The last time I had a long decent holiday in Europe was a visit to France almost a decade ago.   The euro was coming into play and at parity with the US dollar.   I remember my flight cost about $600 and the hotels for my entire stay was fairly affordable.  I visited the wine country in Angers.    We decided to take a European holiday this year visiting France, Italy and Spain and the price tag so far is over $15,000.    The air flight alone were about $6,000 and the hotels are pretty pricey in euros with the current exchange rate about 1 euro per $1.30 but still it will be worth it to enjoy a nice time in Europe.

The biggest problem Europe has though is that most hotels only accommodate 3 people and then require you to book a second room if you have four or five people with you.  European hotels are the most anti-family friendly places on earth!    Given that problem, we opted to rent a house in one spot and other accommodations elsewhere.

I am really astonished at how much going to Europe costs and reminds me why we’ve largely stayed away.   Of course I recently had my roof replace for 13k then my son’s tuition for school came due with first payment of 10k and now another 15k for Europe.   So I’ve easily spent 38k in about 3 months and that doesn’t include any of the extras for the trip like new digital camera to take great photos, the tux, or my upcoming MBA tuition for the Fall or the 20k I plunked down  on my mortgage to get down to less than 10k.  I decided I would take surplus cash and eliminate all debt by the end of the year.  Even with interest rates at 3% it doesn’t make sense to carry debt even at this low interest rate when cash is sitting not earning any real interest.

If all my goals hold, by the end of the year I won’t have a single dime of debt except for a student loan that’s now at 1.85% interest due to some fancy debt arbitrage.   I guess this time next year I’ll go on a really nice Australian/South Pacific vacation!