When should you buy your holiday money?

Experts say pound could have further to fall

Updated: 
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Since the news that the UK is to leave the European Union, the value of the pound has plummeted.

Holidaymakers are getting around £70 less for every £500 changed into euros than they were before the Brexit vote, and £104 less when exchanging pounds for dollars.

With many Brits planning a summer break abroad, it's worth considering whether to change your holiday money now, or gamble on a rise in the pound later on.

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So what do the experts say?

"The triggering of Article 50 means that there is likely no going back and it actually opens the door to a whole new set of questions. What kind of deal will the UK get? Will certain areas have access to the single market or not? Will certain countries look less favourably on the UK?," says Jonathan Watson of Pound Sterling Forecast.

"Don't forget the UK doesn't get much of a say in the deal it gets offered. Yes, Theresa May has said she will walk away from a deal if it's not in the UK's interests, but that opens up even greater problems and questions for the UK."

He adds: "Some commentators believe it will cause sterling to rise but I think this is misguided. The pound is likely to struggle to maintain too much form against many of the major currencies."

In a recent poll of more than 60 banks and research institutions by Reuters, there was strong agreement that the pound isn't going to recover any time soon.

They expect it to be worth roughly $1.23 in three, six and twelve months' time - exactly where it is today. Meanwhile, they expect the pound to drop still further against the euro, from its current 88p to somewhere between 85p and 87p.

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Businesses may well pull out of the UK, putting more pressure on the pound: "Further Brexit developments are forthcoming, which we see as generating foreign direct investment capital outflows from the UK," commented Richard Grace, foreign exchange analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

These figures are worth taking notice of, as a similar Reuters poll correctly predicted the 9% initial fall in the pound after the Brexit referendum.

The chances are, then, that you're probably better off getting your holiday money now, before it becomes worth even less.

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However, some experts suggest hedging your bets by buying half now and half later.

"This means that regardless of whether the rate then goes against you or in your favour, you'll have benefited from the higher exchange rate on at least half of your currency," Caxton foreign exchange currency market analyst Alexandra Russell-Oliver tells the Sun.

And it's worth knowing that some currency providers, such as Travelex, allow you to change your mind. You can order your currency now, and get today's rate when you pick it up in a few months' time. But if the pound improves, you can cancel your order, and reorder at the new rate.


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