Best Buys for Your Pound

The post office has come out with its usual survey of where sterling will go the furthest. This year it shows that Turkey has had a rise of 44% in holiday costs and Spain is now cheaper. Jamaica, Egypt, and Dubai are places where your pound will buy you more.

Is news of this sort of value to the holidaymaker or is it just playing with words in search of some publicity?

The post office announcement is based on how sterling has gone up or down against whatever the local currency over the last year. As such it faithfully reflected how much £1 will buy when you changed your money across.

The first thing to say is that it reflects what happened last year and not what may or may not happen this year. Since the beginning of the year, £1 will buy about 10% more Turkish currency than it did at the lowest point last year. The pound will also buy you more euros now than it has since last September. The countries where you will lose compared to this time last year are places like Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Africa where their currencies have strengthened against the pound.

The second thing is that although in some of these countries the pound will buy you less, some places have gone to great trouble to keep local prices as low as they can so tourists don’t feel the impact so much. Hotel rooms have dropped by more than many other places in price in Spain, the Canaries, the Balearics and in Ireland.

When it comes down to it, both the Post Office and I are talking about what has happened not what will happen this year. You could do better or worse. It shouldn’t stop you choosing a holiday merely because it might be costly when you get there. Otherwise, no one would visit the Scandinavian countries or Ireland. Pick your holiday destination because you want to go there. You can always make some economies when you get there in cutting back on tacky fridge magnets and unwanted gifts for friends!

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