Business

What's the cost of Brexit in your back pocket?

Now's the peak time to book your summer holidays - but how far will your pound go in 2017?

IF you're about to hit the slopes of Europe to enjoy some winter skiing or snowboarding, the average cost of an après-ski beer in Cauterets in the French Pyrenees, for example, will cost you around £5.20.

If you'd been in Cauterets this very month a year ago, then your biere would have only cost around £4.53

That difference of 63 pence could have gone towards a few more beers last year (although if you're taking part in 'Dry January' then you'll be the happy one in your party).

Having said that, the cost of a McDonald's cappuccino in Switzerland now costs over £4, so this writer knows what they'd rather spend their holiday money on.

The pound falling below the euro has also led many experts to think that more families could stay at home. A survey from vacation rental firm, HomeAway, shows that 20 per cent of UK travellers will have more domestic holidays than international holidays this year, with the figure rising to 34 percent for families.

This time of year is the peak booking season for summer holidays, so with sterling falling against the euro and inflation set to rise at home, what does it mean for those of you who want to get away?

Well, if you want to book your holidays using an app then that could cost you more as Apple has announced it will be increasing the cost of apps and in-app purchases by 25 per cent following the weak pound exchange rate after the Brexit vote.

If you've got a family with children at school then you're potentially restricted, so it's worth booking early. This is ideal as you can pay in instalments, which also allows you to save between now and when you take the holiday.

It's also worth finding out your local authority's stance on term-time holiday fines. Some areas have scrapped the fines, meaning that you can go out of peak holiday season to help save some extra money. However, beware if you're local authority still has fines in place as around 90,000 parents were fined a combined £5.6m in the 2014/15 academic year.

If you're not restricted by family commitments or school holidays, have flexibility in your work or are retired and can go away at the drop of a sombrero, then the world's your oyster and you can make some amazing savings that can allow you to enjoy the slightly more expensive French beer. Quite frankly, what are you waiting for?

It's also worth keeping an eye on foreign exchange deals and getting your holiday cash when you think there's a deal to be done. There's plenty of websites around that allow you to compare the rates and commission.

Of course the alternative solution, if you've decided that the increased costs abroad are going to make a dent on your enjoyment, is to stay local.

With Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, stating that the Bank is keeping an eye on consumer spending and debt, while the cost of living is set to rise, it could see an increase in the price of holidays at home as well.

However, if you do want to holiday in the UK and combine it with getting good independent financial advice, then we know some great destinations near Kesh . . . .

:: Darren McKeever (dmckeever@wwfp.net) is Northern Ireland adviser of Worldwide Financial Planning, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For a free, no obligation initial chat about your individual finances, call 028 6863 2692, email info@wwfp.net or click on www.wwfp.net. Follow us on Twitter: @WorldwideFP.

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