How Brexit could impact your getaway to the UK and why you should purchase your pounds now.
28 June 2016: On Friday 24 June, Britain voted to leave the European Union, which sent the international markets into a spin. If you have a trip to the UK planned, you might be wondering what this means for your travel money. At the time of writing, buying Great British Pounds (GBP) is the cheapest it’s been in decades, and Australians on holiday in the UK will see their dollar go about five cents further than it did before.
To find out about the other ways Brexit could impact your UK holiday, read our guide below:
- Visas will stay the same. Previously, Australian holiday-makers haven’t needed a visa to visit the UK and that’s unlikely to change following Brexit. However, there is a chance that rules of working visas may change, though not for at least two years. This is because once Article 50 (the procedure that governs a member state leaving) is triggered, which on current indications won't be until October, there are two years to conclude negotiations on exit.
- GBP are cheaper. The Australian dollar is worth about five or six cents more now than it was last week. So if you have a prepaid travel card, are using a no foreign currency conversion fee credit card or need to exchange cash, you could make some travel money gains (if the exchange rate doesn’t go the other way before your holiday).
- Flights may get more expensive. The Brexit vote means that England and Europe will need to renegotiate airspace agreements since UK-based airlines won't automatically have the right to land in European ports. The result could be higher prices and fewer flights in and out of the UK from mainland Europe. We’ve already seen some of these airlines drop in investment value since Brexit, with Ryanair losing 14%, easyJet down 18% and IAG (parent of British Airways) dropping by 20% by the end of Friday 24 June.
Depending on when you’re travelling to the UK, you might want to transfer your Australian dollars to pounds now to take advantage of the competitive exchange rate. If you have a prepaid travel card, you can lock in the exchange rate at the time of loading funds on the card regardless of when you’ll be spending the funds. As nearly all travel cards on the market let you load pound sterling, you have plenty of options to compare.
Travel cards you can use in the United Kingdom and Europe
A travel card is a prepaid product that allows you to load Australian dollars on to the account and exchange it for funds in a supported currency. All Australian travel cards support the Great Britain Pound, so you should have no trouble finding a suitable card. To find out how to make the most of your travel money overseas, read our full travel money guides for the United Kingdom and Europe.
Compare travel cards
If you’re looking to transfer some funds to the UK, you can start comparing your international money transfers now. As you’ll see, some money transfer organisations can give you an exchange rate that’s close to the market rate, so you might want to take advantage of the more competitive exchange rate from Australian dollars to the pound over the coming days or weeks.
Brexit is big news, but this is an event which is very much still unfolding. In the meantime, you can be savvy and use a travel money card, purchase travellers cheques or international drafts to take advantage of the falling pound. Just remember to compare your options before making a decision so you can get the most value out of your travel money no matter what happens next.