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Illustration of a tourist at the airport with a giant wallet looking suitcase full of bills.
Errata Carmona for Money

American travelers are picking up designer outfits in Milan, buying handbags in London and perusing jewelry collections in Paris.

All across Europe, in fact, Americans are shopping alongside of their sightseeing, as they take advantage of a strong dollar that is stretching their purchasing power abroad amid the rebound of international travel. Part of the allure is "revenge travel," or making up for lost vacations during the pandemic, but the strength of the dollar is also motivating Americans to plan trips and spend more while traveling abroad, experts say.

Based on its flight search data, Expedia is reporting double-digit percentage growth for air travel interest to major European cities this winter compared to the same time last year, and according to a November report from Bain & Company, American tourist shoppers are helping fuel the recovery of Europe's luxury goods market.

Ever since the summer, Shawna Owen, president and CEO of Huffman Travel, says clients are increasingly requesting time in their itineraries for shopping because “it’s basically like having things on sale.”

Owen mainly works with wealthy travelers booking luxury trips. She says they’re splurging on designer items in Europe and have been asking her for advice on bringing their purchases back into the U.S.