Â How a weak Euro can help you save this summer
Have you been looking at the Euro / Sterling exchange rate recently? If you havenâ€™t then weâ€™ll be happy to tell you that the pound is at its strongest against the Euro since the crash of 2008. From an all time low of around 1.04 Euros to the pound in January 2009, the pound is now worth around 1.4 Euros, the most itâ€™s been worth in over 6 years.
What does that mean to you?
A favourable exchange rate means that youâ€™ll get more Euros for your pound when you exchange them prior to travel and pay by cash or when you use a credit or debit card abroad. At the time of writing the rate you can expect when paying for items in Euros with your Visa card is around 1.34 Euros to the pound. That means if you buy something costing â‚¬100 youâ€™ll pay around Â£72 for it (excluding fees). In 2009 the same item would have cost you around Â£99 or so. If you get a good exchange rate for your cash at the bank it may be even cheaper.
How to make your holiday cheaper
A favourable exchange rate is only useful if you are paying for items in the local currency. That means anything you book and pay for in sterling before you go will not be any cheaper. Itâ€™s bad news if you are going all inclusive as your meals and drinks in your hotel will already be paid for. But if you are going independently and buying food, accommodation, excursions and suchlike as you go â€“ for example if your are touring, camping or staying in self catering – then you will be able to make the most of it.
The cost of holiday essentials
Whatever the exchange rate, itâ€™s always good to know what you can expect to pay for typical holiday items once you get there. Each year the Post Office conducts a survey of typical holiday items in countries across the world. Itâ€™s a bit like the shopping cart that supermarkets use here in the UK except that it counts the cost of items like sun cream, bottled water and cigarettes. Our favourite holiday destination, Spain, is still among the cheapest places in Europe â€“ something thatâ€™s great news for millions of us hoping for some cheap sun and sangria this summer.
The fantastic website pintprice.com has prices of a pint all over the world. It also details cities and areas of each country so you can make informed decisions about what itâ€™s going to cost where. In Donsotia San Sebastian, for example you might expect to pay up to â‚¬5, whereas in Benidorm you may get it for as little as â‚¬1.04. It won’t tell you the price of accommodation, meals out or other holiday sundries but it can give you a good indication of local pricing, especially when it comes to tourist areas.
Save on independent travel cover tooÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Some holiday essentials youâ€™ll have to buy in the UK in sterling before you go â€“ even if you travel independently. One of them is your holiday travel insurance. However, youâ€™ll still be able to enjoy savings with our policies. We offer cover for the entire family, for extended families and for people with medical problems at a price thatâ€™s fair and can cover most conditions. Thatâ€™s because we are specialist and do nothing but travel cover. Even if youâ€™ve been quoted a price for your travel cover with your all inclusive you may still be able to save with us â€“ especially if a member of your family has to make medical declarations.