The sterling’s volatility is affecting the plans of millions of people planning winter sun holidays, a new survey has suggested.
The plans of 59% of UK adults previously considering booking a foreign holiday have been affected by the pound’s recent slide in value, according to a YouGov poll for Post Office Travel Money.
A quarter of respondents said fluctuating exchange rates mean they will not take an overseas trip in the coming months, while the same proportion will choose a cheaper destination.
Some 28% of those questioned are delaying their trip and a third (33%) intend to cut their spending budget.
The pound plunged to historic lows against the US dollar in the wake of chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini budget on September 23 but has since recovered.
Analysis of prices by Post Office Travel Money in partnership with holiday company Travelbag found UK travellers are paying more for typical tourist costs at four out of five popular long-haul winter sun destinations, compared with the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
Based on exchange rates on October 1, costs have risen by more than 20% in 14 of the 28 locations studied including St. John’s, Antigua (up 55.3%); Cancun, Mexico (up 42.6%); Orlando, US (up 28.8%); and Chinatown, Singapore (25.0%).
But sizeable price cuts in places such as Hoi An, Vietnam; Phuket, Thailand; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Jumeirah, Dubai mean trips to those locations are better value than before the coronavirus crisis.
The coastal city of Hoi An topped the ranking of cheapest destinations despite sterling falling in value against the Vietnamese dong over the past three years.
Costs for UK visitors are down 10% compared with 2019 because of a sharp drop in local prices.
Tourists pay just £1.60 for a cup of filter coffee at a cafe or bar, £2.23 for a small bottle or tube of insect repellent at a supermarket and £43.14 for a three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of house wine at a restaurant.
Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “With continuing uncertainty about sterling, it is more important than ever before for people planning winter sun holidays to do their homework and be aware of prices in destinations they are considering.
“Holiday costs remain low in popular long-haul resorts like Vietnam, Thailand and Jamaica but people who choose the wrong destination risk falling victim to higher prices.”
Mr Boden advised people planning winter sun trips to “watch exchange rate movements” in the weeks before their departure and “purchase their holiday money when the pound rises in value”.
YouGov questioned 2,081 UK adults on September 29 and 30.
The survey results are based on responses from the 1,283 who said they were considering a holiday abroad.