No Exchange For The Pound When It Comes To Holidays?

Posted by Allison on 20 April 2009, 11:26

The Easter holidays are traditionally a time to do one of three things – eat too much chocolate, do some DIY or head off somewhere else on holiday.

But while thousands of people still chose the third option this Easter, it was evident that holidays in the UK are still quite popular given the current financial climate.  However more people were seen to be heading for sunnier climes as some people decided to leave it until the last minute to try and go somewhere abroad.

There has certainly been a decline in the number of people booking to go on holiday in other countries so far this year.  We saw this effect occur near the end of last year too, as the recession started to have an effect.  As the pound dipped in value, we found that it didn’t go anywhere near as far as it used to when it came to holiday spending money.

Many people have been checking the figures on their currency converter each week to see whether it is still worth heading abroad or not.  Many people have discounted the idea entirely and decided to stay at home, perhaps swapping those sunnier climes for a holiday in Britain instead.

One recent news story was of particular interest.  It claimed that more and more of us are staying home and opting for days out instead of weeks away.  The story was in the Herald, on their website at this link.  Apparently museums and similar venues are enjoying a real surge in interest as people look for new ways to go out and enjoy themselves without breaking the bank in the process.

Of course it makes sense that venues such as these are going to do well in the situation we are in.  Some of them are totally free to get into, which is wonderful when the price of everything else seems to be so expensive.  For those who really are struggling to make ends meet, it can be a breath of fresh air to still find places they can visit without spending anything at all.

But with regard to those last minute bookings over Easter, it seems that some people at least have found the cash to be able to swap their weaker pounds for a different currency abroad.  They may have to scrimp and save a little to make ends meet while they are away, and they may even find themselves cutting back rather than splashing out as they would have done before.

But it does provide them with a well earned break, and a chance to enjoy themselves no matter what the pound might be doing.  Of course we are ever hopeful that it might start to improve at some point this year, but for now we are stuck with being one of the weaker currencies in the market. 

The Eurozone is one place that isn’t benefiting from our late rush to book an Easter holiday though.  A pound used to get you more than a single Euro, but now there isn’t much to choose between them.  And that has made many people discount the idea of going anywhere that takes Euros as their main currency.

Perhaps the situation will change in time – but for now we are either staying at home, or going way beyond the Eurozone.



  1. I was thinking about going abroad this year, but have you seen the exchange rates lately?! No point heading abroad to go shopping when they are so bad.

    But I’m trying to think positive and remember the fact that if I don’t spend money in another country, I will be spending it here instead. I haven’t got as much spare cash as I did have, but what little I have is going into our economy instead. That’s a good thing isn’t it? Maybe if we all did that this country would get back on its feet a bit faster?

    — Kate · Apr 25, 12:56 PM · #

  2. I smiled when I read the comment above. I’d rather head off to sunnier climes to spend my cash!

    Not that I will be doing so for a while yet. The pound is so weak at the moment that it doesn’t get you a fraction of what it used to. There are so many places I’d love to visit abroad, but I just can’t afford it. Fingers crossed it gets better soon, but I won’t hold my breath. I think things will stay just as they are for the next year or more. Or is that just me being pessimistic?

    — Jamie K · May 19, 11:50 AM · #