British tourists get more for their money as the pound soars against most foreign currencies
Strong growth in a wide range of currencies indicates that a significant number of Britons are planning to go on holiday abroad for the first time in two years. The extraordinary currency growth of Croatia and the Caribbean suggests that these are becoming the destinations of choice for British holidaymakers.
Sales of most currencies have accelerated since the start of the year and 14 of La Poste’s best-selling currencies – including the euro and the US dollar – have seen sales rise above pre-levels. Covid. Sales in euros in March more than doubled compared to January, while purchases in dollars accelerated by 85%.
The most spectacular growth was that of the Croatian kuna. After recording the strongest post office growth of 52% in 2021, kuna purchases have increased 10 times since January and are now up 137% for the first quarter of 2022.
The pound rose against 16 currencies from April 2021, with the biggest 12-month gain of more than 62.6% being against the Turkish lira, giving Britons more than £268 more on a £500 trade. The monitor also shows considerable year-on-year sterling gains against the Hungarian forint, Polish zloty and Japanese yen.
As well as measuring movements in exchange rates and trends in currency sales, the Post Office Holiday Money Index also reports on the cost of food and drink in the destinations whose currency sales have increased the most over the past two years and have seen a great disparity in costs.
Prices in Marmaris, Turkey are much lower than any other destination due to the weak lira, but other than that, prices at the other resorts surveyed vary widely. Prices are down 13% since 2020 in Orlando, Florida, and the £55.62 cost of a three-course meal for two with a bottle of wine and a range of four drinks (coffee, beer, coke and wine) is less than half the price in Barbados (£133.70).
Long-haul hotspots Mauritius (£60.35), Costa Rica (£61.68) and Jamaica (£64.32) are also excellent value for money compared to Barbados, while in Europe , Croatia (£64.02) is reasonably priced. Prices in the six cheapest destinations surveyed are lower than in 2020. Although this was mainly due to the strength of the pound, the falls in Orlando, Mauritius, Costa Rica and Jamaica were also boosted by a lower local prices.
Nick Boden, Head of Travel Money at the Post Office, said: ‘Holidaymakers still considering where to book should consider resort fees, as our Holiday Cost Barometer study found large variations in the cost of meals and drinks. Turkey is by far the cheapest but, across the Atlantic, lower prices in Orlando make it an attractive choice, especially for families. »
Mr Boden added: “We are used to seeing a spring surge in Croatian kuna sales, but the rise in March was unprecedented, indicating that Croatia is set to have another very successful year. We have also seen an extraordinary increase in sales of Caribbean and Central American currencies in 2022. This suggests that pent-up demand is prompting many Britons to plan unforgettable holidays to some of the world’s most ambitious destinations.
La Poste offers around sixty currencies for pre-order in around 7,000 branches or online at www.postoffice.co.uk/travel for delivery the next day in store or at home. Some 3,600 larger post offices stock major currencies and around 7,000 offer euros over the counter without pre-ordering.
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