Sterling gains on all of the top ten currency destinations this Easter

26 Mar, 2024

M&S Travel Money’s latest insight, ahead of the Easter holiday period, reveals the value of the pound has increased against all of the top ten currency destinations over the last 12 months, meaning families heading away for the Easter break, may see their travel money go that little bit further, compared to the same time last year.

While sterling has gained an average of eight per cent across the ten most popular currency destinations and as much as 16 per cent on the eighth most popular currency (the Japanese Yen), the Eurozone remains the most popular destination, despite the smallest sterling gain, of just four per cent year-on-year.

America remains the second most popular destination, with UK holidaymakers benefitting from the pound increasing six per cent on the US dollar. Sterling has also gained six per cent against the Barbadian dollar, which moves into the top ten currency destinations this year. Turkey, which featured in the top ten destinations last Easter (ninth place), has moved out of the top ten this year.

For those looking to travel a little further, some of the largest sterling gains can be seen on long-haul destination currencies. For example, sterling has gained seven per cent on the Australian Dollar, the third most popular destination. New Zealand has also grown in popularity for UK travellers over the last 12 months, moving up three places to seventh place – with the pound gaining eight per cent on the New Zealand dollar year-on-year.

Sterling has also increased seven per cent on the UAE Dirham, which is in fifth place, having moved down just one place, from fourth, on the same period in 2023.

Sterling movements against M&S Travel Money’s top ten currencies:

Currency Sterling gains

against currency

Ranking:  Most Popular Currency Destinations 2024 YTD Ranking: Most Popular Currency Destinations 2023 YTD
JPY – Japanese Yen 16% 8 8
THB – Thai Baht 9% 4 5
ZAR – South African Rand 9% 6 6
NZD – New Zealand Dollar 8% 7 10
AED – UAE Dirham 7% 5 4
AUD – Australian Dollar 7% 3 3
BBD – Barbados Dollar 6% 10
USD – US Dollar 6% 2 2
CAD – Canadian Dollar 4% 9 7
EUR – Euro 4% 1 1

With year-on-year sterling gains on many currency destinations, holidaymakers should see their travel money go further, which could help offset an increase in the cost of travelling to that longed for holiday.

The amount spent on travel4 has gradually risen over the last few years, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to M&S Credit Card customer data, with travel spend in 2023 up by 18 per cent year-on-year and the number of travel transactions up by 14 per cent over the same period.  So far, 2024 is also showing year-on-year growth in travel spend and travel transactions.

Nic Moran, M&S Travel Money, said: “We would always encourage holidaymakers to consider the total cost of their holiday, including exchange rates and local costs, so it’s great to see that sterling has gained on all of our most popular currencies, as families looking to jet off this Easter may see their budget go that little bit further.

“And while many of us are looking for ways to save and make our money go further, our data also shows that families are still looking to create new memories with their family by enjoying a well-earned holiday, continuing to spend more on travel, year-on-year.”

Nic’s top travel money tips:

  • Plan spending money early: Get your spending money organised ahead of time; order your currency online, or visit a high street bureau de change, to secure a rate in advance – and travel with both local currency and a credit card, to ensure you’re covered for all eventualities.
  • Don’t leave yourself short when it comes to currency: Ensure you have enough cash for snacks, taxis and tipping, ATMs may not always be readily available.
  • Consider local costs when budgeting: ensure you factor in the cost of things like meals, shopping and tipping; sterling gains on some destinations can mean your holiday budget goes further on arrival.

The M&S in-store travel money bureaux, alongside its euro and dollar Click & Collect travel money service, means an M&S currency service is available in more than 450 M&S stores. The service offers a Click & Collect facility, so customers can order using their Smartphone or tablet – whether at home or in-store – and collect in as little as 15 minutes.