Getting More Bang for your Buck: The Best Currencies Right Now

August 25, 2015 by Alexandra Gregg

Pick your holiday based on the best exchange rates of the summer

Pick your holiday based on the best exchange rates of the summer

On a budget? Travel doesn’t always have to break the bank. One way to cut your holiday costs – if you’re not fussy about your destination, that is – is to let serendipity take hold and go where the best exchange rates are. We’ve selected six destinations where Sterling-holders can get more bang for their buck (or baht, or euro) this summer, when compared to last year.

RS Alex Maligne Lake Canada

Maligne Lake, Alberta, Canada (Image: Alexandra Gregg)

Canada

Current rate: CA$2.05 to the £
Same time last year:
CA$1.81 to the £
How to spend your dosh?

We can’t help but get a little bit emotional when we think about Canada. It’s big, diverse and the locals are friendlier than you could ever hope for. And when it comes to spending money there, your choices are limitless: hire a car and drive the majestic Icefields Parkway; dig into poutine in Montréal; watch whales off Vancouver Island; get up close with polar bears in Nunavik; let yourself be swept up in a literary whirlwind on Prince Edward Island, the home of Anne of Green Gables; and feel the thunderous roar of three colossal cascades at Niagara.

The mighty Uluru (Ayers Rock)

The mighty Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Australia

Current rate: AU$2.13 to the £
Same time last year:
AU$1.78 to the £
How to spend your dosh?

Australia is an adventurer’s playground. From the iconic sights of Sydney, to the cerulean delights of the Great Barrier Reef, to the sheer immensity of Uluru (Ayers Rock). For a truly unique and superior experience, spend your extra currency on truly unforgettable tours to experience the best of the Land Down Under. Try taking a seaplane over Sydney Harbour, sleeping beneath the stars on the Reef and pitching a tent next to one of the world’s most-famous monoliths.

Delicious Thai street food

Delicious Thai street food

Thailand

Current rate: 55.9THB to the £
Same time last year:
52.9THB to the £
How to spend your dosh?

Money goes pretty far in Thailand anyway, so you can get a lot for your extra cash. Double up on your street food portions; upgrade navigating Bangkok’s streets on foot to being driven around in a tuk tuk; visit the reclining Buddha at Wat Po; invest in several pairs of Harem pants; and have a Hollywood-style moment on Phi Phi Bay, made famous by Bond and The Beach. If you’re feeling super flash with all that cash, dine at the decadent Baan Khanitha in Bangkok – a confection of traditional Thai food and luxury.

Paris in the winter

Paris in the winter

Europe

Current rate: €1.39 to the £
Same time last year: €1.24 to the £
How to spend your dosh?

The choices are endless in Europe. From the dramatic Eastern Alps to the turn-of-the-century vibes in Paris to the beating heat of Spain. No matter which country you choose on this diverse continent, you can guarantee there’ll be plenty of ways to get even more out of your money.

The Japanese just love cat cafés, and so do we!

The Japanese just love cat cafés, and so do we!

Japan

Current rate: 192.36 ¥ to the £
Same time last year:
171.63¥ to the £
How to spend your dosh?

For a unique experience or crazy foods to eat, Japan offers plenty of bang for your buck. You can hang out in a novelty café (the cat ones are our favourites), bathe in green tea or wine-filled onsen (hot springs) and eat sushi until you burst. Our personal favourite though is Tokyo’s Clone Factory. If you’ve got £1,000 (192,360¥) to spare, you can create a 3D-printed doll of yourself. Creepy? A bit. But  a quirky, impressive souvenir that no one else will have? Most definitely.

Aerial shot of Urapukapuka Island, in New Zealand's Bay of Islands

Aerial shot of Urapukapuka Island, in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands

New Zealand

Current rate: NZ$2.35 to the £
Same time last year:
NZ$1.97 to the £
Best way to spend that extra cash:
How to spend your dosh?

Forget the cost of your flights and New Zealand is great for exploring on the cheap. But with all that extra cash, why slum it? Upgrade your campervan to a bigger, newer model, or why not spend a few nights in hotel luxury or glamping instead? And when it comes to touring the great outdoors – from the majestic Milford Sound to the postcard-perfect Bay of Islands – opt for private sightseeing: think you, your guide, nature and nothing else in-between. Bliss.

Please note rates were accurate at the time of writing and may fluctuate.


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About Alexandra Gregg

Once a roving local news reporter and now a travel-obsessed writer/sub, I'm head-over-heels for nature, wildlife and the ocean. When I'm not underwater or deploying a snorkel, I'm seeking out the sets of my favourite TV shows around the world. Tweet me @wonderg1rl