Motorists and holidaymakers throughout Northern Ireland were today facing another financial blow - as the euro hit an all-time high.
Even short trips across the border will add hundreds of pounds to the cost.
With the euro now worth 80p, the highest since it was introduced in 1999, families who make regular trips to places such as Dublin or Donegal are set to be hit hard.
It will also cause those who pop over the border to fill their car up with cheap fuel to think twice.
Sterling plunged to its lowest point against the euro amid expectations that the Bank of England will cut interest rates by a quarter of a per cent today.
The pound's collapse is expected to add approximately 17.5% to the cost of buying euros compared with just a year ago.
Holidaymakers now have almost a fifth less spending power in the Republic and the Continent than they did last year.
It means that people in Northern Ireland who regularly spend time in the Republic or who enjoy cheap holidays in Europe will have to pay extra on everything from eating out to car hire.
Spending money of £500 will now only be worth £415 in Ireland and the other 14 euro zone states.
A bottle of lager in a French bar now costs an average of £3.37 compared to £2.86 last year.
A cup of coffee in Cyprus now costs approximately £3.37. Last year holidaymakers would have expected to pay around £1.85.
And a week in a standard double room at a three star hotel in Barcelona in July now costs around £405 rather than £346 in 2007.
A day's car rental in Vienna that would have cost £56 now costs £67.
To minimise the extra cost, tourists are being advised to shop around for the best exchange rates at home before going abroad. Holidaymakers are also being encouraged to check the cheapest way of accessing extra money abroad.
Today's revelations may force holidaymakers to look at cheaper alternatives out with the eurozone such as Bulgaria or Croatia.
The Association of British Travel Agents said yesterday that the rise of the euro might prompt the growth in journeys to Turkey and Egypt and other long-haul trips.
The pound has slumped because of the knock-on effects of the sub-prime collapse in the United States while the euro has powered ahead because of the strength of its member economies.
Importers will face greater chargers but exporters will be pleased with today's news as their products become cheaper in the eurozone countries.
The euro's new high came after the International Monetary Fund warned that UK growth would only hit 1.6% this year, compared with the Government's claim of up to 2.25%.
Some economists are now predicting that the euro's continuing surge could result in the eurozone becoming the main international unit of currency as soon as 2015, derailing the dollar's almost 100 year dominance.
Rodney Simpson, owner of Simpson's Travel Worldchoice in Lisburn, said: " I don't think the people coming in to book are worried about the exchange rate when they go to Spain - they're going anyway. But we are finding people aren't going out of Dublin, because there's no advantage."
Sean Simpson of ABTA, said: "The average spending money for a family of four is usually around £1,000, so that's another £100."