Currency exchange rates and travel update

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The frustrating thing about posting updates is as soon as you post them the rules change! In terms of international travel it can be confusing to know where you can and can’t travel to at any one time. During the summer holidays Turkey was one of a few popular holiday destinations in the travel corridor. This meant you could visit without having to self-isolate on return and the country enjoyed a boom in UK visitors. The Turkish lira exchange rate was also very favourable so it became a holiday hotspot. In September 2020 the UK government decided to take Turkey off the travel corridor list at short notice so the advice became “essential travel only”. 

The story is very similar for lots of countries across Europe and around the world. What makes it even more difficult is people living in the new tier 3 areas of the country can’t travel abroad even if they found a country they could visit!

Travel corridor

Recently, the Canary Islands have been added back to the travel corridor list. This means (if you can travel) you will be able to visit those islands without self isolating on return. These include Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. This is good news because they are all popular winter destinations and enjoy good weather even in January. There is a little caveat and that is you must take along a covid-free certificate obtained 72 hours before travel. Travel and tour operators will have up to date information on this.

The currency of the Canary islands, in case you don’t know, is euros.

There are some other countries on the travel corridor list including Cyprus, Denmark and Finland which means you can visit them for any purpose according the UK Government. However, many of those countries have their own regulation which would make it difficult to travel. Finland for example, even though it’s on the UK travel corridor list won’t allow entry to anyone other than Finnish citizens! Confusing as it might be, up to date information can be found on the GOV.UK travel advice website.

Safe air travel

If you are able to book a holiday or trip this winter then the Government has also published guidance on safe air travel for passengers. Airlines have had safety measures in place throughout the summer and you will be made aware of this when you travel. They include online check in, contactless payments, wearing face coverings and social distancing measures but the key points from the government are:

  • avoiding the busiest times and routes
  • keeping your distance when you travel
  • washing or sanitising your hands regularly

You should not travel if you:

  • are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms or have in the last 7 days
  • are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms
  • are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody who has experienced coronavirus symptoms in the last 14 days
  • have been advised that you must self isolate by the NHS test and trace service

These are a number of recommendations on safer air travel and the full guidance can be found on the dedicated air travel guidance for passengers webpage.

Currency exchange rates

So if you do need foreign currency what is happening with exchange rates?


The euro rate held steady during the summer holiday period but had a little blip at the beginning of September when it dropped from 1.114 to 1.077. Since then it has rallied and has been around the 1.09 mark for most of October.

Turkish lira

TRY has seen an unprecedented rise in exchange rate throughout the year and even though Turkish holidays have become more difficult the lira continues an uphill climb. It has risen by 9% in the last 30 days alone and well over 30% for the year as a whole. In October 2019 you would have got around 7 lira to the pound, at the moment you will get around 10.

Image of Turkish lira exchange rate history
US dollars

Still a popular currency despite the restrictions. The USD exchange rate has stayed relatively calm throughout the year. It reached a low in March of around 1.2 and peaked on September 2nd at 1.328. It has remained within those rates all year and has improved around 1.5 % in the last 30 days.


Other currencies that have seen gains in October are Indian and Pakistani rupees which are up around 6.4%. Caribbean currencies such as the Jamaican and Bahamian dollar have also increase this month. BSD by 9% and JMD by around 5%.

The losers over the last 30 days have been Namibian dollars (-4.3%) Mexican pesos (-3.7%) and Israeli shekels (-2.6%)

You will find the exchange rate history for any of our listed currencies on the relevant page or on our exchange rate history pages. Alternatively you can sign up to our monthly newsletter where we highlight the latest currency and travel news and any special offers and promotions from our partners. If you are wondering when is the best time to buy your currency take a look at our updated article on the best time to buy euros

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

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