The days of mega-cheap shopping sprees for British shoppers in the United States could soon be over.
There are warnings that the pound is set to tumble well below the $2 exchange rate it has hovered at for much of 2007.
Sterling's strength this year has seen record numbers of bargain-hunters heading from the UK to America to blitz the stores.
But the currency's level has led to gloomy growth forecasts for the UK economy as the high pound value has threatened foreign exports.
It has also adversely affected British companies with trading operations in the US as they translate their overseas earnings back home.
Sterling broke through $2 in April, and went on to peak at a 26-year high of $2.11 in October. Its lowest level during 2007 was $1.918 in March.
The currency spent an unprecedented three months above $2 until December 19, when it finally slipped back.
Economists now believe the pound could be on a downward trend that will last well into 2009.
Banking giant HSBC has sounded the loudest warning about the pound's prospects next year. The bank's top currency expert has predicted it will tumble to $1.76 over the next 15 months.
Chief currency strategist David Bloom said a slower housing market, falling interest rates and dwindling City revenues had left the pound facing the prospect of a "perfect storm" during 2008.
He added: "Trade data shows that the UK is becoming increasingly uncompetitive in the international arena."
He said financial earnings and large profits from the oil sector helped keep the British economy afloat over recent years and shield it from the consequences of a gaping trade deficit, now roughly six per cent of GDP.
But both are now in doubt after the credit crunch.
Simon Hayley, of Capital Economics saw the pound easing to $1.85 next year.
Other analysts have advised clients to buy the Japanese yen and sell the pound as the interest rate gap between the two countries narrows.
The Bank of England recently signalled that two cuts may be on the way in 2008, taking the rates down to five per cent.
Governor Mervyn King said Britain was facing a squeeze between slowing growth and rising inflation.
He also warned that there were "some difficult decisions ahead" as rate-setters walked a tightrope between adding to inflation pressure by cutting rates too soon, or waiting too long and risking a recession.
While sterling has soared against the dollar this year, it has been quietly losing ground against the euro.
The pound has fallen more than seven per cent against the euro this year, amid predictions it could soon break the 72.55p record low.
This may be bad news for British tourists, but the pound's weakness against the euro is causing cheer in the export sector with eurozone exporters reaping the benefits of higher demand from its European counterparts.
There have been some opposing voices to the predicted movement in the pound next year. One, Investec, expects the pound to stay above $2 as a slowdown in the American economy, the country's housing crisis and the continuing credit crunch combine to weaken the value of the dollar.
Speculation that China was preparing to shift its foreign reserves out of the greenback has also contributed to the dollar's slump.
One telling indicator of the currency's weakness emerged when Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen reportedly asked to be paid in euros instead of dollars.
More than one million tourists from the UK were expected to travel to New York this year and consumer experts calculated a shopping trip to the Big Apple this autumn could have cut Christmas spending by hundreds of pounds.
The weak dollar meant a selection of 19 popular consumer goods were around 30 per cent cheaper on average than in London, according to price comparison website PriceRunner.co.uk
An iPod Classic was nearly £32 cheaper in New York at an average price of £127.09 and the latest Nokia N95 phone would set shoppers in London back £509.96 on average, compared with £352.33 in New York.