Travel Money Exchange Rates: Best Time To Buy Your Euros & US Dollars?

Planning to travel or Discount Holidays © holiday in 2016 or 2017? Today’s currency exchange report aims to help you in researching the best travel money exchange rates (aka holiday / tourist rates) prior to booking your Discount Holidays © holiday arrangements and includes critical events that could affect your travel cash.

If you re looking to buy your pound to euro or US dollar travel money exchange rates, timing will be everything, with the UK Brexit referendum appearing on a regular basis to move exchange rates. The latest development comes following the announcement that the Tory MEP who helped David Cameron to broker his deal on membership reforms, Syed Kamall, has declared his support for a Brexit. Continuing with our compare travel money1 news piece, here is our latest with British pound, euro and US dollar related news, tips and the best Discount Holidays © holiday cash rates table as of 9th March 2015.

To give an example of how rapidly exchange rates can change, yesterday’s GBP/EUR exchange rate rocketed 1 per cent swiftly followed by a plunge of 1.3 per cent on the latest ECB news and conference2. Here are the latest inter-bank fx exchange rates (NB not travel money) for your reference:

On Saturday the Euro to British Pound exchange rate (EUR/GBP) converts at 0.775

At time of writing the pound to euro exchange rate is quoted at 1.29. FX markets see the pound vs us dollar exchange rate converting at 1.438.

At time of writing the pound to australian dollar exchange rate is quoted at 1.901. The GBP to NZD exchange rate converts at 2.132 today. The GBP to CAD exchange rate converts at 1.9 today.

Please note: the FX rates above, updated 12th Mar 2016, will have a commission applied by your typical high street bank. Currency brokers specialise in these type of foreign currency transactions and can save you up to 5% on international payments4 compared to the banks.

Is the Central Bank Volatility Over?

After ECB President Mario Draghi sent the Euro skyrocketing yesterday and now that the euro exchange rates are beginning to fall again, you could be forgiven for thinking that the days of central banks sparking volatility is over for a while. However, while the Bank of England (BoE) is unlikely to do much at their next policy meeting, the US Federal Reserve could spark serious movement at their next meeting.

ECB Policy Decision Causes Chaos for Your Pounds to Euro, Dollar Exchange Rates

Today has been a perfect example of the volatile nature of the currency markets, as the Euro makes a spectacular recovery after ECB President Mario Draghi commented that negative interest rates wouldn t be cut further. To give you an example, the interbank GBP-EUR exchange rate leapt from 0.7659 to 0.7801 in the space of under three hours.

Earlier: The main focus for FX traders this week will be Thursday s European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate decision. Policy meetings usually coincide with exchange rate volatility, but this particular meeting is expected to cause dramatic price swings for the Euro and other closely connected currencies. So why is this ECB meeting so important?

The Eurozone has been battling low inflation for a considerable time, and recent data suggests that deflationary pressures will persist without some form of intervention. The low rate of inflation can be linked to weak energy prices after crude oil devalued considerably. With that in mind, most analysts expect the central bank to either cut the overnight cash rate, expand asset purchases or use a combination of both.

Should this be the case the Euro will soften considerably.

How will a softer Euro impact travel money?

For those travelling to Europe from the UK, a drop in the value of the Euro is beneficial. Since the announcement that the EU referendum will be held on June 23rd the British asset has shed its value markedly. This means that the weak Pound would give you less travel money when exchanged into another currency. Therefore, the likelihood of Euro depreciation will be welcomed by tourists.

Pound Sterling (GBP) Exchange Rates Gain, but Will the Uptrend Last?

Political uncertainty has caused the British Pound to weaken considerably of late. Particularly damaging to demand for Sterling was news that several prominent UK officials, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, voiced support for those campaigning to leave the European Union. However, traders feared that the selloff was vastly overdone which caused the UK asset to recover some of its losses and hold a higher trade weighting. This does not mean that EU referendum uncertainty isn t still a massive issue for investors.

As we draw closer to the referendum date, the British Pound will be far more reactionary to any political developments. In the event of a Brexit , the Pound could depreciate massively.

Planning a trip to the USA? GBP/USD is Still Holding a Weak Position.

Despite the fact that the Pound has made a sharp recovery versus the US Dollar after having dropped to a 9-year low, the GBP/USD conversion rate is still comparatively weak. As a result you will get fewer Dollars for your Pound

The forthcoming ECB interest rate decision will not only impact the Euro. The US Dollar and Euro have a strong connection given that they are the most actively traded in the world. Therefore, if the Euro declines massively in response to ECB stimulus measures, the US Dollar is very likely to climb. That would mean that the GBP/USD exchange rate would soften, giving you even less travel money to play with.

Pound Sterling to Euro Discount Holidays © Holiday Money Exchange Rate Compared

As of 9th March 2016, these are the best providers to buy Euro s:

Best Foreign Exchange 500 euros costs 397.44 + 4.95 delivery Can collect ICE 500 euros costs 393.02 + 4.75 delivery Can collect Travel FX 500 euros costs 398.70 + 4.75 delivery No collection possible TEG 500 euros costs 404.62 + 4.90 delivery Can collect Griffin Financial 500 euros costs 392.16 + 5 delivery No collection possible

So When Should You Take a Discount Holidays © Holiday in 2016?

Whilst political uncertainty does not aid the outlook for the Pound Sterling, this does not mean you should avoid taking a Discount Holidays © holiday altogether. It is just worth noting that you may get a lot less, depending on how much you wish to exchange, with so little known about the UK s future. Thursday s ECB decision could prove critical. If the Euro dives in response it would be a great time to grab your travel money even if you are not planning a Discount Holidays © holiday for some time to come.

The likelihood is that the lack of confidence surrounding the EU referendum will see the Pound to Euro exchange rate gradually decline from the highs following the ECB s meeting. Conversely, if you are planning to visit the US then it would be unwise to get your travel money in the immediate aftermath of the ECB decision. This is because the US Dollar will very likely rally as the Euro declines.

Pound, Euro and US Dollar Exchange Rates: Key Data/Events to Look Out For

Thursday s European Central Bank (ECB) interest rate decision will be the key economic event to look out for. If the central bank surprises traders by easing policy more than has been priced-in, it would be a very good time to stock up on Euro s for travelling. Next week will see a number of ecostats likely to affect travel money exchange. In terms of British data, the Bank of England (BoE) interest rate decision is unlikely to have a huge impact given that policymakers are expected to keep policy unchanged. However, Chancellor George Osborne will be making a budget speech to parliament on Wednesday. This is far more likely to cause GBP volatility.

Influential European economic data will be somewhat thin on the ground next week, but the single currency trade weighting will be mostly determined by the ECB s interest rate decision. With that being said, Eurozone consumer prices data due for publication on Thursday may cause EUR changes. The main focus for traders next week will be the Federal Reserve interest rate decision.

Although the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are not expected to alter policy at this time, the accompanying statement from Chairwoman Janet Yellen may cause USD volatility. If Yellen suggests that the central bank will be hiking rates soon the US Dollar will advance and the Euro decline. Conversely, any hint that the FOMC want to remain in wait and see mode will cause the US Dollar to dive and Euro to gain.

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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cookies

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry CookiesI am one of those people who loves Valentine s Day. Yes, I know it s more of a greeting card Discount Holidays © holiday than anything else, but I just don t see anything wrong with setting aside one extra day to acknowledge all the love we have in our lives. I know we re supposed to do that everyday, but it s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of real life and forget to be grateful.

It s not just a day for couples. Romantic love is like nothing else and I ve been fortunate to experience it, but the idea that it s all that matters on Valentine s Day (or any day) is just false. As far as I m concerned, Valentine s Day is about taking a little extra time to show love and gratitude to everyone you hold dear. My mom sends me a valentine every year (and is actually visiting over the Discount Holidays © holiday this year!), and my best pal, Tad, is always my valentine. And as a nanny, I have a bunch of little valentines, too. And since it s impractical (and a little silly) to buy gifts for everyone I love, I think I ll just hand out cookies instead.

No Valentine s Day treat is more iconic than chocolate-dipped strawberries, but because fresh fruit coated in chocolate simply isn t my thing, I ve taken the simple combination and made it into these fabulous cookies. Since its February, strawberries aren t in season. Even if they were, putting juicy fresh berries in cookie dough would result in cakey cookies, which are a travesty as far as I m concerned. If I want something cakey, I ll have a piece of cake! When it comes to cookies though, I want them to be soft and chewy.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cookies Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry CookiesSo, how do we get tons of strawberry flavor into cookies without using fresh berries or artificially-flavored cake mix? With freeze-dried strawberries! You might recognize them as those crunchy berries in your breakfast cereal. They re just fresh strawberries that have been completely dehydrated no sweeteners or artificial stuff, just pure fresh strawberry flavor!

I get mine at Trader Joe s, but they can be found in most well-stocked grocery stores. Simply put them in a food processor or blender and blitz them into a fine powder. If you don t have either kitchen appliance, place them in a gallon-size zip-top bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Then, mix the gorgeous pink powder into a soft drop sugar cookie dough. Chill it for a little while and then bake for just a few minutes, until the cookies are just starting to turn golden.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cookies Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry CookiesFor the chocolate dip, you ll just need good-quality chocolate chips and the tiniest bit of coconut oil. I use Ghirardelli1 semisweet chocolate chips here because I find that they melt more smoothly than most other brands. The coconut oil helps to give the chocolate a little sheen, and also helps it firm up. Coconut oil naturally solidifies at temperatures below 76F, so once the chocolate dip on these cookies sets, it will stay that way until it s time to eat them. I like to dip each cookie halfway, but think these would look gorgeous drizzled with chocolate, like on my Almond Joy Cookies Grain-Free2.

I like to top the still-wet chocolate dip with sprinkles because sprinkles. Aren t these little hearts adorable? Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cookies would be wonderful for gifting or parties, and of course, keeping in the cookie jar to share with someone you love. And who doesn t love cookies? I think they re my valentine this year.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cookies
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cookies
makes about 3.5 dozen cookies

Strawberry Cookies:
1 1.2-ounce package freeze-dried strawberries*
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-5 drops liquid red food coloring, optional*

Chocolate Dip:
1 1/2 cups good-quality semisweet chocolate chips*
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
sprinkles, optional

In a food processor or blender, process freeze-dried strawberries until they are a fine powder. Transfer the powder to a large mixing bowl. Add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine. Set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat softened butter until light and fluffy. Beat in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by eggs, vanilla, and optional food coloring. Add dry ingredients in three installments, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 90 minutes, or up to three days. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll into balls. Place dough balls at least two inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until no longer wet-looking and starting to turn light golden. Let cool on baking sheets for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Once all cookies have been baked and cooled, make the chocolate dip. In a double boiler or the microwave, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together. Stir until smooth. Dip each cookie halfway into the mixture before placing back on the rack. Top with sprinkles, if desired.

Chocolate dip will solidify after a few hours at room temperature, or after 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to a week.


1. I use Trader Joe s brand freeze-dried strawberries.
2. The cookies pictured have three drops liquid red food coloring.

I use Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips.

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  1. ^ Ghirardelli (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ Almond Joy Cookies Grain-Free (e2bakesbrooklyn.wordpress.com)