Soaring pound means travel cash goes further

Boost for families as school holidays start

Updated: 
Euros and receipt on table in France.

Holidaymakers will have more spending power this year, with the pound at its highest level against the Euro since 2007.

At 1.44 euros to the pound, the rate is 13% up on this time last year - and set to rise even higher. A €100 purchase now costs just £71, compared with £81 this time last year and £88 in 2013.

Elsewhere, people buying US dollars are getting 8% less for their money than they did this time last year, and the same applies to Caribbean and Middle Eastern currencies, and the Swiss franc has strengthened too. However, most others are getting cheaper - particularly the New Zealand dollar and the Turkish lira.

Indeed, a separate analysis of Bank of England exchange rates by Sainsbury's Bank Travel Money found that travellers to Turkey are now getting 49% more for their sterling than they were three years ago.

"The strength of the euro against sterling has been widely reported but our analysis shows that holidaymakers are also getting a better deal on the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, and even more for their money on Turkish lira," says Simon Taylor, head of Sainsbury's Bank Travel Money.

"Shopping around for the best rate before you jet off can make all the difference."

The pound's improvement against the euro comes thanks to the continuing uncertainty in Greece, combined with hints that UK interest rates could rise sooner than expected.

"After a dip in May, sterling has moved steadily up in value over the past month. Its strength against the ailing euro has overshadowed the fact that every other European currency, except the Swiss franc, has weakened since our April report," says Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money.

"As schools prepare to break up, it is good to report a turnaround in the pound's fortunes against the Turkish lira. Families travelling to one of Europe's best value destinations will have 19% more cash to spend now than if they had changed pounds into lira in January."

So should you buy your holiday money now?

In fact, experts expect things to get even better for holidaymakers, with many financial analysts expecting the pound to hit as much as €1.5 in the next couple of months.

But if you're travelling soon, or want to play it safe, it may be time to buy now, with the simplest and safest method a pre-paid currency card. You won't actually get the current inter-bank rate of €1.44, but you should get at least €1.4.

Weak Euro Adds to Europe's Vacation Lure for Tourists From United States, China and Locals


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