I did a lot of international travel at the beginning of the millennia. The trip to Paris in April of 2001 had been planned for almost 2 years. But then after the shock of September 11, 2001 people stopped traveling. I was literally still missing Paris from the trip in spring, feeling almost home sick, and wanted to return. So at New Years of 2002 I decided to look. Sure enough, we could fly to Paris for less than to Ohio. And I also found lodging for about a quarter the price of the cheapest place in Boston. We were planning a ski week on a local mountain and discovered it was far cheaper to fly to Paris. And the exchange rate was fabulous, I think about 75 cents for a Euro. Oh yes, in 2001 we used Francs, in 2002 we used Euros. Well, Paris for half the price of the planned ski trip, no brainer.
I thought that was the end of it, but then in late 2002 or early 2003 I saw an article in the Boston Globe about ultra cheap travel. There was an advertised trip to Rome that included airfare and lodging for even less than what we paid for Paris in the winter of 2002. I called, added a couple of days for next to nothing, and went. Continue reading