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The Pound Strikes Back

As sterling bites back against the euro and prices fall, it’s the best time in years to be planning a holiday

If you’re anything like me, your morning routine will have settled into a depressingly familiar pattern recently -- one that involves a combination of umbrellas, puddle-jumping, wet socks, frequent cursing under one’s breath and regular checks behind the ears to determine whether gills have spontaneously sprouted.

But then, the other day, a glimmer of light finally broke through the whole sorry, sodden mess. For reasons I don’t pretend to fully understand, the pound finally regained some ground against the euro, reaching its strongest position for three and a half years.

Bureaux de change are now selling euro for roughly 1.20 to the pound -- that’s the best rate we’ve seen since November 2008.

So, what does this mean for you? Well, £100 will now you net you around €122, compared with €111 in July, 2011. That’s a saving that can easily add up if you’re planning a family holiday and welcome news in this age of austerity.

This upturn in financial fortunes has coincided nicely with some of the lowest prices we’ve seen for European hotspots in quite some time. Holidays to Greece that might have cost £399 last year are regularly coming in at around £249 this year, with many operators routinely offering room and board upgrades.

And it’s not just the euro that’s taken a beating. One pound now buys 16% more Polish zloty than it did a year ago (good news for football fans heading that way for Euro 2012), 14% more Turkish lira and 12% more Croatian kuna.

So, if the rain hadn’t already persuaded you, the numbers should -- this is the best time in years to be getting away.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, London
Thursday, 10 May 2012
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Rory Batho