Check out this guest post by Peter.
The Philippines are often over looked by the British because of the high profile of Thailand and the surfing destinations of Bali and Micronesia. The Philippines though, are just as beautiful and as accessible to the British tourist as either and better than many.
The Philippine Peso is good value
From a travel money perspective, countries that do not use the Euro are looking particularly good value for money right now and recently the Philippine Peso became even better value against the pound. If you search and compare the best exchange rates online, you see that the online banks compare well against the specialist currency providers for the Peso but that there is also a marked and expensive difference between the different providers. Unusually there is nearly 10% difference even between the online specialist bureau de change and even more if you compare that against your high street post office branch or the banks. When applied to your holiday budget 10%-20% can make a big impact on what you can afford to see and do.
The Philippine Peso is not a currency most people are familiar with and for off the cuff conversions you should work on 50 to 1 with £1 worth 50 Pesos. The actual exchange rate is nearer 54 peso to the Pound but that is close enough for most situations. The Philippines introduced a new set of bank notes in 2010 making theirs one of the most sophisticated and counterfeit proof currencies in the world. You should always try to exchange your money either in the UK before you leave or in a bank, hotel or shop whilst you are there as there is a chance that you may be passed old ‘out of circulation’ notes if you use a street moneychanger.
Converting the Peso into Pounds
Another concern is about changing Pesos back into Pounds after your trip. There is no problem with converting the Peso into Pounds, again with the best deals online rather than your bank but as an alternative you could consider taking some of your travel money in Peso and some in Pounds but do not use travellers’ cheques. Banks don’t always accept travellers’ cheques but cash in sterling or US dollars can be exchanged for Philippine pesos at the airport, in banks, hotels and some shops.
Finally if you have any currency questions please post a comment below and I will try and answer them for you.
Peter Rudin-Burgess is an online exchange rates journalist and a partner at CompareHolidayMoney.com, probably the easiest travel money comparison website for the UK. I have been writing and video blogging travel money tips, hints and advice for the past two years.