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Travel

‘Brexit’ vote means travelers to Britain may get more for their money

Brexit

The vote to leave the European Union has weakened the British pound against the U.S. dollar, giving travelers more for their money.

(Michael Kappeler/DPA/Zuma Press/TNS)

Britain on sale?  With the “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union, Britain saw the pound slide against the dollar on Friday.

Although a trip to, say, London is not as inexpensive as visiting many developing nations, the currency shift may mean your get more for your money, at least in the short term.

On June 26, 2015, you would have paid about $1.57 for 1 British pound. Exchange rates on Friday meant you would pay about $1.37 for a British pound.

For a stay, for instance, at the Latin-flavored Church Street Hotel, my favorite budget digs a bit away from the city center, your 90-pound room charge would total a little less than $125 a night for a single ensuite (with bath). A year ago, that room would have cost you $141 and change.

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In a week, you will have saved almost enough to pay for an extra day at the hotel.

Likewise, a ticket on the Heathrow Express train service from the airport to Paddington Station and back would run you a little more than $49 for a ticket on Saturday. A year ago, that would have been about $56.

At the Golden Union Fish Bar, 38 Poland St., not far from the British Museum, you would pay about $18.50 for a large order of cod and chips.

A year ago at a place that Time Out London describes as “a gem of a chippie that’s knowingly retro in look and feel but admirably forward-thinking when it comes to the beer-battered, sustainable fish it serves,” your tab would have been a bit more than $21.

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Zach Honig, editor in chief of the Points Guy, a resource for travelers looking for ways to stretch their travel dollar, thinks he may be able to splurge a bit on an upcoming trip to London.

“I’m considering some nicer restaurants, maybe a couple of extra activities, maybe taking a taxi from the airport, something I never considered last week,” he said, while noting he takes no pleasure in Britain’s currency predicament.

One big way to save has nothing to do with the strength of the dollar, he noted, and that’s choosing the right credit card. Foreign transaction fees on purchases abroad can add 3% to your bill, Honig said.

If you don’t know whether your card does charge these fees, check its terms and conditions or call and ask, he said. 

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