Most of us don’t take much notice of the currency exchange rate until it comes to an overseas holiday. And then its interesting to listen to what lengths people go to secure the very best deal from their local currency dealer to exchange £200 for incidentals as credit cards will usually be the chosen form for any further purchases and cash withdrawals. But exchange rates do have an impact on an overall holiday spend, especially with a family. Likewise, it makes a difference if you are buying abroad, whether it’s souvenirs and presents for friends and family while you are on holiday, or shopping over the internet.
The exchange rate is influenced by a number of different considerations that we can’t do much about, usually politically, commercially or both. The most recent being the uncertainty of the Brexit vote which caused the US$ rate to fall from around 1.42 against £, pre-Brexit (June 2016), to around 1.25 now, a difference of nearly 12%. The good news is that is wasn’t as bad as some doom-mongers predicted and it has meant a spike for our exporters and tourism, plus it is actually rallying and the pounds looks like getting stronger.
However, if you add this to your holiday or anything you purchase abroad it makes a noticeable difference and you should always do your homework before being influenced by what seems to be a bargain. Having said that, shoppers in the US will still manage to secure some excellent bargains compared to what they would expect to pay in the UK when discounts and seasonal reductions are taken into consideration. These seem to be offered continually by US Retailers, sometimes up to 75% and if you are serious about shopping in the US there is no shame subscribing to particular stores to make sure you’re kept in the loop.
Don’t worry about being inundated with spam emails. You decide which one’s you want to receive and you can direct them to their own folder to be read at a later time or, if they become boring, un-subscribe.
So the advice is to remain aware the difference the exchange rate can make but don’t let it influence you entirely about shopping in the US because there are still some tremendous deals to be had.