Exchange rate: Should you change euros back into pounds if your holiday is cancelled?

The pound to euro exchange rate can be very changeable indeed and it’s hard for many holidaymakers to know when is best to buy travel money – or indeed buy GBP back. Many travellers may well have bought foreign currency only to find the country they were due to travel to is now out of bounds. In recent weeks, Spain and France were added to the UK’s quarantine list.

For both, the government warns against non-essential travel.

Many people’s holidays have been cancelled or they are choosing to cancel the trips themselves during this time of uncertainty.

So what should you do if you have holiday money which is no longer of use to you? Should you exchange it back to pounds?

James Lynn at travel card provider Currensea warned of the risks of exchanging money back to GBP.

It’s likely you will lose out due to the exchange rate.

“If the holiday doesn’t go ahead, it’s rarely worth changing the currency back to pounds again,” Lynn exclusively told

“If you can afford it, the best strategy is to keep hold of the currency for a future holiday.

“Hidden exchange rate costs of changing currency back to pounds can drive significant losses.”

Keeping the money for a future trip will prevent you from paying double the fees.

“If you have a holiday planned in the future and you need the same currency, keep hold of your cash,” said Lynn.

“This will stop you paying fees on the same amount twice.

“Currency markets are constantly moving, consider your personal cashflow rather than trying to speculate movements.”

If you do wish to exchange the money back because you need it, do keep an eye on the rate you bought your currency at.

“As a rule of thumb if the rate is better than when you bought, sell straight away,” Lynn advised.

“You are unlikely to make a profit as most currency exchange bureaus include a fee, but this will limit any losses.

Lynn also cautioned that travellers should be aware of hidden charges when buying currency.

“No fee” frequently means that the charge is hidden in the exchange rates.

Flexibility is vital during these volatile times.

“With so much uncertainty and last-minute changes to policy worldwide, flexibility is key,” said Lynn.

“With a weak pound, avoiding hidden fees and ensuring a good exchange rate is vital to making sure your money goes further.” 

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