With the pound at its weakest in six months, Brits' wallets are being squeezed just in time for holiday season. Find out what it means for you, and what you can do to make your travel money go further.
The strength of the pound fell to a six-month low this week, amid market fears of a no-deal Brexit. For millions of Brits heading out on holiday, this will have a real impact on their spending money.
At its height, on 27 March 2019, you could buy u20ac1.17 for each pound. By 17 July, that had dropped to u20ac1.11.
Here, we look at the difference this could make to your holiday, and the steps you can take to make the most of your sterling.
Exchange rates can seem abstract, but looking at specific examples shows the effect on your every day spending.
A cup of coffee in Benidorm costs £1.56 on average based on the exchange rate on 2 April 2019, according to data from Post Office Money. At today's rate, our analysis shows that the same coffee would cost £1.65.
On a larger scale, the same Post Office Money research found that a typical first day's spending in the Algarve would cost £57.45 at the April exchange rate. Today, that same day would cost £59.31.
At a more expensive destination like Sorrento in Italy, the difference becomes more pronounced. A £127.15 day in April could cost £131.27 at today's rate. That £4.12 difference per day could add up to almost £58 for a two-week stay.
Keep in mind these differences have been calculated using the interbank rate - the 'pure' exchange rate that banks charge one another. In most cases, you'll have to accept the rate set by your card provider, plus you'll also be charged fees. Avoiding these fees and securing the best possible rate is key to surviving the currency crash on holiday.
You can save on spending abroad in a number of different ways. Read about them here to find the best option for you:
Debit cards from high street banks will usually charge heavy fees for overseas spending. Luckily, a few providers offer fee-free debit cards - perfect for frequent travelers.
These are three of the best fee-free debit cards you can find today, including options from Which? Recommended Providers Monzo and Cumberland Building Society.
Monzo and Starling both use the Mastercard exchange rate, while Cumberland uses the Visa exchange rate. These are both only marginally higher than the interbank rate at the moment.
|Provider||Overseas transaction fee||Overseas cash withdrawal fee|
|Cumberland Building Society||0%||0%|
|Monzo||0%||Free up to £200/month, then 3%|
Again, most credit cards will come with associated fees for overseas withdrawals and spending. There are some, however, that offer fee-free purchases and relatively lower interest on cash withdrawals.
|Card||Non-sterling transaction fee||Non-sterling withdrawal fee||Cash withdrawal APR||Representative APR|
|Metro Bank Credit Card||0% (2.99% outside Europe)||0% (2.99% outside Europe)||14.0%||14.9%|
|Santander Zero Credit Card||0%||0%||18.9%||18.9%|
|Tandem Cashback Credit Card||0%||0%||18.9%||18.9%|
|Halifax Clarity Credit Card||0%||0%||19.9%||19.9%|
With a prepaid card, you can load a set amount of money onto your card to use abroad. There are three different types, each with their own perks.
It's worth keeping in mind that these cards often come with other fees as well, including a fee to use a foreign ATM.
|Card name||Exchange rate||Foreign ATM fee||Load fee|
|AA Euro Card||AA's own rate||u20ac1.50||Free|
|BreadFX Euro Prepaid Mastercard||Bread FX's own rate||u20ac1.50||Free|
|Easyjet Euro Currency Card||Easyjet's own rate||Free||Free|
While all bureaux de change will mark up the exchange rate they offer you, there's usually room to haggle. Look up the interbank rate on the day as a guide, and have a figure in mind for what you'd be happy to accept.
Earlier this month, Which? Travel put together a list of five cities that Which? members rated highly, but which also offer great value for money.
The table below has the average prices for these five cities, taken from our most recent world cities survey.
|Which? City score||Flights (return)||Local transport||Dining||Hotels|
|Cape Town||87%||£685||£3 for an Uber across town||£29 for a four-course meal at a trendy restaurant||£103/night|
|Budapest||89%||£133||£8 for 10 metro tickets||£11 for dinner at popular Zeller Bistro||£68/night|
|Lisbon||84%||£175||u20ac1.80+ for bus trip||u20ac30 for two-person three-course meal at typical cafe||£98/night|
|Berlin||87%||£113||u20ac7/day unlimited public transport||u20ac3-7 for a meal at popular restaurant Azzam||£78/night|
|Singapore||82%||£562||£12 three-day unlimited public transport||£3/meal at world's cheapest Michelin-star restaurant||£102/night|