This Friday, we look to Europe.

With the dollar trading strongly against the Euro, this would appear to be a great summer to vacation in Europe. But not so fast – USA Today’s Kitty Bean Yancey reports that Europe isn’t quite the bargain you might think it is. Travel industry insiders tell her that while the dollar may travel further once you’re on the ground, getting there is still expensive. In fact, airfare from America to Europe is at a ten year high, and the insiders say demand is down. One expert told Yancey that the Euro will have to continue to drop before the number of American tourist traveling to Europe jumps – the good news/bad news is that this appears very possible.

The Euro Crisis has pitted Germany against Greece, and apparently that isn’t just in the high-level political realm. German tourists typically spend a chunk of their summer vacationing in Greece, but indications are that they’ll be staying away in droves this year. The Guardian reports that 50,000 German tourists have canceled their Greek vacations in just the last ten days. According to The Guardian most of the cancellations “were Germans fearing the consequences of being seen as the source of the austerity regime” that has driven a wedge into the EU. 

On a more frivolous note, Facebook genius Mark Zuckerburg wrapped up what has to be the worst month ever for someone who just came into $14 Billion. On top of the slings and arrows aimed at Facebook’s Wall Street performance, the whiz kid is being ripped for being a lousy tipper. Zuckerburg and new wife Priscilla Chan are honeymooning in Rome, and one day this week he did not leave an extra gratuity after lunch. The criticism seems unfair; a service charge is generally included on the bill in Europe. As we wrote in March:

“Restaurants and other service providers in most western European countries include a service charge to your total bill. Check the bill and if service is included, leave some change or round up to the next euro. If service is not included, leave 10 to 15 percent.”

Maybe Zuckerburg should pay more attention to Healthy Travel Blog.

The last note on Europe – if you’re undaunted by the cost of airfare and think you have your tipping strategy down pat, we strongly recommend heading to Amsterdam for a tour on the Beer Bike.

Memorial Day is past and we’re into June. The first day of summer is just three weeks away. And all around the world, summertime means musical festivals. CNNGO’s Jade Bremner takes a look at the 50 best musical festivals in the world.

One of the most interesting tourist destinations in the world is Sri Lanka. After a civil war that lasted a quarter century, it hasn’t been high on many tourists’ lists. But that is changing, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Jennifer Chen, who reports that tourism to Sri Lanka is rising quickly.

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About The Author

John Miller is president of ScribeWise. He is an avid traveler and web-surfing junkie. Visit www.scribewise.com.

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