Christmas… a time to get together all around the world with family and friends, but with the Pound not performing well against the Euro, and with Brexit on the horizon causing more uncertainty with the exchange rates of our nearest neighbours, you may just find that a holiday slightly further will provide bigger bang for your buck.
Comparing trends in exchange rates of the GBP this year to last year, there is a clear indication of the best destinations for your Christmas holiday where your money will work harder for you!
If you fancy a Christmas completely different to being inside playing games, then the feel of sand between your toes may be exactly what you need. And you won’t be disappointed with the Pound performing well compared to late 2016 in nearly all the Caribbean nations. From Bermuda in the north to Barbados in the south, Cuba in the west and islands such as St Lucia in the east that use the East Caribbean Dollar, visitors this year are finding the pound stretching further making for a great opportunity for a Christmas holiday!
The benefits aren’t only on the islands either. Central America’s countries that overlook the Caribbean Sea are also offering an appeal this year, with destinations such as Belize and Costa Rica giving holidaymakers favourable rates too… and although Mexico’s exchange rate has dropped, the value of an all-inclusive holiday on the Riviera Maya holds its appeal for a carefree Christmas.
The island paradises of The Maldives and The Seychelles continue to entice visitors to their picturesque shores and world class accommodations, and with the exchange rate of the GBP improving steadily over the last 12 months the prospect of spending Christmas in an over-water bungalow may be closer than you think! On top of this, the island of Mauritius is holding steady also, so why not think outside the box this festive season?
It may not be your idea of Christmas in the balmy winds that are blowing off the desert sands, but the United Arab Emirates are a great place to celebrate! With huge shopping sales where the Pound is now buying better than it was last year, and spectacular displays and fireworks, you won’t have to worry about being rained out or stuck for something to do in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Still not your thing? Well these cities make a great place to at least have a stopover on the way through to seeing the family in Australia.
Another great country for either a stand alone holiday or as a stopover destination, Qatar is also the base for the world’s best airline, Qatar Airways. And let’s face it, if your travelling 20+ hours to see family at Christmas, it may be the little things such as better customer service, nicer meals, and more comfort that keep you sane during the “silly season”. Need another reason to visit Doha? The Pound is now the best it has been for 18 months against the Qatari Riyal.
In today’s times, families get spread out across the globe for a variety of reasons, with the holidays at the end of the year an opportunity to return or meet up again. And as with all cases, some destinations can be easier on the wallet than others. What 2017 brings for the finances is at least a little stability, with a large number of major countries outside of Europe continuing to perform evenly to the Pound. This means no great bargains for Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, or South Africa, but it also means that if you make the pilgrimage home each year you won’t be any worse off in 2017 either.
There are a few highlights too with the GBP making small gains on the United States Dollar, the New Zealand Dollar, and the Hong Kong Dollar over the last 12 months, all highly sought after destinations at this time of year.
No matter the economy, the government, or anything else though, it would take something more than a few more or less notes in my wallet for me to decide to not spend time with my family over this special time of year!