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Brexit has sent the pound tumbling - how to choose a holiday and not end up skint

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Jan 16, 2017

Whether you’re an ‘inner’ or an ‘outer’, one thing’s clear: the currency markets have lost a hell of a lot of confidence in the UK’s currency since the Brexit vote.

Once again, the pound has taken a beating on international currency markets. 

All of which means if you go abroad this year, you're going to potentially encounter prices that bring tears to the eyes.

Of course, you could always bury your head in the sand, stick everything on a credit card while on your hols and suffer the shock when you get back. 

But most of us probably prefer to preserve our cash as much as possible while still having a good time.

As we see things, it comes down to FIVE choices: 

1. Just avoid those destinations that have seen really whopping rises against sterling.

2. Go where it’s really cheap to start with.

3. Go to destinations which have seen the smallest rises against the pound.

4. Decide it’s going to cost more and accept it.

5. Stay at home.


Albania - a potential destination after Brexit?


Which holiday destinations have seen the biggest gains against the pound?

£ is worth (rates may vary):

* Eurozone €1.17
* USA $1.29
* Australia $1.73
* New Zealand $1.78
* Canada $1.69
* Japanese Yen 130
* Swiss Franc 1.27

Go to any of these places and you’re going to really notice that prices have shot up – especially the US, Down Under and Japan.

An alternative then is to head to countries where food, drinks and accommodation were ‘really cheap’ before and will now just be ‘quite cheap’.  

Many of these places tend to have their currencies linked to the dollar, so will have seen them appreciate a lot against the pound; but, because the cost of living is so low in the first place, they will remain pretty affordable. 

Such destinations as India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia might be worth considering. 

The problem here, of course, is that these are long-haul destinations and air fares are going to be more expensive, especially as fuel is linked to the US$. 

Nearer home, then, perhaps consider Albania (a little like Greece, but lots cheaper), Croatia, Turkey, countries in Eastern Europe NOT in the Eurozone, such as Romania, Poland, Czech Republic and Bulgaria. (Watch out for Montenegro, though, as it uses the Euro despite being outside the Eurozone).


Which countries then have seen the smallest rises against sterling? 

Some of these may not exactly be top of most people’s holiday destinations wish list – but, then again, perhaps we need to broaden our minds a little…after all, that’s what travel’s all about.

Here are a selection (percentages are approximate): 

* Argentina (–4%)
* Georgia (–5%)
* Poland (–6%)
* Sweden (–6%)
* South Africa (–7%)
* Namibia (–7%)
* Hungary (–7%)
* Botswana (–7%)

Then there’s always the option of a staycation. 

The downside of that, though, is that a lot of people may well be thinking the same and planning to holiday in the UK; so, inevitably, extra demand will push up prices here too.

Ultimately, you pays your money and you takes your choice!


What about travel insurance?

There will be no immediate change to any existing policies you have and your travel insurance will still provide the same cover they do now.

Visit our guide for everything you need to know about travel insurance

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What about long-term effects?

We are likely only to know the long-term effects of Brexit on holidays to Europe - such as higher air fares, changes to compensation rules, healthcare abroad, visa-free travel and roaming charges - after the UK has formally triggered its exit and begun the renegotiation process. 

Abta said travellers due to go abroad this summer will see "little changes to their holiday".

The travel organisation added: "Once the UK formally notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the remaining member states will have up to two years to offer the UK a deal for a future trading relationship and during this period holidaymakers will not see any immediate changes.

"However, the fall in value of the pound will have an immediate impact on holidaymakers and their spending power overseas."

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This guide was updated on 07.11.16


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