Exchanging currency at the airport has always been expensive, but holidaymakers are now facing exceptionally poor exchange rates if they wait until just before they fly to buy.
Foreign exchange company Moneycorp (who have locations in Bristol, Central London, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton and Southend airports) were offering 0.94 euros to the pound at Gatwick airport yesterday (7 Aug), according to The Sun.
This rate means holidaymakers would get 94 euros back when exchanging £100.
At the time of writing, the current official exchange rate is 1.11 euros to the pound, meaning that £100 should give travellers around 111 euros. Ordering euros in advance is likely to get you closer to this exchange rate, as opposed to purchasing at the airport.
Higher rent means higher costs
According to travel money companies, higher rent rates at airports are the reason for the vast difference in exchange rates.
“There are significant costs associated with operating in an airport,” Pauline Maguire from Moneycorp told The Sun.
“For example, foreign exchange outlets have to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also incur significant security costs and high ground rent. Unfortunately this does translate into higher costs for travellers.
“This has been exacerbated because we’ve seen the pound drop to its lowest level in the last two weeks, directly impacting the pound-to-euro exchange rate.”
How to get the most for your money
- Plan ahead and avoid exchanging money at the airport
- Compare travel money companies online to get the best rate
- Use a debit card instead of a credit card to avoid fees
- If you are buying while abroad, pay in the local currency to avoid extra costs