One of the hardest parts of traveling outside of the EU, or any area that uses the same currency as your own is dealing with exchange rates. Many people traveling from Ireland for business or pleasure to their neighboring country, the United Kingdom, many times find themselves exchanging their hard earned euros for a lesser amount of British pounds.
As of late, any person traveling from the EU to the UK may have noticed a decline in the value of the pound compared to that of the euro. Within the last month and a half, the pound has hit record lows since 2009; the exchange rate is 88.92 pence per euro.
This low extends to the exchange rate associated with the United States dollar. One pound sterling is currently exchanged for $1.268. In just the beginning of May 2019, the rate was $1.32/pound. This is a significant loss in value over one month’s time.
This fall is heavily due to the instability of the economy that rests on the shoulders of the October 31 Brexit decision. The value of the pound shows the uncertainty that the country has in regards to the UK’s ability to make a deal during their secession from the EU.
As an American, exchange rates can be extremely frustrating especially during extended periods of time abroad. The USD to Euro rate is 0.88 euro to one USD, which is fairly close to one to one exchange. Although this is close, I am still quite aware that for every euro I spend I am spending close to $1.13.
Luckily the prices in Ireland are a bit lower than that of the United States, especially in the grocery stores. This difference in price somewhat accommodates for the changes in currency. From my experience, this is not the same in the UK.
I recently traveled to London, England, United Kingdom for a long weekend. During my trip, I spent usual USD prices in pounds on meals, groceries and transportation. This sadly added up more quickly than I had expected, and made my exhibition much more costly than originally anticipated.
Although I was prepared for my money to be less valuable, I was not prepared for the prices that went along with the basic things I was interested in buying. With different currencies being exchanged each day, what makes this one so expensive? And why, at the trough of the pounds value, did I still feel like purchasing anything would break my bank?
What keeps tourism up when prices and exchanges are high? I would like to find out.