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10 places your £s will go further this year


Argentina, Brazil and South Africa have become the top-value holiday destinations for Brits in 2016.

Beach with palm trees

For people planning this year’s summer holidays at the moment, the news that the pound has been slipping against the euro and the dollar in recent weeks is unlikely to be welcome.

Higher interest rates in the States and a general economic recovery in many eurozone countries have boosted the value of these two currencies over the last month or two.

Travel farther for value

As a result, Brits who intend to head to America or the Continent at some point this year could find their holiday cash doesn’t go quite as far as it did last year.

But all is not lost.

Research just published by travel money company No. 1 Currency has found that sterling has managed to increase in value over the last 12 months against a wide range of other, less well-known currencies.

What this does mean, however, is that travellers looking for better value for money on their trips might have to head a bit farther afield.

  Country  Currency Rate/£1 Jan 2015 Rate/£1 Jan 2016 Change
1   Argentina Peso 13 20.2 55%
2 Brazil Real 4 5.9 47%
3 South Africa Rand 17.9 24.2 34.8%
4 Colombia Peso 3663.1 4750.6 29.7%
5 Turkey Lira 3.5 4.4 26.7%
6 Malaysia Ringgit 5.4 6.4 18%
7 Mexico Peso 22.1 26 17.4%
8 Russia Rouble 94 110.1 17.1%
9 Botswana Pula 14.6 16.9 15.8%
10 New Zealand Dollar  1.9 2.2 14.6%

Source: No. 1 Currency. All values rounded to one decimal place.

South America leads the way

No. 1 Currency says that, since the start of 2015, the pound has appreciated most strongly in Argentina and Brazil, thanks largely to growing economic difficulties in South America.

Against the Argentine Peso, sterling is up a whopping 55% over the last year. And against the Brazilian Real, its value has risen by 47%.

Couple dancing the tango

Argentina: South America offers great value right now for Brits looking to make their holiday pounds go further.

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There is good news also for those planning a holiday in South Africa: here, the pound is now worth 35% more than in January 2015.

No. 1 Currency spokesman Simon Phillips says: “2016 could be a great year for the British tourist to see the world, as the pound remains strong in many popular destinations.  

Expensive alternatives

“South America offers amazing value right now, and we are likely to see thousands of Brits heading to destinations like Rio, not just because of the draw of the Olympics but because it’s so cheap at the moment.”

But what about the countries where sterling has lost value?

The research found that in Switzerland – a pricey destination at the best of times – the pound was down by 5.4% over the past 12 months.

The only place where the British currency has suffered more is Cambodia, where the Riel has appreciated almost 6% against sterling.

Euro rate still OK

The research also found that, although the pound has suffered against the euro in the last two or three months, it is still around worth around 4.5% more than at the start of last year.

Phillips adds that anyone planning to head to a country where sterling is particularly valuable at the moment should consider buying their currency early in case rates move against them in the run-up to their holiday.

“Because the currency markets are so volatile, if you’re looking to go on holiday in the next few months it might be worth buying some of your travel money now, rather than leaving it until the last minute,” he says.

“And definitely avoid buying your travel money at the airport, because the rates there are the worst on the market.”

Cape Town

Cape Town: The pound is up more than 35% against the South African rand since January 2015.

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