Back when I was in Germany around 1978....you could buy roughly 2.2 Deutsch Marks for one dollar. It was something that a kid from Bama didn't really get into but you simply viewed it as something you had to adjust to....to go out, buy beer, or buy anything on the German economy.
When I returned to Germany in 1984....things had changed....we were up to around 2.5 to 2.8 DM's per dollar. A lot more buying power. Come 1985? We were marching onto 3.4 DM's per dollar. I knew young E5's who were buying BMWs or Mercedes cars....with the VAT (tax) removed. That whole summer of 1985....I spent just about every penny I made, and got a ton of mileage out of that exchange rate.
When I came back in 1992? Well....things had simmered down. It was back down to 2.2.
By 2002, when the Euro came into existence....we were given the initial rate of roughly 1.15 Euro per dollar. As each month went by....the Euro got stronger, and the dollar weaker. At some point, about a decade ago....a dollar could only buy .68 Euro. Basically, you were looking at almost $10 to buy a regular Burger King menu-dinner.
Over the past week? Well...it's a shocker. We are now up to .93 (from last month at .88), and some German banks are talking about 1.05 by July of next year very easily. Some folks have even suggested that 1.10 is not irrational by the end of 2017.
What happens with this kind of rate? You suddenly find Americans who are interested in flights to Europe.....two week vacations.....etc.
More competitive? I'd have to agree on that.
Could it reach that 1985 level where it's two Euro per dollar? No....it'd take practically a miracle for some trend like that to occur.
So, if you were thinking of a trip for the summer of 2017 to Germany.....you might actually be able to stretch your dollar a bit more than normal.