UK holidaymakers have been urged to "do their homework" on currency values before choosing where to go this year. Sterling fell to a 13-month low against the euro earlier this week, but research by Post Office Travel Money has found that currencies at many popular long-haul destinations – such as Mexico, Malaysia and Thailand – have weakened in comparison with the pound. The biggest gain for sterling has been against the South African rand.

UK tourists on safaris, fly-drive trips and holidays in the port city of Cape Town will see their cash stretch 26% further than last year. Sterling has surged by 18% against the Mexico peso, meaning Britons changing £500 for a trip to Cancun will get £76 more in the local currency than 12 months ago, the Post Office calculated.

Holidaymakers wanting to head east could find value in Malaysia where the strength of sterling has increased by more thhan 9% against the ringgit compared with a year ago. The pound has also increased in value against the Thai baht by 1.5% year on year.

Meanwhile, the US dollar is at a five-year high against the pound, making Orlando and New York trips around 10% more expensive, the study found. The report also claimed that lower prices in many European resorts will cancel out the impact of the slide in sterling against the euro. Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: "This is definitely a year when it will pay people to do their homework before booking a destination.

"With sterling's recent fall in value against more than half of our best-selling currencies, you can't blame them for thinking twice about where to go on holiday. "However, canny travellers will be quids in if they opt for destinations with weak currencies or those where local prices are low. Better still, if they combine both elements their holiday money will stretch further."