Last night, Britain voted to leave the EU. The votes were very close, coming in at 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent. Below are some quotes from Airfarewatchdog President George Hobica on how Brexit will impact travel.
What it means for travel - and its immediate effect. "The immediate effect: American visitors will pay less for travel to and within Europe and Britain. If the British pound continues to stay low or fall even more, your trip to England will be cheaper. The pound recently traded at levels not seen since 1985, making hotels, meals, shopping and other purchases at least 10 percent cheaper than recently. It’s good time to buy pounds for an upcoming trip."
Booking: "If you booked a hotel or other land arrangements, check to see if you can rebook at a better price now that exchange rates have been hammered."
Airfares: "With their currencies weaker, fewer British and Europeans will visit the U.S. That will result in lower airfares for U.S. visitors. Europeans generally pay less to fly to the U.S. than we pay to fly to Europe (sounds unfair, right? But it’s the old “what the market will bear” economic argument, the same reason that medications cost more in the U.S. than anywhere else). One reason that airfares from the U.S. to Europe have gone down so much this year is because they’re not coming over here. Now, fewer Europeans and Brits will visit the U.S. than ever. So expect airfares from the U.S. to Europe and Britain to go even lower. The day after the Brexit vote, we saw airfares to London on Virgin Atlantic and other airlines for fall travel reduced to $500 round-trip."
Border Patrols: "Beyond the immediate effects of Brexit, the future looks murkier but once border controls are put in place it will become harder to move between countries. If Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, becomes a separate country, you’ll need to go through border controls and show a passport between London and Edinburgh. Because Ireland will remain part of Europe but Northern Ireland won’t, travel between, say, Dublin and Belfast will also require going through passport control."
What it could mean for the EU and Europe: "What’s more worrisome, perhaps, is if Brexit becomes contagious and other disaffected European voters push through similar referendums. No one wants to return to the days of long immigration lines when traveling within Europe and carrying 10 different currencies in purses and wallets. But it could happen."
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