rio de janeiro viewpoint

Where to travel in 2017 – the best value holiday destinations

While the pound has struggled against popular currencies such as the euro and the US dollar since the Brexit referendum last summer, you can still get more for your travel money through smart destination planning.

Rather than opting for your usual European spots this year, why not tick off some more far-flung destinations or secret tourist gems? Look at where the pound has performed well over the long run and you can find destinations where your travel budget could go further.

Take Argentina for example, where the pound goes nearly 50% further today than it did two years ago and an incredible 190% further vs five years ago.

Currency shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to holiday planning – choosing a destination with a better exchange rate means the cost of accommodation, shopping and dining out will cost you less. Start planning your travels a little smarter in 2017 and you could see more of the world, for less.

To give you a head start on where to visit, here are our top 12 destinations for 2017:

🇦🇷 Argentina

Argentina offers stunning waterfalls, glaciers and a vibrant capital in Buenos Aires. The pound goes nearly 50% further today than it did two years, meaning plenty more empanadas and dulce de leche for your travel money.

🇻🇪 Venezuela

Visiting Venezuela’s Andean peaks and Caribbean coastline will see your pound go 32% further than it did last year – and 82% further than five years ago.

🇧🇷 Brazil

Brazil offers 40% more for the pound than in 2012. Spend your time relaxing on Rio’s famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, or get a great view of the city from atop Sugarloaf Mountain.

view of rio

🇲🇽 Mexico

Whether you’re looking for white-sand beaches and all-inclusive resorts or ancient ruins and jungle tours, Mexico is a popular choice. You’ll currently get 12% more for your pound than two years ago.

Merida, Mexico also made it onto Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities of 2017.

🇲🇾 Malaysia

Malaysia is renowned for its island beaches, diving, colonial architecture and wild jungles. Exchange rates have improved recently, over the long-term you’ll get 13% more than you would have four years ago.

🇯🇲 Jamaica

Palm trees line both idyllic island beaches and lively resorts characterised by Jamaica’s laid-back vibe. You’ll get 18% more for your pound here than five years ago. Squeezed between the Blue Mountains, Kingston is an overwhelmingly beautiful destination, with plenty of tastes, sights and sounds to be explored.

 

🇿🇦 South Africa

Distinguished by natural beauty with its rugged landscape and coasts, plus game reserves and wine routes, South Africa will take your pound 34% further than it did five years ago. Cape Town is also another of Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities to visit in 2017.

aerial view of Cape Town

🇮🇷 Iran

With sanctions lifted, new direct flights and significant shifts in currency, Iran could become a new place to explore this year. An off-the-beaten-track destination, Iran offers beautiful beaches, world-class cuisine, ancient sights, rich culture – and even breath-taking skiing. The pound goes more than 100% further in Iran than it did four years ago and 128% further than five years ago.

🇿🇲 Zambia

Those wanting to combine a land safari with a waterway adventure, Zambia offers 24% more for the pound compared to two years ago and 34% over three years.

view of victoria falls

🇳🇴 Norway

Described by the Lonely Planet as “one of the most beautiful countries on earth”, The Scandinavian destination boasts mountains, glaciers, coastal fjords and the northern lights. While it’s known for its high cost of living, holidaymakers will find their pound goes 4% further than it did three months ago and 18% further than it did four years ago.

🇵🇱 Poland

Here you’ll find three perfect city break destinations in Krakow, Gdansk and Warsaw with diverse architecture, castles, churches and market squares. The pound now goes 5% further than it did three months ago.

🇲🇿 Mozambique

In Mozambique, the pound now goes 25% further than it did last year and 77% further than two years ago. Mozambique might not already be on your destination wishlist but its turquoise waters and sandy beaches makes it a rewarding trip for those that do venture here.

 

Looking at buying a second home overseas? We’ve compared the costs associated with buying a second home, to find the best value destinations and to help you narrow down your search on where you would like to buy.

Where to buy a second home

 
 

Whilst smarter destination planning will get you more for your money, if you are adamant on visiting the Eurozone or the US this year you can still make sure your money goes further by following some simple tips.

Tips for US or Eurozone travel: Sign up to rate alerts so you can lock-in an exchange rate when the pound is performing better, avoid travel money traps such as buying currency at the airports and avoid being hit with hidden credit and debit card fees.

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Miles Hobson

Miles Hobson

Miles oversees marketing communications at FairFX. He has a passion for travel and loves to explore new cities on foot to find their hidden gems.

16 comments

  1. Thank you for a very interesting list of exotic places, but could you also advise if Russia might also be suitable?

    1. Hi Ron, the pound hasn’t performed too well against the Russian Ruble in recent years but it goes 53% further than it did 4 years ago. Order an Everywhere Card for a hassle free way to spend as you travel through Russia https://www.fairfx.com/product/cards/GBP

  2. I am interested in South Africa, Zambia combined with , Mozambique. Can you advse what you offer?

    1. Hi Alan, we recommend the Everywhere Card. Get great rates wherever you spend in the world. A secure way to pay in over 210 countries, anywhere they accept Mastercard® – https://www.fairfx.com/product/cards/GBP

  3. We are going to Australia. How has the exchange rate faired over the last few years?
    which FX Currency card would you suggest?

    1. Hi Peter, the pound hasn’t performed that well against the Australian Dollar in recent years but if you look back 4 years it does go 11% further today. We recommend the FairFX Everywhere Card – your pounds are converted to the local currency at a low 1.4% fee when you use your card https://www.fairfx.com/product/cards

  4. Going on a cruise to the United Arab Emirates in march and wondered about your recommendations.i already have an anywhere card and a Euro one.

  5. Hi, I’m traveling to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in March this year, I have both sterling and US dollars FX cards, which should I use bearing in mind I need to exchange sterling to US dollars with you if that is the better card. I will also need some local currency for both places, what do you advise?

    Thank you

  6. I plan to visit Hong Kong in March 2017. Currently I have a ‘Euro’ FX card. I’m wondering whether to request a HK Dollar card or a US Dollar card (as I believe that US dollars are accepted by hotels and many restaurants. Advice would be appreciated.

    Geoff

    1. Hi Geoff, we’re not sure about using dollars in Hong Kong but if you have it on good authority that you can then locking in a rate on a Dollar Card to pay when checking out could be a good idea.

      If you use your Euro Card you would be charged an Out of Currency fee.

      Ordering an Everywhere Card would be the best solution – load in sterling and convert to the local currency when you spend, wherever you are in the world https://www.fairfx.com/product/cards/options

  7. I’ll be walking in Norway for 6 weeks starting June . The Everywhere Card sounds like the best option, what are the charges and how do they compare to using UK Debit card?.

    1. You’re right Peter, the Everywhere Card is the best choice. Your pounds are converted to the local currency at a low 1.4% fee when you use your card, wherever you are in the world. And ATM fee is just £1. You’ll no doubt find these lower than your UK debit card – you can find out more about how the cards compare here http://blog.fairfx.com/smart-money/prepaid-cards-vs-debit-vs-credit-best-abroad/

  8. whats it like for the £ against the Japanese Yen at the moment?

    1. The pound is down 12% against the Yen since the Brexit referendum. If you compare today’s rate with 5 years ago though you’ll see that the pound is up 5.26%.

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