A turbulent political landscape means the pound has had a rocky time of it over the last 12 months. Brexit took its toll, with sterling plummeting from £1 to €1.3 to £1 to €1.16 overnight in the wake of the decision. The exchange rate has fluctuated many times since then, but it’s never recovered to the heady heights of pre-EU referendum rates, and at the time of writing is lagging at an underwhelming £1 to €1.13.
However, the euro isn’t the only currency in town – far from it.
“The last 12 months have been a turbulent one for sterling, as it reacted to political and economic events,” said FairFX CEO Ian Strafford-Taylor.
“However, holidaymakers who are savvy about the news agenda will be able to get more for their money by staying alert and monitoring exchange rates to lock in the best deal. Planning ahead is key to helping the pound go as far as possible.”
If you’re after more bang for your buck on the next city break, ski trip or beach holiday, there are currently 35 currencies that the pound has gone up against compared to this time last year. Here are five of the most exciting holiday destinations where sterling has skyrocketed.
Currency information provided by travel money and international payment services provider FairFX.
Sterling is up 24 per cent against the Argentine peso compared to November 2016. For £1,000 you get ARS23,191 – the equivalent to £196 more than you would have got a year ago. Head to the country’s coastal capital city Buenos Aires and soak up a passionate foodie culture, exquisite French and Italian-style architecture and – of course – non-stop tango.
Up 15 per cent against the yen, £1,000 will get you ¥150,255, £130 more than last year. Osaka, Japan’s second city, is currently enjoying a moment in the spotlight with tourism up 31 per cent between 2015 and 2016. The recent opening of Festival Tower West in Osaka’s Nakanoshima district has lent the sandbank sandwiched between the city’s business districts a buzzy feel. And its newest hotel opening, the Conrad Osaka, which crowns the top floors of the West Tower, has done nothing to dent its cool appeal.
The Land of Lord of the Rings is offering better value than last year, with the pound up 11 per cent against the NZ dollar. This improved rate equates to £101 more per £1,000. Thriving Wellington is a perfect city to escape to during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. January features international cricket, while 6 February is Waitangi Day – which commemorates the ratification of the Waitangi Treaty, which enshrined citizenship rights for Maori people. And until 2018 the acclaimed Gallipoli – The Scale of Our War exhibition at the Te Papa Museum looks in detail at the Anzac’s role in this bloody First World War battle.
The South African Rand has also dropped 11 per cent against sterling. Now is a great time to go to Cape Town, which, with opening of the 100,000-square-foot Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in September, has become the artistic hub of South Africa.
Sri Lanka has emerged as a seriously hot (in both senses) holiday destination over the last few years, with an upsurge in chic boutique hotels, white-sand beaches and lush tea trails. And the good news is that the pound is performing considerably better than this time in 2016, up 9 per cent against the Sri Lankan rupee.
Here are 30 more countries where the pound is up since last year:
Turkey (Turkish lira): Up 27 per cent
Venezuela (Venezuelan bolivar): Up 17 per cent
Iran (Iranian rial): Up 16 per cent
Ukraine (Ukrainian hryvnia): Up 10 per cent
Indonesia (Indonesian rupiah): Up 8 per cent
Tanzania (Tanzanian shilling): Up 8 per cent
Kenya (Kenyan shilling): Up 7 per cent
Colombia (Colombian peso): Up 7 per cent
Brazil (Brazilian real): Up 7 per cent
Switzerland (Swiss franc): Up 7 per cent
Zambia (Zambian kwacha): Up 7 per cent
Seychelles (Seychellois rupee): Up 7 per cent
Egypt (Egyptian pound): Up 6 per cent
Hong Kong (Hong Kong dollar): Up 6 per cent
Australia (Australian dollar): Up 6 per cent
USA (US dollar): Up 5 per cent
UAE (Emirati dirham): Up 5 per cent
Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabian riyal): Up 5 per cent
Malaysia (Malaysian ringgit): Up 5 per cent
Mauritania (Mauritanian ouguiya): Up 4 per cent
Norway (Norwegian krone): Up 4 per cent
Jamaica (Jamaican dollar): Up 3 per cent
China (Chinese yuan renminbi): Up 3 per cent
India (Indian rupee): Up 3 per cent
Singapore (Singapore dollar): Up 3 per cent
Chile (Chilean peso): Up 3 per cent
Mexico (Mexican peso): Up 2 per cent
Morocco (Moroccan dirham): Up 2 per cent
Hungary (Hungarian forint): Up 2 per cent
Mauritius (Mauritian rupee) Up 1 per cent
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