The pound is still at low rates against the Euro (£1 = €1.11) and the US Dollar (£1 = $1.50) and pundits predict it isn't going to get much better, though of course that's no guarantee.
So if you're planning an overseas holiday, maybe a last minute Easter break, you need to work out if it pays to book where the pound is stronger.
- Are you an inny or outy? If you self-cater or go full board and stay in, focus on travel and accommodation costs (often cheapest in the Eurozone) as spending's likely to be a small proportion. Those who go out and about spending need a 'cheap when you get there' destination.
- Strongest purchasing power on arrival. The price of a standard basket of goods inc beers, water and meals, which costs £72.14 in the UK (Brighton), compiled recently by the Post Office (using today's exchange rates), in various countries was:
What basket of goods costs in... Hungary £37.40 Bulgaria £39.52 Thailand £42.31 Spain £45.26 Bali £52.51 Kenya £52.60 Malaysia £57.71 Croatia £63.46 Greece £64.02 Egypt £65.45 USA £75.70 Turkey £76.08 Source: Post Office. Basket includes coffee, larger, cola, water, sun cream, insect spray, cigarettes, three-course meal for two incl. wine
Of course, it can vary widely city-by-city too - this research was taken in tourist resorts.
- Weak currencies compared to the pound. This is very difficult to judge, don't get confused and think it's about absolute values, eg, 1 Yen = 0.7p and 1 Swiss Franc = 63p. Yet that doesn't make those currencies weak, the value's arbitrary.
What really counts is the change over time, and their relation to historic lows. Over the past two years, the pound has fallen against virtually all the popular currencies, for example:
- Book the cheapest deals: As ever with holidays, you can save £100s by paying as little as possible for everything, see the cheap flights, cheap hotels, cheap packages, cheap car hire guides for more.
- Get the best currency deal on arrival. Use a special credit card to get by far the best rates. Overall winner Santander Zero is load-free worldwide with no ATM fees, though repay in full each month or it's 18.9% APR. Alternatively, Nationwide's load-free Europe-only, but with the perk of a year's extra extended warranty & purchase protection on UK-bought electricals (16.9% APR). Full info in Cheapest Travel Cards guide. Alternatively, use the travel money comparison for cash.
|How the pound's dived over 2 years against the ...|
|South African Rand||-35%|
|Sources: Iceplc.com (currency broker) and Xe.com|
Further reading/Key links