Some advice for UK Tourists as the Dollar Drops Again!

Any guests heading to Orlando this summer can take a few simple steps to ensure that the worsening exchange rate doesn’t hit them too hard!

In June of 2007 UK tourists enjoyed exchange rates near $2 to the £1 making the overall bill for say $5000 worth of spending money cost just £2500.
In June of 2013 $5000 will set you back over £800 more, making the cost come in around £3300.

With the world focussed more closely on getting good value, it’s important to find as many ways as possible to claw back those precious pounds!

We’ve put together some advice for UK Tourists to help you beat the exchange rate blues with some good resources to keep you in budget this summer!


Use a good independent comparison site for exchange rates

Take a close look at the highly reputable Money Saving Expert site and visit their travel money comparison page.  Pay close attention to how much you actually get back in a dollar amount than the attractive exchange rates!!  The commission fees can quickly make what looks a good deal, an awful one!

Deciding when to buy your Dollars is risky but ‘hedge your bets’!

If the exchange rate is very low, it’s not always guaranteed to get better!
Even the City’s highly paid experts agree that predicating exchange rates is simply impossible.  The influencing factors are complex and volatile.
Having said that, it pays to do what they do!  Spread their risks!
You can consider changing your money in two portions, half now, half later.
At least if the rate drops further, you’ve at least bought some cash at the better rate. If the rate improves, you’ve still got a chance to but half at a better rate!

Be realistic!  Look back at historical averages for GBP & USD

It’s no use relying on rates returning to 2 dollars to the pound!
2007 was an unusual circumstance that favoured British tourists very well.  But the long term average since 1990 shows that we should expect bank rates to come in around $1.655 to the £1,  Over the last six years, since that average plummets to $1.5883 to the £1.

Source date

USD GBP Long Term Data 2015

Find savings elsewhere!

If you are down a few hundred pounds because of the exchange rate, don’t give up!  Keep working hard to find some savings!

  • Even if you’ve already booked, contact your booking agent and check if they can give you any offers or deals!  They may say ‘no’, but we have heard that some of the largest players often consider a better deal for you if they can!
  • If you haven’t yet booked, stick it out for a great last minute deal on accommodation!  Most homeowners or booking agents will be glad for your enquiry to fill a last minute deal.  Always call them if you can, it’s much more effective than an email, but always beware as some deals are exclusive to online guests.  Check which method is best before you book!
  • Check out the best theme park ticket deals at reputable and approved vendors.  Check how the UK and USA vendors compare with the current exchange rates!  The USA vendors might offer an overseas customer a special deal!  Seek some solid advice from the vendor and beware of those that keep trying to ‘up-sell’ (pushing you to buy more tickets than you need or want)
    Check out our ticket advice articles.
  • If you are yet to book accommodation, always bear in mind that vacation homes are usually a lot less per person per night than even the most basic rooms inside the Park Resorts.  Usually, luxury homes can work out a lot more cost effectively than even the cheapest hotels around Kissimmee.
    Vacation Rental Home sites such as totalorlando, HomeAway and Flipkey have plenty to choose from so take a look before you decide for sure!
    Vacation Homes with full kitchens and outdoor grills offer a big saving over dining out each night too.
  • Our final piece of advice is to research each major booking (car/accommodation/flights/park tickets) at least 3 days each!
    That is the absolute minimum you need to put in to make sure that you are getting a good deal!  The more you know, the more you save, as a ‘clued up’ enquirer always gets the best deal!
    (Read our quick article on negotiating a vacation deal!)
  • If you are able to, try and book in September and January, the parks are quiet and the flights and accommodation costs are as low as they will be for the year!
    Disney, Universal and SeaWorld all frequently offer free dining packages for accommodation taken out in their resorts, offering big savings.
  • Check out our advice on grabbing a rental home deal if you prefer to stay in your own private pool home on vacation.