LONDON: This weekend marks two years since the UK voted to leave the European Union – and with it the beginning of a bumpy ride for the wallets of British holidaymakers.
According to analysis by travel money experts FairFX, sterling is up as much as 70 per cent against some currencies, but remains 12 per cent down against the euro and 11 per cent down on the dollar compared to June 23, 2016, the day of the referendum.
“The past two years since the Brexit referendum have been eventful for the pound to say the least,” said FairFX CEO Ian Strafford-Taylor, who added there is likely to be more uncertainty for holidaymakers as the Government continues to navigate its way out of the EU.
He said, however, that holidaymakers are growing increasingly savvy in how they purchase their holiday money.
“As people become aware of the impact politics can have on currencies, we’re seeing an increasing number of people topping up their prepaid cards on a much more regular basis as and when the pound is performing well,” he said.
Political and economic uncertainty has seen the pound swing up and down.
In June last year, holidaymakers were warned of dismal exchange rates, with some bureaux des changes selling as little as €0.90 for a pound. Airport branches were accused of “profiteering” and taking advantage of travellers, as the market rate was set much higher at €1.14.
Sterling has rallied somewhat after falling six per cent against the euro and eight against the dollar in the immediate aftermath of the referendum. But first it fell further – a flash crash in October and another slump in November saw the pound at the lowest rate against the euro since 2001, at €1.10.
The pound picked up in April to €1.15 and now sits at €1.14.
Across the Pond, the pound was worth $1.47 on the eve of the referendum, before falling to $1.32. In January 2017, sterling hit a 31-year low against the American currency, at $1.20, but the pound has rallied and today is up to €1.31.
In March this year, a money expert advised holidaymakers to purchase currency for their upcoming trips as the pound was unlikely to be in a better position.
Compared to this time last year, the pound is up 72 per cent on the Argentine peso, meaning British travellers get an extra £420 for every £1,000 spent, thanks to a collapse in the nation’s currency.
Mexico, Brazil and World Cup host nation Russia are three more destinations where Britons are getting more bang for their buck, compared to June 2017, with the difference in 12 months 20 per cent, 18 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.