Families planning to escape the UK’s wet weather this half-term and Easter may want to budget carefully. In a budget squeezing double whammy, there are just 30 days between the two school holidays and the Pound has sunk by almost 8% against the Euro compared to last summer, according to leading travel money provider ICE – International Currency Exchange.
In July 2015, the Pound was buying 1.40 Euros, now it has come down to 1.29 Euros*. Those planning trips to the US fare little better. In July last year the Pound bought $1.53 USDs, now this has sunk to $1.39 USDs**, a drop of 9%. While exchange rates have deteriorated for many destinations across the board, exceptions include Canada – welcome news for skiers – and Mexico – offering a warm reprieve from the UK winter.
Koko Sarkari, COO of ICE said: “There’s little doubt that kids will love the two school breaks in quick succession, but an early Easter this year may put family finances under extra pressure. A bit of planning both in terms of ordering travel money and methods of payment overseas can help make budgets go that bit further. Getting a good deal on currency should be a top priority for travellers wherever they go and by combining a number of options from pre-ordered travel money cash, loading currency onto prepaid cards, or using a credit card that’s free of overseas charges, travellers can take advantage of convenient payment options and competitive rates of exchange.”
Travel Money Tips from ICE
•Try not to leave organising travel money to the last minute as it may limit your options
•Online exchange rates tend to be more competitive than the high street but shop around and compare.
•Remember to factor in postage costs if you are having money delivered to home.
•Look for deals offering competitive rates from foreign exchange branches so that you can pick up your cash in person if that’s more convenient. Some require upfront online payment to secure a rate while others such as the Click & Click*** service from ICE simply offer a voucher to show at the counter to access the best rate on the day.
•Take enough local currency to pay for drinks, tips, taxis and so on, then consider putting the rest on a prepaid currency card such as the ICE Travellers Cashcard.
•If you plan to use a credit card be aware of exchange rates applied and charges for overseas use.