Where your pound can still pack a punch

With the harsh (or not so harsh, depending on your viewpoint) reality of Brexit and now the added confusion over the invocation of Article 50, the instability and uncertainty that this is bringing with it will undoubtedly continue to cause havoc on the currency market.    

Since the High Court hearing yesterday the British Pound has marginally strengthened against the dollar and the euro, but how long will this last? The Brexit story has been full of surprises and twists so who knows. We can however say that by booking your holiday with us, we take away all this FX worry, our GBP prices are guaranteed so once you confirm your holiday the price will not change during these uncertain times.

With the new weaker pound what does this mean to the holiday-making public? In essence, the pound in our pocket that we exchange into our holiday currency is not going to go as far…

We have come up with a few destinations where, we think, your pound will go further.

place el jemaa marrakech

Ed Coltart suggests Marrakech and says, “The Eurozone countries such as France, Spain and Italy will never lose their appeal but European countries ‘off the beaten track’ where currency goes further will flourish and news that BA will fly to Pula and Tallinn next year only goes to reinforce this. Montenegro continues to go from strength to strength and will carry on doing so. I might even suggest my clients take a few short-breaks throughout next year rather than one large long haul trip, but don’t tell Rosie and Ed I said that!! Heading away from the Eurozone, Morocco ticks more than just the currency box for me. At this time of year, you will also get a bit of heat from the winter sun. Although some hotels may bill you in Euros or Dollars, the relative value for your hotel room is generally very good compared with its counterparts in continental Europe and the Dirham in your pocket will enable you to eat and drink in the very best restaurants and shop to till you drop in the Souk without burning a hole in your wallet. Our agents are reporting that both the Brexit vote and sterling devaluation are having little effect on the country, in fact quite the opposite!  Although the number of holidaymakers to Morocco decreased this year against 2015, the British traveller that did make the trip spent more nights in the country and overall the average tourist spend increased too. Special offers and added value packages are expected to become more widespread after the Conference of the Parties climate change conference from 20th November onwards. One of my favourite riads in the Medina, the Riad Joya is offering four nights for the price of 3 and our friends at the Fellah Hotel have created some special winter prices and added value packages exclusively for Seventy Ten Travel with seven nights for the price of six in many periods. Please contact us for further information.”

Tropical beach, Maya Bay, Thailand

Rosie writes, “South-East Asia continues to offer value for money; now with many more airlines operating flights to the Far East, either directly or via the Middle East and Continental Europe this means that there are ways of finding better value flights so long as you are happy to fly indirectly and in doing so can look to save a great deal – giving you more to spend on other elements of your holiday, such as an idyllic beachside private villa (yes you can find these without having to break the bank to pay for them) or an all-singing all-dancing inclusive resort.

Traveling outside of high season always offers better value for money and this is especially true in this part of the world; if you are careful with your planning and wary of monsoon seasons but instead aim for those key shoulder seasons then there you can get much more bang for your buck from Thailand right through to Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and even The Philippines.  

Another reason why South-East Asia will continue to be regarded as a good value destination is its gastronomic offerings. This is often one of the main draws for visitors to this part of the globe and this doesn’t mean restricting yourself to the fine dining outlets and haute cuisine but instead often just the meagre street food stalls and local eateries; this is where you will get an authentic taste of local culture, delicious variety and that all-important value for money.  We always recommend that our clients venture out to explore the destinations that they are visiting and this includes at meal times; save yourself a great deal of money by sampling some of the fantastic local beers and pairing it with some freshly cooked local delicacies, even if it may be within simple or Spartan surroundings it is all part of that immersion and experience.”

Although Ed Burke, extolled the virtues of South Africa in our previous blog, it is worth noting Sterling has held up against the Rand reasonably well.  Currently sitting at about 17 Rand to the Pound, it is down from the heady days of early this year but domestic items and dining out will still feel very good value.   As always, November to March is very busy in the Western Cape, but there are still pockets of availability and thanks to BA adding an extra direct flight from Gatwick the flights are reasonable.   

Aerial Mauritius 1

For those looking for some winter sun, then Mauritius hotels are offering excellent value for money as many of our 2017 contracts are in Pound Sterling.   This makes the hotels excellent value when compared with the Caribbean and other Indian Ocean destinations, who tend to charge in US Dollar or Euro.   Hotels like Maradiva , One&Only Le Saint Geran  and The Residence offer top 5* luxury at much more sensible prices.  Mauritius is also a very interesting island and has more on offer than just powder white beaches and luxury resorts.  We would recommend taking a day or two to explore the island; visit some of the villages, the national park and learn about it’s culturally diverse history.  It’s great for families as well and pretty easy to get to, with direct BA and Air Mauritius flights and with just a small time difference there is no worry of jet lag.