How will Brexit affect my travel plans?
Well, that's a done deed.
The British have decided that being part of the European Union is not something they want to do; that much was very clear from last week's referendum result. Now that we're slowly getting over the initial shock of such a huge decision, it's time to think of the (many, many) repercussions this decision has brought with it. In particular, how will this new state of affairs affect travel to and from the United Kingdom?
Leaving the European Union is harder than it seems - just because the decision is already taken does not mean that it has already happened. It will take years for European politicians to discuss, debate and eventually decide on how the UK will be parting ways with the Union, so in terms of immediate travel, there should be no additional obstacles to travel to and from the UK.
The UK is possibly one of the more expensive countries to visit in Europe. However, following the referendum result, the value of the pound crashed dramatically. While it's slightly more stable now, this means that you' ll get more value for your dollar or euro, even though the euro also suffered slightly following the referendum. As an American though, you'll be getting way more out of your $$.
This means that as a visitor, you'll probably be able to buy more when in the UK, and hotels should be on the cheaper side too. Economists are estimating that right now, everything is 7 - 10% cheaper, however, don't go too crazy - the UK is still an expensive place to be in!
Not so budget Airlines
Airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet can offer their dirt cheap rates because the EU allows Europe based airlines to fly freely within the single market, and this helps them keep their prices low. Brexit, however, could mean that budget airlines will no longer be able to offer cheap flights to and from the UK in the near future.
Safety in the UK
It's pretty clear that right now, the 'United' Kingdom is a bit of a misnomer for the country. Scotland and Northern Ireland have already declared that they want to sever ties with England to remain part of the EU, and crazy rumours claiming that different cities want their independence are circulating all over the internet. The social situation in the UK right now is confused and chaotic to say the least, so talking politics is even more of a no no than usual.
I have many British friends and many of us know someone who moved to the UK permanently, and I cannot stress enough the fact that the majority of the people are a sensible, friendly bunch. However, there are increasingly frequent reports on violence and harassment on the basis of race in the streets. The rise of the populist nationalist far-right is no happy event, and its victory in the referendum has only served to strengthen its ideology of hate.
It's something that's heartbreaking for me to say, because I have experienced a UK that's multicultural, diverse and accepting, but if you are planning to visit anytime soon, my advice would be to be careful, remain inconspicuous and as much as possible, avoid risky situations.
Brexit or no Brexit, we should still consider the Brits to be part of the European family, and respect their democratic decisions. Safe travels!