Pound stronger this year despite Brexit uncertainty – what does it mean for your holidays?

The pound has risen in value against major currencies in the past six months. GBP’s improved performance comes despite ongoing Brexit apprehension as the UK attempts to leave the EU. The Post Office has released its latest Holiday Money Index measuring exchange rate movements and currency sales. Post Office Travel Money analysis shows that sterling has held its value in recent months, despite the continuing economic uncertainty.

GBP stronger in 2019 despite Brexit uncertainty reveals Post Office Travel Money index

In the past six months, the pound has risen in value against three-quarters of the Post Office’s 40 bestselling currencies.

This includes the euro (against which the pound is up 3.3 per cent compared with October) and US dollar (up 1.3 per cent) and is stronger than a year ago against 20 of those bestsellers.

Turkey is currently a cheap holiday option for Britons thanks to the favourable exchange rate.

Sterling’s biggest year-on-year gain of 34.3 per cent has been against the Turkish lira, giving holidaymakers £128 extra on a £500 currency purchase.

According to The Thomas Cook Holiday Report, Turkey has seen a whopping 27 per cent uplift in bookings compared to 2018. 

The pound is also stronger than a year ago against every European currency except the Swiss franc (against which it is down by 3 per cent).

Gains of 3.1 per cent against the Czech koruna and over 5 per cent for the Hungarian forint will make city breaks to Prague and Budapest cheaper.

Game of Thrones fans visiting filming locations in Iceland will get 13.3 per cent more Icelandic krona and sterling also remains stronger against the euro – up 2.2 per cent year-on-year.

Post Office sales to such far-flung destinations as Japan, Bali and Tobago are also soaring.

Sterling has weakened in the past year in these countries but they rated as good value in Post Office holiday costs barometers because local prices are cheap.

Bali and Tokyo are among the 10 best value destinations in the 2019 Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer.

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The two outperform Thailand and Vietnam, whose currencies have risen against sterling by 4.8 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively but where local prices are higher.

Similarly, a 44 per cent year-on-year growth spurt for the Trinidad & Tobago dollar comes after Tobago rated alongside St Lucia as the cheapest Caribbean island in the Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer.

Yet, in common with the Barbados dollar (7.1 per cent stronger against sterling year-on-year), the Trinidad & Tobago dollar is worth more against the pound (up 3 per cent) than last April.

Despite the weaker pound, sales of Caribbean currencies are generally on the rise with significant year-on-year increases of 9 per cent for the Jamaican and Barbados dollars.

Nick Boden, Post Office Head of Travel Money, said: “Picking a destination where prices on the ground are low can outweigh the impact of a weak exchange rate but a destination where prices are cheap and sterling is strong is the best bet.”

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