Say hello to cheap hotel rooms, reduced entry fees to museums and discounted dinners in Europe and elsewhere outside the country — all courtesy of the U.S. economy and its strong dollar. This just may be the summer to head beyond our borders.

The U.S. dollar has hit a 12-year high against the euro — after a deep drop in 2007 and 2008 — and its strength is making international travel cheaper than it has been in years.

A Winnipeg, Ontario, hotel room during one of the June weekends when the city hosts the Women’s World Cup is listed for $230 a night. If that’s more than you’d like to pay for a basic, no-frills room north of the border, you’re in luck. Cost in U.S. dollars is $180. The Canadian dollar is worth about U.S. 80 cents.

If you dream of riding the London Eye, now’s your time. A British pound is going for $1.48, making the 30 pound adult ticket $44. A year ago, it would have cost $50. In April 2008, when the U.S. dollar was at a low, it would have cost nearly $60.

Heading to Milan, this year’s “it” spot as host of the Milan Expo, a six-month showcase of sustainability? The strong dollar should help sustain your stay: $1 equals nearly $1 euro. Just one year ago, the dollar was worth only 0.72 euros. “Italy is on sale right now,” said Ginger Pozzini, owner of Designing Italy, in Newport, Minn. “It is like getting a 30 percent discount.”

Scandinavia is looking good, too, with the dollar strong against the Swedish krona, the Norwegian krone and the Danish krone.

According to Barry Liben, Travel Leaders Group CEO, “It’s always been a traveler’s dream to enjoy seeing the world on a strong dollar. Now Americans are getting their wish.”

 

Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at travel@startribune.com, and follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.