Cut price holiday for millions as pound hits four-year high against the Euro
By Sean Poulter
PUBLISHED: 19:39, 20 July 2012 | UPDATED: 20:14, 20 July 2012
Millions heading for Europe this weekend can expect more for their money after the pound hit a four-year high against the battered euro.
Every £1 will buy 23 per cent more in hot spots, such as Spain and Greece compared with last year.
While the pound is worth around 1.28 euros on international currency exchanges, the rate available to tourists is a lower 1.24.
British holidaymakers can look forward to bargain travels as the pound has hit a four-year high against the euro
But this still the highest level in four years and compares with just 1.04 a year ago.
Some two million British holidaymakers are set to head overseas over the weekend following the schools break-up.
Tourists to popular resorts in the eurozone will have the equivalent of some £115 more to spend than a year ago if they change £500 into euro currency, according to research by the Post Office.
The graphic show the value of one euro against the pound over the past four years
Just as hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors are arriving in the UK for the Olympics, so huge numbers are departing these shores.
Airports are reporting that 482,000 passengers will leave from Heathrow, 275,000 from Gatwick, 132,500 from Stansted and 70,000 from Luton this weekend.
Over 100,000 will be leaving from Scottish airports with 50,000 from Glasgow alone.
It is expected that 297,000 will leave from Manchester, 64,000 from Birmingham and 45,000 from Bristol.
Other regional airports, ferry terminals and the channel tunnel will also be extremely busy over the weekend.
Eurostar is reporting that 50,000 will depart the UK with the destinations of Paris, Amsterdam and Lyon proving most popular
As thousands arrive at UK airports, such as Stanstead, ahead of the Olympic Games, so do UK families escaping the country as the schools break up.
Post Office Head of Travel Money, Andrew Brown, said: ‘Sterling’s growing strength is great news for families heading abroad during the school holidays.
‘The sterling gain extends to other European currencies too, which means that families travelling to the Continent in the coming weeks can cash in on some great value.’
Holidaymakers will get almost 23per cent more Hungarian forint than a year ago.
That equates to over £92 more than a year ago for someone changing £500.
Sterling is also up by over 20 per cent against the Polish zloty while the pound is up some 18per cent against the Czech koruna, making Prague a cheap destination.
While currency movements have shifted in favour of British travellers to Europe, other factors will wipe out some of the gains.
Specifically, Spain is putting up VAT rates from August 1, which will mean higher prices on many things, including restaurant meals.