Europe’s rich history and varied landscape offers a continent worth of travel opportunities, whether you’re looking for a short haul break to the sun on the Mediterranean, skiing in the Alps, or a world of culture – from Berlin’s underground music scene to St Petersburg’s dreaming spires.
There is so much diversity to European travel, offering the UK holidaymaker or business traveller a multitude of experiences in all seasons: from student inter-railing, clubbing weekends, luxury shopping trips and cultural sightseeing.
Whatever your budget for travel in Europe, the Eurozone has become much more expensive lately, mainly because the current exchange rate means you get fewer euros to your pound than previously. However, rates are starting to recover and the holidaymakers across Europe may find that prices are beginning to adjust to a stronger euro making European travel a bit more affordable.
Euro exchange rates
With the pound traditionally strong against the euro, travelling to Europe suddenly became much more expensive for British holidaymakers when the exchange rate started to fall in late 2007, dropping from an average rate of 1.5 euros to the pound to a low of almost 1 to 1. This had the effect of making prices in the 16 official Eurozone countries, which consisted of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, seem much more expensive.
With 12 other European nations also using the euro as their unofficial currency, from Andorra to Montenegro and many of the islands of the euro nations, including the Canaries and the Azores, many tourism hotspots have been affected by the change in the exchange rate.
As of late 2013 the euro to pound exchange rate has been hovering at around 1.2 so a full recovery isn’t on the cards yet but generally the exchange rate for pounds to euros is more acceptable for Brits abroad than it has been over the last few years. This rate is liable to change, so always check for the latest rate.
Tips for getting more euros for your pound
- If you are travelling to Europe, pre-order your currency before you get to the airport to save you money by getting a better euro exchange rate with less commission
- When you order your currency, ask for small and medium denomination euro notes such as €20 or €50, that are more widely accepted in shops and restaurants than the 200 or 500 euro notes. Take some €5 and €10 notes for taxis and other quick purchases.
- Euro notes are issued in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500-euro denominations
- Euro coins come in €1 and €2 as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50-cent denominations
Want to keep track of your spending?
For a 1.1 euro to pound exchange rate, just subtract 10% from the price in euros. For €30, move the decimal point back a digit to calculate 10% (€3) and then subtract that from the original price to get the rough price in pounds – approximately £27. Remember to allow for exchange rates changing over time.
Get your euros from the Post Office®
We make it easy to get your euros for your holiday:
- Order euros online up to five working days in advance
- Pick up your euros at a Post Office branch or have them delivered to your home – minimum order value of £400 applies online
- Online orders placed before 3pm, on a working day, can generally be delivered to your home the next working day. Where an order is placed on a Friday and delivery to your home is required on a Saturday, there will be a charge of £1.50
- Home delivery applies to online orders only
- Order at a Post Office® branch. Search for your nearest branch here
- Pick up your euros 'on demand' at over 10,000 Post Office branches
- Show your Post Office receipt and we’ll buy back all your leftover euro banknotes, commission-free
- Order euros online
- Or call 0845Calls to 0845 numbers may be charged at up to 5p per minute from a fixed line and calls from mobiles can be considerably higher. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes. 850 0900. Lines are open 8.00am-5.30pm Mon-Fri.
*Calls may be recorded, monitored and used for training and compliance purposes