More sticker shock for Europe travelers this year

We've already reported on why it's important to start tracking fares now for Europe spring and summer travel. Now there's another reason: USA Today reports that airfare from U.S. cities to Europe has drastically increased this year, in some cases more than 87 percent, a ridiculously high jump. Overall, the increase averages out to approximately 7 percent higher than it was in 2007.

Some of the sample prices quoted for April and May travel were:

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  • $664 from Miami to London ($468 in 2007)
  • $1,061 from San Francisco to Paris ($631 in 2007)
  • $1,062 from Minneapolis to Madrid ($567 in 2007)

There are two factors contributing to this trend: high fuel costs and increased passenger demand. Plain and simple: Americans want to vacation in Europe, and they'll pay a premium price in order to do it.

What's surprising to me is seeing these numbers for travel in the spring, typically considered shoulder season. In the past, there were bargains to be had, particularly just before the popular spring break weeks. This year, however, that logic seems to be out of date.

In short—expect to pay more, across the board. And don't forget to plan for steep bills once you arrive. As of this morning, the conversion rate showed $1.46 will get you €1.

Ouch.

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