Over the summer, we noted how affordable the eurozone had become with the dollar hitting parity with the euro for the first time in 20 years. Europe is still on sale, with the dollar slightly stronger than the euro at 97 cents to the euro. At the time, the Great British pound was at $1.19, much more favorable than the year before. It’s been lost amid the ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, but last week the pound fell to a record low against the dollar in the opening days of Liz Truss’ term as prime minister. It briefly touched below $1.04 and remains near $1.10, making the U.K. as affordable as it’s ever been for Americans.
That means London, perennially among the world’s most expensive cities, is having a rare moment. It’s your time to take advantage and experience the best this world-class capital has to offer. Of course, there’s much more to the U.K. than London. There’s the classic countryside of the Cotswolds and the Lake District, the Celtic spirit of Cornwall, Wales and the Isle of Man. There’s the stark beauty of Scotland, its medieval cities and its misty highlands. The verdant hills of Wales and unique features of Northern Ireland are also more easily accessible with the weaker pound.
Among the financial changes under the new government, finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced his intention to reintroduce duty free shopping for foreign visitors to the U.K., and to replace the old paper system for keeping track of tax free purchases with a digital one. “Britain welcomes millions of tourists every year, and I want our high streets and airports, our ports and our shopping centres, to feel the economic benefit. So we have decided to introduce VAR-free shopping for overseas visitors,” he told parliament.
If you’ve been wanting to take a trip to the U.K. and/or continental Europe but worried about inflation or exchange rates, now is the time to book. Considering the pound stood around $1,40 at this time last year, it’s the best chance you might have for some time to seize the moment. If you want to lock in the exchange rate for later travel, in most cases you can pay in advance and still be able to cancel for a refund if plans change. Contact your travel advisor or reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-322-9481 to start planning.