Long haul destinations may not offer best value for UK travellers hoping to make their foreign currency go further

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Post Office Travel Money advises holidaymakers to organise foreign currency in advance to get best deals

UK tourists travelling to long haul destinations such as Thailand and Malaysia this year face paying more for goods and services while they are away, according to the fifth annual Holiday Money Report carried out by Post Office Travel Money.

Post Office Travel Money is recommending all travellers heading to these destinations shop around in advance for the best deals on their foreign currency as the Thai baht has strengthened by 11.4 per cent and the Malaysian ringgit by 12.8 per cent since last year.

The only longer haul destinations where sterling has strengthened compared with last year are Kenya and Egypt – both identified as 2011 hotspots by the Post Office Travel Money report.

Meanwhile, sterling gains against the euro and resort price cuts have put the hard-hit eurozone back in contention, with Portugal rated best value in the report’s living cost barometer. Travellers heading for Europe are likely to see their foreign currency go further this year, especially those jetting off to Spain, as prices are at a record three-year low.

In order to get the best value from travel money, whatever destination travellers are bound for, Post Office Travel Money is recommending holidaymakers organise foreign currency in advance to avoid paying high commission charges at the airport or at the destination.

Sarah Munro, Post Office Head of Travel Money, said: “Egypt has been the outstanding mid haul holiday success of recent years with foreign currency sales up five per cent last year and 110 per cent since 2005. We expect to see more growth in 2011 because the Egyptian pound is one of the few longer haul currencies to have weakened against sterling.”

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