Don’t let the exchange rate put the brakes on your holiday

As the Australian dollar fell to its lowest level against the United States dollar in years, RACQ Bank warned Queenslanders to be aware of currency exchange rates when they booked their overseas holiday.

RACQ Bank spokesperson Clare Hunter urged people heading away in January to double check the exchange rates before they jumped on the plane.

“The Aussie dollar is currently buying around 70 US cents; 75.34 Japanese yen; and 94 cents in Canada, which may take some people by surprise, so the key is to plan ahead to ensure you’re not low on funds while on holiday,” Ms Hunter said.

“To put this in perspective, if you’re travelling to the USA today for a ski holiday and you’ve budgeted for $2,000 AUD in spending money, be aware that will only get you $1,403 in greenbacks,” Ms Hunter said.

“Of course, the value of goods between different countries vary, but it’s worth having all the information before you set off to avoid a shock.”

Ms Hunter advised those planning a holiday later in the year to factor in exchange rates when choosing a destination.

“There’re so many places Queenslanders can go where our dollar stretches further,” she said.

“For example, 1 Aussie dollar will buy you 22.49 Thai baht, which is enough to sample some delicious Thai street food.

“If you do want to go somewhere our dollar is performing, watch exchange rates carefully and pre-purchase as much as you can like accommodation, rail tickets and activities.”

Ms Hunter also reminded holiday makers to purchase adequate travel insurance before they set off.

“When you’re on holiday you want to be able to enjoy yourself, so protect yourself with insurance, and protect your finances with smart planning – you don’t want to return home to a massive holiday debt you have to work all year to pay off.”