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Best Travel Money Exchange Rates Compared April 2019: How To Get Most From My Pounds Conversion?

When planning your holiday abroad, currency conversion rate considerations are often second to location, holiday type, or a range of other decision driving factors. However, and particularly pertinent given the current climate (Brexit!), Brits abroad should make doubly sure that they're getting the best travel money exchange rates possible. While a few % either way may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, UK holidaymakers are expected to spend upwards of GBP45 billion abroad this year and lose out on over GBP1 billion just trying to "get rid" of foreign currency at airports.

Given the Pound Sterling's suppression throughout the Brexit process, Britons travelling abroad can expect to find over 40 of the top 50 destinations over 10% more expensive compared to 2017, based on the depreciation of the British GBP alone meaning now, more-than-ever, it's important to ensure you're squeezing all the value you can from your hard earned holiday cash. With UK summertime just around the corner and the holiday season almost upon us, you might be starting to think about which travel money exchange offers the biggest bang for your bucks (or Pound Sterling as we'll be looking at today). With hundreds of currency exchange operators offering a range of services; from commission free to fixed-rate buyback schemes, volume-based scaled conversion rates and not to mention a fluctuating underlying exchange rate, the challenge of finding the best value can become an inexhaustible task.

Often overlooked or addressed as an afterthought, holidaymakers seldom invest the same amount of effort into getting the most value out of their domestic currency as they do into say, picking a destination, flights or accommodation. However, with vastly disparate fee schemes and wide spreads between the best and worst rates available, making a savvy choice with respect to converting your hard earned cash maximises your spending power abroad. As CEO of Ramsdens Currency, Peter Kenyon put it "Holiday-makers should do their homework when it comes to exchange rates before choosing where to go on holiday.

"Many people use flight and accommodation costs to help determine their destination, but most aren't doing the same with currency. Getting the most out of every pound exchanged can make a huge difference to the total amount spent on holiday, so we'd urge holidaymakers to compare destination currency rates before booking. "Now is the perfect time to plan out 2019 holidays, and even buy the currency now if the rate is favourable - there are significant savings to be had."

With that in mind and with a view to narrowing down the choices available, we've created a round-up of the absolute best travel money exchange deals available for a number of key holiday destinations, taking the legwork out of - let's face it - an often boring task, allowing you to focus on what's important... pool or beach? Strawberry daquiri or mojito?

Europe Tipped to Remain Top Holiday Destination for Brits

Offering convenience, low travel costs alongside minimal restrictions and destinations/holiday types ranging from the snowy French Alpine peaks to luxury beach resorts on the Greek islands, mainland Europe has and continues to be a number one destination for UK holidaymakers. According to the Office for National statistics, the EU was the top destination for UK holidaymakers through 2018, drawing around 15.4 millions British visitors between June and August of 2018 with 61% of holidays out with the UK expected to be in Europe through 2019.

Despite uncertainty as to how the UK's relationship with the European Union will play out in a post-Brexit world, UK travellers continue to flock to the bloc and with the Pound Sterling to Euro exchange rate currently trading around 5% higher than the turn of the year, it's also an economical choice in terms of leveraging favourable exchange rates. With that said, if you're planning a trip to mainland Europe for your getaway this year, TravelFX are currently offering the most favourable travel money exchange rate. With a conversion of 1 GBP = 1.1441 EUR, a spend of GBP500 will net you EUR572.5.

Best Travel Money Exchange Rates Compared April 2019: How To Get Most From My Pounds Conversion? Above: Pound-to-Euro Best Travel Money Deals

Sun, Sea and Favourable Rates Boost Egypt's Appeal

After a drop in numbers between 2010 and 2016, the number of tourists travelling to Egypt has been rising steadily over recent years - a shift which interestingly coincides with the massive plunge in the Egyptian Pound which saw UK holidaymakers spending power double in a matter of weeks. Best Travel Money Exchange Rates Compared April 2019: How To Get Most From My Pounds Conversion?

Above: Egypt Travel Trends According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization 2018 report, Egypt is the fastest growing tourist destination in the world with a number of opulent beach-side resorts coupled with a culture steeped in ancient history, Egypt represents a fantastic choice for holidaymakers looking for sun and sea as well as activity and culture while also offering a great off-peak destination choice with Spring and Autumn temperatures in the 20s. Hurghada in particular has seen the number of visitors soar in recent years, last year registering a a 73.72% increase in hotel occupancy rates in July according to the official statistics ran by the Red Sea Governorate.

"Our strategy is focused on raising awareness of Hurghada as a state-of-the-art beach destination catering for all the needs of sun and sea tourists," said Amr El Ezabi, Egyptian State Tourist Authority UK and Ireland director. Late 2016 saw the Pound Sterling to Egyptian Pound exchange rate soar from sub EGGBP11 to above EGGBP22, boosting Egypt's appeal as a cheap, yet luxurious, holiday destination. At the time of writing, the best available travel money rate available was offered by Sterling FX with a rate of 1 GBP to 19.8934 EGP.

With a spend of GBP500 buying EGGBP9946.70 while exchanging over GBP700 would bring the added benefit of free next-day delivery. Slightly further down the list but with the added security of being FCA authorised, Eurochange offer a rate of 1 GBP to 19.36 for conversions over GBP645 with the option to collect your converted currency from one of 179 branches nationwide or free next-day delivery.

Australia and New Zealand To Account for 5% of All UK Holidays Abroad

Up over 3% from the start of the year, the Pound Sterling to Australian Dollar exchange rate is increasingly in favour of Brits abroad. At a time of unprecedented political turbulence in the UK, travel trends for British holidaymakers have found a bias away from domestic breaks and short overseas trips while the number of longer overseas breaks increases.

As of today, the best travel money operator - in terms of value for your GBP - was the Currency Club, offering an exchange rate of GBP1 to AU£1.792. A spend of GBP500 will bag you AU£890.56 while if you really want to leverage your spending power, a spend of over GBP1500 will unlock the operators maximum rate while qualifying your purchase for free next-day UK wide delivery. While offering a nigh inexhaustible holiday destination by itself, Australia is also a gateway to a number of popular Asian destinations in the region as well as a stopping point for travellers on route to New Zealand.

Similarly to the Aussie Dollar, the Kiwi has slid against the British GBP through 2019 thus far, increasing the appeal of the Antipodean nation for UK holidaymakers with Australia and New Zealand combined tipped to net around 5% of all travel abroad (for Uk holidaymakers) in the year ahead. Best Travel Money Exchange Rates Compared April 2019: How To Get Most From My Pounds Conversion? Above: Global Travel Expectations

With a current conversion rate of NZ£1.9156 for a conversion of GBP500, TravelFX are currently offering the best rate for Kiwi-bound travellers while a spend of over GBP700 brings the added benefit of free next-day delivery and 0% commission.

Holiday-making Brits to Benefit as Turkish Lira Continues to Tumble

Ever a popular destination for UK holidaymakers, the Pound Sterling to Turkish Lira exchange rate continues to work in favour of UK holidaymakers with the GBP/TRY gaining over 12% since the turn of the year. While not as drastic as 2018's Lira rout, a poor economic backdrop has seen the Lira steadily depreciate against the British GBP. Straddling eastern Europe and western Asia, Turkey offers a cheaper option relative to it's European neighbours while lacking the long-haul aspect of most Asian destinations.

Unsurprisingly, Turkey is a favourite for Britons with travel operator TUI ranking it third in overall European rankings (in terms of the volume of bookings) for UK holidaymakers, behind only Spain and Greece. If you're looking for a short-haul yet exotic destination that wont break the bank, Turkey's and ideal choice. At the time of writing, No1 Currency and TravelFX were offering the best deals on exchanging GBP for the Turkish Lira at a rate of GBP1 to 7.290, with a spend of GBP500 equating to TRY3,608.

To maximise value, a spend over GBP700 (GBP750 for No1 Currency) would also qualify for free next-day delivery.

Top Tips For Getting the Best Value Abroad

While picking a destination which offers a favourable exchange rate is clearly the first step in maximising your spending power abroad, these handy hints can help you make the most of your currency while on holiday while helping you to avoid a number of common pitfalls. Avoid Airport Currency Exchanges With a captive audience and knowing they offer potentially the last pit-stop before reaching your destination, currency exchanges in airports offer some of the worst rates available.

With next-day delivery or even same-day click and collect becoming the industry standard, there are options to avoid the squeeze at the airport. Credit or Debit Card? Generally speaking, if you're out of cash, your credit card provider will offer a more favourable exchange rate than if you choose to pay with your debit card.

However, don't forget to account for any interest due on your credit balance. Currency Cards Pre-loaded with your GBP, currency cards offers a way to benefit from exchange rates moving in your favour meaning you can make purchases at the most up-to-date rate available.

It's worth noting however that the inverse is also true with the risk that exchange rates move against you during your holiday. Use the Local Currency This one seems obvious but it's surprising how many holidaymakers lose out by failing to adopt the local currency.

For a number of destinations, vendors are often willing to accept GBP, £ or EUR. For the vendor, who then has to go and exchange your currency anyway there's little impetus to offer a bank-beating or even card-issuer rate and as such you're likely to lose out.

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References

  1. ^ here (www.exchangerates.org.uk)

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