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Have Your Say: Currencies

Bureau de change
UK holiday makers will get fewer euros for their pound than ever before

As the pound continues to weaken against the euro many holiday makers planning a trip abroad are faced with a dilemma.

Do they make a short hop to the expensive eurozone, or pay slightly more to travel to countries where the pound has held up better or the cost of living is lower?

What will you do?

Has the exchange rate influenced your choice of holiday destination - and if so how?

What other destinations are you considering?

Have you cancelled your holiday plans this year because of the fall in sterling?

We asked for your comments, a selection of which are below. The debate is now closed.


At that point, Britain has unofficially entered the eurozone
Gina Fierlafijn, Edinburgh
In the year of Robert Burns, SNP's Alex Salmond recommends that Scottish businesses would accept tourist euros in their shops. If the pound and euro do level up then technically it would be cheaper for tourists to pay in euros (and possibly get handed change back) thus avoiding commissions. At that point, Britain has unofficially entered the eurozone and two currencies would make convenient cash flow. It remains to be seen though when I would go on holiday down south whether my Scottish notes would be accepted...
Gina Fierlafijn, Edinburgh

It has actually strengthened, since the new year and standing at just under 1.11 to the pound as of 8 January, and at the same time the dollar has also recovered to $1.50 to the pound. We only hear things when they are looking bad, never when things are getting a little better
Brian, London

The weaker pound and lower interest rates are providing a welcome boost to British businesses (easier medicine to take than going bust). If we were in the euro we would not have had the flexibility to help our economy in this way.
Trafford, London

And some economic pundits think we might be in for a spell of deflation! Dream on.
Ed Jones, Bristol

If the wife likes a tan it'll be from a bottle in '09!

Phil Silver, Hitchin

The currency situation has definitely changed our plans for the family holiday in 2009. For the first time in many years we will be spending our holiday in the UK. With our usual destination - Spain and Cyprus - both are in the euro and therefore considerably more expensive. The main extra cost is with eating and drinking. Here's to the family holiday in Cornwall. If the wife likes a tan it'll be from a bottle in '09!
Phil Silver, Hitchin

Dubai's currency is pegged to the dollar and as such has appreciated significantly against sterling. The result being that an expensive place is now even more expensive. From 4.50 a pint to 7 a pint. Dubai as a top destination for 2009. I think not.
Dubai Link

Just returned from Spain for a Christmas break, at 1 euro = 1 things are hellish expensive there! We go to Spain a lot and this is the first time in my life I felt poor while I was there. Well done Gordon/Alistair!
Skint! Devon

About time we joined the Euro!!
Keith Heppell, Plymouth

I have never found a better value safari anywhere in the world

Louise Newton, Harrow

Don't overlook Kenya for a value break in 2009. I travel there regularly, and apart from paying for my visa in dollars, thereafter the pound is welcome. The strength of the pound against the local currency has risen healthily over the last decade or so. Food, drinks and souvenirs (especially at Nairobi airport) are inexpensive, and whilst tips are appreciated, they can be of very small denominations. I have never found a better value safari anywhere in the world. And let's face it, Kenya needs a good year this year.
Louise Newton, Harrow

I am sorry, but the Brits seem to have mastered the art of bad timing. They rejected joining the euro when the exchange rate was quite reasonable. They are warming up to the idea now when their salary, in euros, is gong to be worth 30% less.

I still can buy items at a fraction of the cost in Cambodia compared with the UK, even with the weakening of sterling - 1 quid buys me 8000 riels and for that I can have a nice big juicy water buffalo steak dinner and some drinks.
K Sterry, Battambang, Cambodia

The French didn't lose their national pride when the franc was gone

I N, Coventry

Now seriously, how much cash will a family of four spend over two weeks in Rhodes - 1,000 euros, 800, 1,200? So in theory, we are talking about a cash/exchange rate difference of about 100 - 200 euros - pretty much a day's worth of expenses. So now, I am reading that this family of four, will fly to Orlando, Australia or Mexico, in order to save this lost 200 euros, and benefit from a better exchange rate. Right. They will save 200 euros from the exchange rate and spend 600GBP more on plane tickets. This is severe lack of common sense and practical thinking! Now, I know that there are people who live permanently in Spain and Greece, and I also know that a chosen few will need to convert thousands of pounds for their luxury holiday, but this is about 5% of the travelling total.
I N, Coventry

Looking at how the pound has fallen in the last year has started to worry me about how bad a state our economy may end up being in before this pathetic government is finally out of office.
Paddy, Leeds

Yes, I have changed my holiday plans, I am going to England this year!
Gordon Burns, Saumur, France

I too have booked the holiday of a lifetime to Florida with my husband and two children - due to fly out in May 2009 for two weeks. It has crossed my mind whether I should postpone due to the weakening pound but it would break my children's hearts!
Jo Barrett, Liverpool

I will not let it spoil my holiday
Booked a few week back to go to Benidorm, Spain. Way things have gone, it's a good job we are all inclusive. Still, as I usually stock up on tobacco while there, that's going to be somewhat more expensive. Still, it will be much cheaper than over here. Whatever, I will not let it spoil my holiday. Although future destinations could reflect exchange rates.

I live in NZ. When I moved over here the British pound was king. It may not be as good now but you still get $2.50 for your pound. That sort of exchange rate buys you some pretty good meals on a night out!
Paul Boden, Wanganui, New Zealand

I fly economy and backpack for my holidays, staying in dorms in hostels. With current exchange rates and the cost of living here it's still cheaper overall to have three weeks backpacking in SE Asia than it is in mainland Europe. Crazy but true...

Just back from Italy. The maestro link was down on the first day. In Venice airport, I got only 83 euros for 100! Beware travellers, don't convert currency in Italian airports.
Bedanuj, Reading

Get over it UK
Andrew, Miami
The pound is where it should be - down the toilet. Get over it UK, stop living in the past and join the euro and be part of Europe instead of a small island floating off the coast objecting to anything and everything European.
Andrew, Miami

Over recent years we have considered eurozone holidays poor value. Now they seem even worse because of the less than parity exchange rate. We have been to Egypt a couple of times on an all inclusive basis and it still works out cheaper than self catering in the Canaries. However, and there always is one, the fall in sterling looks as though it will force up the price we have already booked for Egypt in June. We wait for contact with the tour operator but anticipate a dilemma - cancel and lose the deposit or pay the increase. Of course we know the tour operator will be very fair and not pass on any increase until they pay the hotels themselves (tongue firmly in cheek with that one).
Geoff Atkinson, Waterlooville

I'm off to the states in April. I will be getting my money just before we go. With luck the extra billions that they are now printing should lower the dollar's value
David, Essex

The UK has been a rip-off for the past few years

Tyas, Aubertin, France

Having a secluded "gite" in the mild Bearn (France) it has not seen any downturn... as yet! Quality has always prevailed and even at "parity" our weekly rental is much below those of similar UK prices with even better quality and service, let alone the area with mountains and sea. The UK has been a rip-off for the past few years and it is now not helped by the new mayor of London charging 4.00 for the cheapest tube ticket. No doubt he is looking to the Olympics but it does nothing to encourage me especially after working and living there for 20+ years.
Tyas, Aubertin, France

I get paid in US Dollars and change with the bank. I have had a 30% pay rise in the past three months - love it.
Alan Nelson, Preston

The weaker Pound has actually been a blessing for me. I'm a university student, and I'm leaving on Tuesday to study abroad in London for five months. When I was in the UK last spring, the exchange rate was two dollars to every pound. Now it's closer to $1.45 - and still falling!
Emily, Los Angeles, California, USA

G Brown has a lot to answer for.
D Jones, London

Eating in restaurants is now more expensive than in London!

Laurent Kssis, London

Anyone contemplating buying rounds should think hard about paying in euros - two gluhwein and two hot chocolates cost now 14.20 euros = 14.00 on the slopes and in the resort. Never seen before. Eating in restaurants is now more expensive than in London!
Laurent Kssis, London but skiing for the season in St Anton, Austria

Time to join the euro :o)
Kim Booth, Berlin

Oh for a crystal ball. Booked my most expensive holiday ever last year obviously before the collapse! A two week fly drive holiday in US. Travelling in March '09. Should I get my Dollars ASAP or hope for a miracle before March?
Tracey Leake, Peterborough

For the last five years I've taken annual ski breaks in Ukraine, and already booked up for 2009. Their government is just as hopeless as the UK's, so I still get 10 Ukrainian hriven to my pound. Bargain!
Andrew D Smith, Epsom, UK

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

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