UK Holidaymakers ‘struggle with exchange rates’

Jun 21, 2011   //   by sam   //   Credit Cards  //  Comments Off on UK Holidaymakers ‘struggle with exchange rates’

As summer approaches, many people are making plans to escape the unpredictable English weather in search for a sunny stretch of coastline.

However, UK holidaymakers setting off to France may get a surprise when they order their first beer, as it could cost them over a fiver, so many will have to start raiding their savings accounts in order to splash out a bit.

According to beer price comparison website pintprice.com, France currently sits at number nine in a survey covering 208 countries for the most expensive cost of beer.

Exchange rates can also play a large part in the decision making process when looking for holiday destinations.

While a weak pound is good for exporters, it is bad news for people looking to travel overseas.

Many of us will remember the days when a pound would get us 1 euro 50, whereas nowadays when taking commission charges into account, we now struggle to get more than two thirds of that, with a pound now bringing not much more than a single euro for every pound.

As the Bank of England continues to hold the bank rate at its lowest ever level of 0.5%, holding on to sterling is not an attractive option as the financial returns are poor.

Many experts are not expecting to see a recovery for at least a year.

Mark O’ Sullivan, of Currencies Direct, spoke of a few holiday destinations that have actually improved in terms of how much you get for your pound.

According to O’ Sullivan, the Egyptian pound and the Turkish lira still offer great value for the pound – in both cases rising 20%.

If you would prefer to head further east, the Thai Baht still comes at around 50 to the pound – a rate that hasn’t changed much in the last couple of years.

Shopping around for currency is something that we should all do, especially online. Booking your currency in advance can also get you the best rates, but you have to remember that if they improve while you’re waiting for delivery, you probably won’t see the difference.

A number of high street shops offer “commission free” deals, while other well known retailers such as Marks & Spencer also have a bureau de change – but these don’t always offer the cheapest option.

Some credit cards, including the Post Office credit card, charge no fees for withdrawing cash while abroad.

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