Holidaymakers stocking up on euros as Brexit looms

Holidaymakers have been stocking up on euros as Brexit draws nearer, new figures suggest.

Post Office Travel Money, which accounts for one in four UK foreign exchange transactions, said there has been “strong demand” for euros in recent months, suggesting there is still a significant appetite among holidaymakers to travel to Europe in the months ahead.

Euro sales are up 3% year-on-year in 2019 so far compared with January to mid-February in 2018, figures provided by Post Office Travel Money to the Press Association showed.

Currency report
Currency report

Sales of the euro also surged by 5% year-on-year in November and December 2018 compared with the same months in 2017.

As well as planning holidays to Europe, some holidaymakers may be considering changing their money now because they are unsure about potential future currency swings in the uncertain political and economic climate.

Sterling remains resilient against the euro, around 2% up on its position a year ago.

Those travelling overseas for half-term will find sterling has strengthened against many currencies compared with a year ago, making holidaymakers’ cash go further on their getaways.

Post Office Travel Money said sterling has strengthened over the past year against 18 of its top 40 best-selling currencies.

Sterling has strengthened particularly against the Turkish lira, with holidaymakers seeing their money go the equivalent of £98 further on a £500 currency transaction compared with a year ago.

Visitors to Iceland will get the equivalent of nearly £50 more on a £500 currency purchase than a year ago.

Andrew Brown, Post Office Travel Money expert said: “There is little doubt that the strength of sterling will exert some influence on holiday choice in the coming months and that is why it is important for people to do their homework before booking.

“Our research has shown that over two-thirds of holidaymakers bust their budget by nearly £100 on their last trip abroad.

“Choosing a destination where sterling is performing best and where the cost of meals, drinks and other tourist staples is low could help to prevent that.”

Sterling has also strengthened compared with a year ago against the South African rand, the Swedish kronor, the Russian ruble and the Brazilian real.

But those travelling to some long haul destinations may find their spending power has weakened compared with a year ago, with sterling having weakened against the US dollar, the Thai baht and the Hong Kong dollar.