be doing by booking a trip to some of these locations. They need tourist dollars as they try to pay back loans and right their economies. International tourism was up across the map last year, but Europe did not rebound as well. According to travel experts, they are desperate to get tourists, more so than usual, hence the super awesome deals.
Greece has experienced a lot of economic damage over the last couple years. Tourism revenue fell by 9%--to put that into perspective, $75.4 billion--and now the government is trying to draw people back. It has waived the landing, takeoff and stop-over fees usually added to airfares and reduced hotel tax from 11% to 6.5%, which can add up to $100 or more. Experts say new Greece deals appear every week. There is an eight-night mainland package from $1,099 per person, including airfare, hotel stays in Athens and other cities, and transportation between cities.
|Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik. SmartMoney.com|
Of these four countries, I would probably choose to visit Iceland--mostly because it is the one place I've never been--although Greece is definitely appealing. In all honesty, I wish Croatia was worse off economically, because that has been on my list of vacation spots for a very long time, and finding a cheap package there would be like striking gold.
I realize that since these countries are struggling financially, many of you may be, too. But I encourage anyone looking to take a spring or summer trip to research deals for these destinations, as well as others, because you may just find something spectacular.