holiday money

Foreign currency and exchange rates in 2022

by Madaline Dunn

After two years of lockdowns and travel restrictions, many will be looking at summer 2022 as the opportunity to finally escape and go on the holiday they’ve dreamt of for so long. That said, when it comes to travelling abroad, there’s a lot of factors to consider – one of them being foreign currency.

Perhaps you’re a little rusty when it comes to exchange rates, or maybe it’s the first time you’re leaving the country; after all, nearly a quarter of Brits have never been on a plane, and one in ten have never left the UK. Whatever the reason, if you’ve got questions about foreign currency, at The Salary Calculator, we’re here to answer all your burning questions. In this article, we’ll explain:

  • How the pound is looking against the euro and the dollar
  • Whether you should buy foreign currency in advance and what the risks are
  • Top tips for securing the best exchange rate and avoiding charges

The pound versus the euro and the dollar

Exchange rates are in constant fluctuation, and a wide range of factors can affect them. Everything from political stability, interest rates and inflation to public debt, speculation and money supply can make a currency go up or down in value.

When it comes to the GBP/USD rate, over the last five years, it has been as high as $1.4328 and as low as $1.1492. That said, currently, the exchange rate is closer to the top-end of the trading range, and the higher it is, the cheaper it is to buy dollars with pounds.

Meanwhile, the GBP/ EUR rate, in 2021 and the beginning of 2022, has also been trading at the high end of its 5-year trading range.

Buying currency ahead of time: The advantages and risks

In some situations, when buying currency, it can be advantageous to plan ahead of time. In cases where you want to exchange large amounts of money, or you’re looking to purchase a currency that’s slightly more obscure than the euro or dollar where the exchange operator may have to order it in, buying in advance could be a good idea. That said, for ‘exotic currency,’ waiting until you arrive at your destination could be a better idea, as local rates are usually better.

You may also be thinking about buying your currency ahead of time in case the pound weakens. However, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to buying currency and check for updates on the exchange market. This can be done at XE.com, where you’ll be able to access live updates on the pound’s value against other currencies. Starting this research around a month before you’re due to head off is a wise idea. If, for example, you notice a trend of the rate steadily going down, buying then and there could help you get the most from your money. A safer bet, though, is to buy half of your travel money before and half later.

For trips where you’re unlikely to need to use cash, to avoid this altogether, it might be worth using a no foreign transaction fee travel card to pay for your purchases.

Tips for getting the best exchange rate and avoiding charges

There are some dos and don’ts when it comes to exchange rates and foreign currency, and below are some of our top tips.

Don’t buy currency at the airport

This is the number one way you will lose out when buying currency. Airport kiosks offer the worst holiday money exchange rates across the board, and they do this because they’re charging you for the convenience. If you’re up against time, or perhaps your trip is a spur of the moment escape, ordering your currency online and picking it up at the airport will help you avoid terrible exchange rates.

When abroad, pay in the local currency

Once you’ve flown to your holiday destination, make sure, when given the option, you choose to pay for purchases in the local currency. This will allow you to avoid both poor exchange rates and currency conversion fees.

Make sure to shop around

There are lots of foreign currency providers in the UK, so it’s worth comparing rates, even if the difference in exchange rates isn’t huge, you can still save a little.

Avoid using your credit or debit card for purchases abroad

When you use your card abroad, it’s likely your bank will charge you a non-sterling transaction fee (usually around 2-3%). Alongside this, you may be hit with additional fees for withdrawing cash and interest on top of the withdrawal. Some cards  charge between 50p and £1.50 for transactions on top of their normal exchange rate charge. Banks who are the culprits for this include Lloyds, TSB and Halifax.

Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 Foreign Currency No Comments

None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

Holidaying in an overdrawn country

by Admin

I’m in Greece at the moment, a country which has been suffering recently from severe economic problems. Over the past decade the government has taken advantage of the security of being part of the Euro and borrowed more than the country’s total annual revenue. The downturn lead to less advantageous borrowing rates, leaving the country with an increasingly difficult task to repay the loans (sounds like the “sub-prime” crisis but for countries rather than homeowners, doesn’t it?). Cuts in public sector pay and benefits have lead to protests and riots. So does this affect you if you’re visiting the country?

My experience is no. The weakened Euro has helped increase the number of visitors to Greece and its islands, where I am right now. Hotels and restaurants therefore are not short of customers and although I have seen a number of closed establishments, such businesses can fail even in boom times. Prices for meals and drinks remain reasonable – no sign of businesses using inflation to combat financial problems. There have also been no effects of any strikes, although if you were to be relying on public transport you may run out of luck (I have had no problem using the buses here, however).

The holiday resorts, bars, shops and tourist attractions have been as busy as ever and it doesn’t appear that the larger economic problems of the country are having an impact on the day-to-day experiences of a tourist enjoying the hospitality of a popular holiday destination.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, July 5th, 2010 Economy, Foreign Currency No Comments

Pound’s Euro rate improves

by Admin

With the economy having improved over the last couple of months, and many people last year choosing to have a cheaper holiday and stay in the UK, perhaps this year there’ll be more of us thinking of treating ourselves to a trip to Europe this summer. And if you’re one of them, good news – over the last few weeks the Euro exchange rate has improved significantly!

Although €1.20 to the pound is not what you might consider a great rate, it’s not been at that level since the pound plummetted at the end of 2008. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news – this improvement is not due to the pound getting stronger but the Euro getting weaker – the pound continues to fall against the Yen and the Dollar (although it has seen a recent rally on this last count). The BBC’s Gavin Hewitt has written a great blog post explaining why the Euro is in such trouble.

When will the pound return to its previous strong position? Well, the rates we remember of a few years ago such as 2 dollars to the pound are not going to return anytime soon, but if confidence in the UK economy increases then investors will value the pound more. An increase in UK interest rates would also give a boost (since saving pounds then becomes more worthwhile) – but this would impact on mortgage interest rates for a lot of homeowners. Would you rather find it easier to pay your mortgage every month, or have a bit extra holiday money in the summer?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, June 11th, 2010 Foreign Currency 3 Comments

Election come down

by Admin

So after all the hype and canvassing and the debates, the results are in – and it’s a hung Parliament, the first since 1974. What does that mean for your money? Well, first of all, the pound has fallen against other currencies – 4 cents against the dollar and 3 cents against the Euro – bad news if you were about to go on holiday!

Why is this? In short because the value of a currency is related to how confident investors are in a country’s economy. Historically, hung parliaments in Britain are unable to act as swiftly as majority governments, because consensus must be found by the members of coalition parties – who often disagree on certain principles. These delays in acting may hinder our recovery from the recession – so investors would rather not be holding on to the pound. Of course, if it does lead to a slow recovery (or even the “double dip” recession some analysts have been predicting), then this could continue to hit us in the wallet for months to come – with the effects of the recession continuing rather than abating.

Another area that was to be decided by this election was income tax and National Insurance. As I wrote previously, all the parties had set out in their manifestos their intended changes to the PAYE system. I put these all in the Election Comparison Calculator – which shows you want impact these differences would have on you. With no party yet in charge, it’s not clear what will happen about this – whose policies will be enacted? The Conservatives, who have the largest number of seats, said they would hold an emergency budget to implement some of their changes before next year. We’ll have to wait and see to find out what really happens.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pound falling against the Euro

by Admin

I have a trip to Paris coming up and it’s prompted me to check out the current exchange rate on the excellent X-Rates site. As you’ll see if you click on that link, Sterling has been falling over the last month or so.

As I wrote a few months ago, the Pound had improved both against the Euro and the Dollar during the summer months, which was good news for those of use on holiday there. It didn’t reach the highs of 2008, but it had improved since last winter. However, during August and particularly in September, a lot of the ground the Pound had made up was lost against both currencies. The pound is currently worth €1.09, from a high during the summer of €1.18, making travelling to Europe very expensive for us Brits.

I believe the reason for the Pound’s decline is the fact that the UK is still in recession whereas the powerhouses of Europe, Germany and France, have successfully grown their economies. Hopefully we will see in the next few months Britain exit from recession, and then the Pound will become a more attractive currency for investors, making it stronger and (importantly) worth more.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 Foreign Currency No Comments

Sponsored Links

Close X

This website uses cookies - for more information, please click here.