More Turkey per pound this Xmas

Though the recession continues to bruise, some currencies have also taken a battering, including the Turkish lira.

Good news for Brit holiday makers. The pound will now take you 20% further than it did this time last year if a trip to Istanbul or beyond is on the cards. Good news for overseas property investors, of course. There are other currency fillips for other destinations, including South Africa.

Pound for pound

"This year has seen some major fluctuations in exchange rates and whilst some have levelled over the year, others have significantly weakened, meaning the pound sterling goes a lot further in some countries," says Stephen Heath of FairFX. "If people are looking to get away then it is worth looking at which countries can offer you more for your money."

Other places where sterling stretches your budget further include South Africa where you'll get 15% more rand this year. In India you will get 11% more rupees and in Poland the zlotych will now go 10% further, as will the Mexican Peso.

Head to the US for Xmas gifts

Over the last 12 months there's been little disparity between pound and dollar rates. A year ago £1 bought you $1.56. Yesterday it bought you $1.57. But the higher VAT rise has seen a greater push in British consumers flying to the States for their Xmas shopping.

Boston is, note, cheaper than New York due to lower sales taxes, and clothes costing less than $175 are exempt from sales taxes. Recently the Post Office found that a collection of 10 popular US items - including an Apple iPod Nano, Ray-Ban sunglasses and women's jeans - cost around £580 more in London than in the US.

Pool your duty-free allowances with a partner and book your Boston flight?
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