Why a European vacation will be more affordable in 2015

We can thank a stronger US dollar for better hotel rates abroad.

Stoyan Nenov/Reuters/File
Musicians play a traditional "zouria" instrument during a wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria. According to TripAdvisor, Bulgaria has the lowest prices for hotels in Europe this year.

TripAdvisor recently released their 2015 hotel pricing report, and the results show some major changes in countries with struggling currency. A strong US dollar means that effective hotel prices for US travelers have dropped in countries all around the world, and now might be the best time to plan a trip.

The major development this year is the increasing affordability of Europe. After decades of going from a backpackers dream to a pricey, upscale vacation destination, some nations have seen hotel prices drop in terms of US dollars. The top eight hotel price drops all come from that continent.

However, the first two spots go to Russia and Ukraine, two nations often in the headlines together recently, but not for their attention-grabbing travel deals. The two states in conflict show that part of the financial appeal comes from instability and a drop in tourism. While both these countries have vast areas not affected by conflict, they still might be best left to more adventurous travelers. Number 3 on the list, Sweden, is better suited to tranquility-lovers.

Rounding out the top ten are Morocco and Uruguay. While the former might not indicate a broader trend in North African travel, the latter does fit in with a pattern of improving conditions in South America. Not only is the dollar strong there, but "it's safe finally, compared to other parts of the world," said Kurt Crowl, senior vice president of Connoisseur Travel, to the Washington Post.

Here's the full top ten, with the average price of a hotel room, and the percentage change since last year:

  • Russia, $80, -45%
  • Ukraine, $71, -38%
  • Sweden, $151, -19%
  • Norway, $173, -17%
  • Poland, $67, -15%
  • Romania, $65, -16%
  • Bulgaria, $64, -14%
  • France, $109, -13%
  • Morocco, $106, -12%
  • Uruguay, $131, -12%
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