With Christmas fast approaching and winter holiday-goers looking abroad for a well-deserved break, prospective travellers could get considerably more bang for their buck if they are willing to be flexible about their festive getaway destinations.
Since Christmas last year, the Pound has actually risen in value by over five per cent against almost half of the most popular foreign currencies. Turkey, for example, has seen the Pound strengthen against the Turkish Lira by as much as 23 per cent since last year.
Meanwhile, travellers who headed abroad to a Eurozone nation last year may be feeling quite smug. This year a family holiday to Europe costing €3000 will set you back an extra £90 – so a saunter around the Champs Elysees’ Christmas markets in Paris may not seem quite as attractive as it did a year ago.
Those looking for a quick hop abroad might well consider Switzerland or Norway instead, where the Pound is up 3.9 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.
The biggest savings are for those planning trips further afield this Christmas. A trip to New York will cost less than last year and every £1000 will mean an extra $100 dollars to spend. With Christmas activities at the top of the agenda, this extra cash could pay for a family of four to go ice skating in Central Park or tickets to the New York City Ballet.*
Outside North America, travellers will get more for their Pound this year in Costa Rica (10.9 per cent), Sri Lanka (11.2 per cent) and New Zealand (11.3 per cent) – while holiday-goers will get a notable 18 per cent more for their money in Argentina.
Simon Phillips, Retail Director at No1 Currency, which conducted the research, comments: “On the face of it, it’s been a rocky year for the Pound.
“Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that in two-thirds of holiday hotspots, you can actually get more for your currency than you could a year ago. For those planning to get away to one of those destinations where the native currency has dropped by more than five per cent against the sterling, it’ll feel like Christmas has come early.
“However there are still a number of countries where the Pound is worse off than last year. For those who have left their festive destination planning to the last minute, it’s worth looking around to see whether you’ll be getting more for your Pound.
“It’s an interesting pay-off. On the whole, currencies in countries closer to home will cost you more than last year, yet countries further away will give you better rates – so although flights will be more expensive, your daily spending money could well go further.
“Wherever you’re planning to go, make sure you shop around for your currency before you head off on holiday, as leaving it until the airport or even until you’re overseas can leave you out of pocket.”