Back then a Dollar would buy…

Venice 1977

It used to be that the most expensive part of a Europe trip was the flight. Once arriving one could live a pretty good life on less than $40 a day. I can remember my first trip to Europe. In 1977 I was a member of the Florida Junior College Chorale and we traveled to Europe for three weeks on a concert tour. Much of the tour’s expenses were funded by the College, however each of us were required to pay $900 to cover the tour expenses. NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS! That was for the flights, hotels, transportation, most meals, and tours. 

Pictured in the photo above (from left to right) is Brian, Eva, Pam, David, and Doug on the canal in Venice. That’s Casanova there in the back pushing the gondola along.

My records from 1977 show that $1 USD = 877 It.lira. Here are my total expenses for my seven days in Italy:

$.57 – Cola

$5.81- Dinner

$1.42 – Breakfast

$.39 – Cola

$1.14 – Pizza

$2.28 – Hamburger (my, my…how my tastes have changed)

$1.02 – Banana Split

$2.28 – Lunch

$4.33 – Lunch

$2.77 – Lunch

$2.28 – Lunch

$3.42 – Lunch

$6.27 – Disco and drinks

$5.70 – Drinks and entertainment on Piazza San Marco (Venice)

$2.85 – Venice Guidebook

$3.42 – Florence Guidebook

$3.42 – Rome Guidebook

About the Author
David McGuffin established David McGuffin's Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.
  1. Jennifer Barlow Reply

    I think it’s funny you kept a record of what you bought and how much it cost back in 1977. But interesting all the same.

  2. Amanda Carr Reply

    But wasn’t the value of the American dollar different than it is now compared to the Euro? If i’m not mistaken, the Euro has higher value now than what it use to and the American dollar has gone down in value. So, it was like double the savings. (if that makes sense). Currency is so confusing.

    Still laughing at the Disco thing, by the way.

  3. Edra Waller Reply

    I think your ability to take the way back machine to 1977 and pull up the cost of a banana split is just confirmation if the importance of keeping a journal when traveling.

    Is that a run on sentence?

  4. Susan Reply

    I loved the photo- you look a little like Wolfman Jack! I am glad you made that first trip because I know that it was a catalyst for your business today. Without that trip I would have missed out on a lot of great adventures!

  5. Katie Carter Reply

    I miss the good ole days where it was .87 cents to a euro 🙂

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