Get 10% more by planning ahead with currency

As the UK's cold weather continues, millions of us will be dreaming about Easter and summer breaks in the sun. Many of us have already booked these trips too, planning ahead to get a better price on accommodation and flights (or perhaps you've bagged yourself a cheap ticket for the launch of Eurostar's new Amsterdam route). But have you planned ahead with your currency?

Many people will leave their currency to the last minute, not realising how much they're losing out by not putting a little more effort into buying currency. By simply signing up for a rate tracking service and buying currency when the pound is having a good day, you get far more to spend on the things you love on holiday. Sign up for the FairFX Rate Alert service here.

Looking at the exchange rates in the three months leading up to the school summer holidays in 2017 shows that exchange rates can vary by up to 10% across popular destinations. For example, travellers to Mexico could have received an extra £87 worth of currency for every £1,000 exchanged by purchasing their foreign currency when rates were at their peak. But, travellers that didn't plan ahead and simply exchanged their currency when they were heading away effectively paid 10% more than they had to.

For families heading into Europe last summer, the pound to euro exchange rate varied by 7% in the three months leading up to mid-July when schools broke up, which could have meant an extra £68 worth of currency for those making the exchange when rates peaked.


Country Currency Amount of currency for £1,000 at highest rate Amount of currency for £1,000 at lowest rate % Difference Difference in currency – value in £s
Mexico Mexican Peso 24,849 22,688 10% £87
Canada Canadian Dollar 1,777 1,629 9% £83
Croatia Croatian Kuna 8,883 8,232 8% £73
Euro countries Euro 1,195 1,114 7% £68
Bulgaria Bulgarian Lev 2,336 2,184 7% £65
Australia Australian Dollar 1,746 1,637 7% £62
Indonesia Indonesian Rupiah 17,485,458 16,732,940 4% £43
Tanzania Tanzanian Shilling 2,933,420 2,823,421 4% £37
USA USA dollar 1,310 1,263 4% £36
UAE Emirati Dirham 4,813 4,638 4% £36


Exchange rates fluctuate from one day to the next of course but with a little smart planning you can take advantage when the rates swing in your favour.

It's not just trips that you've already got booked that you should be planning ahead for. Thinking about currency before you’ve chosen your destination means you can pick a country where the exchange rate is in your favour and accommodation, shopping and dining out will cost you less.

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 the best value holiday destinations where your travel budget could go further. Check out these destinations where you will get more for your pounds this year.

With a FairFX Prepaid Mastercard® you can get more to spend by locking in a great euro or dollar rate when you load. Use your card to spend in shops, restaurants, and at ATMs, anywhere you see the Mastercard® Acceptance Mark.

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