We have a son who is working in Denmark (Aarhus). Last year we visited him in the Netherlands, and the euro conversion made our trip very expensive. What can we do in order to visit him without experiencing "sticker shock”?
-Larry, East Northport, N.Y.
Essentially, your best choice is to head east. Most of Western Europe is on the euro, and the currency conversion rates now will be costly. Some of Eastern Europe is heading toward the euro, but most of them are not quite there yet. So you should head there before it is too late. Besides, there are some truly beautiful parts of Eastern Europe to explore. Most have not yet become big tourist destinations and thus are quite cheap.
If looking to visit in the winter, why not opt for a ski vacation? For reasonably priced places to go skiing in Europe, you could try Bulgaria or even Sarajevo, Bosnia. Sarajevo, Bosnia, is not quite what it was when the city was hosting the 1984 Winter Olympics, but it may be on its way back there. At Jahorina, one of Sarajevo’s most prominent mountain resorts, a one-bedroom during the winter goes for about $65–90 a night with a ski pass, costing less than $25 a day.
Bulgaria offers great skiing getaways including Bansko, which caters to English-speakers because of its popularity with British tourists. Guests can rent a three-bedroom house for about $60–120 a night, depending on the season.
Prague, in the Czech Republic, is another option to consider. It is more expensive than Bulgaria or Sarajevo and doesn't offer skiing, but it has quickly become a big tourist destination and is located significantly closer to Denmark than either of the two skiing destinations.