Couples planning a short romantic break and half term skiers heading to the Eurozone this February will get a bit more cash to splash this year than last as the Pound has increased 2.38% in value against the Euro year on year. But the US could also be a good bet for Half term as the Pound rallies against the US Dollar (down 2.25% vs Jan 10), offering families the holiday staples of snow or sun, sea and theme parks, says foreign currency expert, ICE (International Currency Exchange – (www.iceplc.com).
Joanna Williams, Head of Marketing for ICE said: “The unrest in Egypt will be prompting some families to look for winter sun alternatives that offer the best value. The US offers a good mix of family friendly holidays – from snow on the East coast to sun on the West. Those heading to the slopes in Italy, France and Austria will certainly have some more cash in their pockets than this time last year – around 13 Euros based on a £500 exchange*.” (See table below)
While the attraction of sunnier climes is pushing up sales of the Thai Baht, South African Rand and UAE Dirham, ICE is seeing demand for seriously long haul currencies reach an all-time high – the Australian and New Zealand Dollars are now the third and fourth most ordered currencies from ICE.
Joanna Williams continues: “It seems there is a growing appetite for long haul holidays in the darkest days of winter – no doubt spurred on by flight deals and of course, England’s performance in The Ashes. In January we saw orders of the Australian Dollar and New Zealand Dollar reach new levels, making them the most popular currencies ordered after the Euro and US Dollar. For the first time in the last two years, Thailand has been pushed out of the top 4 currencies for January. The Thai Baht is now in fifth place followed by the South African Rand and Bulgarian Lev.
With more Brits heading to the far flung and exotic this winter, ICE is urging travellers to compare the rates for the exotic locations when researching the best currency deals as these are where the biggest differences can be between the most competitive providers.
Joanna Williams concludes: “With household finances under so much pressure this year, getting the best value from currency exchange is high on the agenda. Certainly if you are heading to a more exotic location and you are shopping around for currency, don’t assume the small differences on rates between foreign currency providers on Euros and US Dollars will be replicated on the currencies for more exotic regions. There can be huge differences in rates offered so do your homework before ordering and check the rates from reputable providers, both online and in branches.”