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Strong American Dollar Driving European Travel

April 20, 2015 Financial No Comments Email Email

The current strength of the dollar, coupled with declining gas prices and transportation costs, means that more Americans can afford to travel outside of the U.S. – some for the first time. New research findings from PayPal* show that the strong dollar is having an impact on Americans’ travel plans, though more could be taking advantage of the golden opportunity. To help Americans capitalize on this opportunity, PayPal has launched a multi-European city travel program replete with discounts, deals and insider travel tips.

“Our research found that one in five (21 percent) of Americans are considering a trip to Europe and nearly half of those travelers cite the strengthening dollar as a factor in their decision-making (47 percent),” said Carey Kolaja, Vice President, Head of Global Consumer Products at PayPal. “Yet, for many, international travel is still a daunting concept – shrouded by the mysteries of currency exchange rates, foreign transaction fees and financial safety. As a leading global payments processor, PayPal is uniquely positioned to help alleviate concerns, making planning a trip to Europe as simple, seamless and secure as going to the local grocery store.”

This summer, PayPal is working with merchants in Barcelona, Paris and Rome to deliver discounts and deals with speed, simplicity and security.

  • Barcelona: Travelers visiting Barcelona can take €40 off of airfare when booking through Vueling; enjoy 20 percent off Desigual clothing stores; take five percent off their scooter rental with Cooltra Motors; 15% off admission to Casa Batlló; and enjoy exclusive discounted rates with Amoma hotel bookings
  • Paris: Paris travelers can enjoy 10 percent off airfare when booking through Alitalia; 40% off two tours with Musement; €20 off their first ride with Uber; get a free coffee in a Parisian café when using Bienvenue Telecom; and enjoy exclusive discounted rates with Amoma hotel bookings
  • Rome: Those visiting Rome can get 10 percent off airfare when booking through Alitalia; €5 off €25 on apparel purchases at Intimissimi; €20 off their first ride with Uber; 40% off two tours with Musement; and enjoy exclusive discounted rates with Amoma hotel bookings

But traveling in the modern age is about more than using the Internet to bargain hunt – it’s about harnessing the power of technology to help protect yourself and your dollars.

PayPal’s research, which explored the general travel experiences and plans of a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 randomly selected adults in the U.S., reveals that many Americans employ outdated travel habits, including some financial protection measures that actually undermine the very security concerns those travelers seek to address.

Of those considering a trip to Europe, 36 percent say they protect their money by wearing a fanny pack or neck wallet at all times; eight percent say they have taped cash to their body, and three percent bring their own safety deposit box – all methods that are far less seamless and secure than digital payments.

With half of respondents saying that their biggest financial concerns are the security of their credit/debit cards (51 percent), the security of their money (48 percent), and the security of their personal financial information (44 percent), it’s clear that American travelers should consider more digitally-secure options when touring abroad.

“It can be exciting, but also intimidating to travel abroad for the first time,” continued Kolaja. “PayPal and our merchants are excited to provide our customers with unique offers that help lessen the doubt involved with foreign currencies and ensure less risky payments so they can feel empowered to explore their new destination with confidence.”

*In April 2015, GfK Custom Research LLC (GfK) administered a survey to explore general travel experiences and plans to a nationally representative sample of 1,011 randomly selected adult U.S. residents. The data were statistically weighted so that respondents in the survey were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. To participate, respondents were required to be 18 or older.

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