Right time for cheaper travel

By Susan Edmunds

Michelle Malcolm says the strong dollar affects Kiwis' travel plans. Photo / Doug Sherring
Michelle Malcolm says the strong dollar affects Kiwis' travel plans. Photo / Doug Sherring

Quay Travel owner Michelle Malcolm says she has noticed the difference the strong NZ dollar is making to Kiwis' travel plans, as well as her own.

She travels using a preloaded Travelex cash passport and tries to time her purchases of foreign currency to coincide with a strong kiwi dollar. "With the cash passport you can buy currency at any time if you think it will work in your favour."

She is going to Fiji next week and bought Fijian dollars when the kiwi was strong. "It used to be dollar-for-dollar but now $1000 buys $1500 Fijian."

Since the dollar started to climb against the greenback, Malcolm has noticed a significant increase in travel to the United States. "I'm looking at doing it with my kids and a couple of years ago you would have had to double the cost of everything. Now it's really reasonable."

She says people consider options - upgrades, added extras - that they would not have looked at before.

"Clients are staying in nicer hotels than they would have before."

Malcolm recommends clients prepay for as much as they can while the dollar is strong. She booked her Fiji trip in April and asked to pay in full at the time for activities she was planning, to eliminate the risk of the NZ dollar dropping before she left.

She says she will keep an eye on the currency ahead of her trip to the US next year. "If I see the dollar getting stronger and I have any spare money, I'll put that on to my cash passport in US dollars."

- Herald on Sunday

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