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Strong pound boosts holiday spending power

Strong pound boosts holiday spending power

Category: Money

Updated: 05/08/2010
First Published: 05/08/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Many Britons set to holiday in foreign climes this summer will be buoyed by the news that the strong pound will go further than it did last year.

Sterling has enjoyed a period of rising value against some currencies recently, meaning the affordability of holidays in many locations has improved.

With millions of us descending on the eurozone throughout the summer, the pound's rise against the euro is especially welcome.

According to, the average spend of a Brit abroad last summer was £702.

In 2009, that amount put an average of 815 euros in the pockets of holidaymakers. This year, somebody exchanging £702 could expect as much as 871 euros in return, an increase of 56 euros.

As well as the more traditional central European destinations, travellers should see their money go further in many of the continent's less familiar locations.

Since February, the pound has risen against the Serbian dinar by 14%, while the affordability of breaks in Hungary and Poland has also improved, show figures from Halifax.

A trip to Scandinavia should also be more affordable, with the pound rising in value against the Danish kroner by 5% and the Norwegian kroner by 1%.

Despite this, many will miss out on the best exchange rates by buying their foreign currency at the airport or withdrawing cash from overseas cash points, which, more often than not, results in a charge.

To maximise your spending power on holiday, it is worth trawling the high street, specialist foreign exchange providers and online exchanges.

As was evidenced earlier this year with the problems created by the ash cloud in Iceland and the chaos that entailed, it is impossible to predict what could happen once on holiday.

It is always worth having a credit card with you in case of emergencies, and, should your plastic companion be called into action, there are options to ensure you're not stung with costly charges.

One such example is the Post Office Classic MasterCard which doesn't charge for overseas use and has a typical APR of 19.9%.

Before leaving for your break, it may pay to check the Best Buy tables to find a foreign usage card.

Last, but by no means least, before travelling anywhere, holidaymakers should make certain they are fully insured, as the costs of medical care abroad can run into thousands and thousands of pounds.

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