Planning a gap year? Your money will go further in Brazil, India, Nepal and South Africa
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A study by Moneycorp and gapyear.com has shown that travelling to less traditional destinations can be good value for money, due to the large fluctuations in currency valuations caused by the economic downturn. The research found that your money will go further in Brazil, India, Nepal and South Africa than it would have done 12 months ago because of an increase in the strength of the pound compared to the destination currency. The biggest increase is seen in with the pound against the Brazilian Real, with the pound 26.10% stronger this year. However the pound has weakened against the currencies of Peru, China, USA and Cambodia compared to this time last year, making trips there more expensive. For example the Pound is now 4.43% weaker against the Dollar and 5.84% down on the Chinese Yuan. Taking a gap year has become increasingly popular, with 250,000 people estimated to be embarking upon one this summer. And while most of those taking a gap year are about to begin, or have just finished university, an increasing number of people are taking a career break to travel around the world. Despite the growing popularity of the gap year budgets are still a concern, especially in these tough times. Furthermore, considering that someone on a gap year will visit 10 countries over a six to nine month period on average, it has never been more pertinent to find ways to save money. So by planning ahead and travelling to where the pound is strong, a gap year can be far more affordable allowing one to travel to more places and for longer. This can also lead to a more enriching gap year experience, by visiting the less popular destinations instead of the obvious choices like Cambodia or the USA. While the pound may be currently extremely strong against the currencies mentioned above, Olann Kerrison, a Monycorp currency expert, warns that “the economic landscape might have changed” when you arrive and so the “pound might not stretch quite as far.” The best way to protect against this eventuality is to get a prepaid multi currency card which can hold your money at a guaranteed rate. This makes planning ahead all the more convenient.