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The dollar is strong; time for Europe

Got the travel bug? Here are some ways for you to travel affordably during your next vacation:

Quartz recently broke down a report by Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation to find out the best times to buy airline tickets. (Conclusion: Buy on a Tuesday, at least 3 weeks in advance.)

If you're looking for a good deal, you may want to head overseas in the near future. The exchange rate is favorable for American travelers heading to Europe, according to Money Watch, with the dollar at $1.13 per euro. It is the best rate in more than 10 years, CNN Money reported.

The American dollar is also strong against the Swiss franc (about $.94 against the franc), Reuters reports, and although not located in Europe, the American dollar is also strong against the Australian dollar (about $.77 American for every Australian dollar.)

Visit Reuters for more information on the performance of the dollar.

"Clearly this is a good time to travel to Europe," Steve Born, Globus family of brands senior vice president of marketing, told Travel Weekly. "The dollar continues to strengthen versus the euro, meaning U.S. travelers, in essence, receive a discount when traveling in Europe."

Read more here about Travel Weekly's take on the drawbacks of a strong dollar.

That said, the dollar is not strong everywhere. For instance, it is weak compared to the British pound, taking about $1.54 for every British pound, MoneyWatch says.

If you still want just a short jaunt across the pond, consider following the masses to Ireland, where more than 1.2 million Americans vacationed during 2014, according to Travel Weekly. In addition to Belfast's Van Morrison tour, Ireland contains breathtaking scenery, castles and monasteries. Check out National Geographic's "Top 10 Historic Sites in Ireland and Northern Ireland" for more information.

Or consider Iceland. Starting in May, flights on the Icelandic WOW airline from the Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) to the Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland, will cost $99, according to Paste Magazine. WOW also offers a transfer deal where you can fly to Reykjavik and transfer to another location in Europe for a reasonable fee. (Paste gives the example of flying to Iceland, then to Paris from Iceland for an additional $80. The total cost of flight to Paris would be about $180.)

The flight price includes a carry-on up to 11 pounds and taxes. However, they do not have in-flight entertainment or free meals.

Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation predict that airline prices will drop as well this year because of budget airlines and lower fuel costs, according to the Huffington Post. Some, however, think that historically unstable fuel prices and consumer demand will contribute to prices remaining the same, according to the Associated Press.

Time further added that some airlines are dropping fuel surcharges while keeping flight prices at about the same price.

The Post suggests buying international flights 171 days before leaving.

Still not convinced that now is the time to travel? Check out the New York Times' interactive feature of 52 Places to Go in 2015. From the domestic to the exotic, this will surely help you find a place to satisfy your travel itch. Also, visit The Independent to find out why the coming summer may be the time to visit Greece, be tempted by the Cote d'Azure — also known as the French Riviera — or the Canary Islands, among other destinations.

Note: We encourage you to do your own research and confirm deals or availability. This article is only intended as a starting point, not as the final say on where or when to travel. Prices are current as of mid-day Feb. 18.

Email: wevans@deseretnews.com, Twitter: whitevs7