In the closing days of June, the people of the United Kingdom participated in a landmark vote after months and months of fierce debate. The vote concerned a countrywide decision on one single question: to leave the European Union or stick around. Though their were arguments on both sides of the issue (and we’ll take no sides, here), the vote eventually landed on the side of “Leave,” with the dissenters outnumbering the rest 52 percent to 48 percent. Initial reports of the BREXIT vote have seen its passage as almost immediately unpopular (so it very well might be fleeting), however, it’s a real thing, and it’s something that you have to take into account when it’s time to head to the United Kingdom. It looks like they’re no longer going to be a member of the European Union … so what does that mean for you?
1. Go There Now!
First and foremost, if you’ve ever contemplated a trip to the bustling streets of London or a scenic trip through the stunning countryside, this might be the time to do it. In the wake of the BREXIT vote, the United Kingdom kind of took a PR hit, so they’re more welcoming and happy to see foreigners than ever before (because they like tourist dollars).
2. It’s Cheaper Than Ever Before
Okay, so the flip side of the coin, here, is that the world economy took a trillion-dollar hit in the wake of the BREXIT vote. The upside of that downturn is that the pound is falling which means your American dollar will go farther than ever before. You’ve always heard that it’s extremely expensive to visit London or Wales, but that’s not the case anymore … well, not as much the case as it was (at least for now).
3. They Don’t Tell You About the Lines
So, at the moment, EU citizens traveling through airports get to go through a different line at security when they’re traveling through the continent (just like Americans do in the U.S.). That may change in the future — which would require any Europeans traveling to the UK to stand in the foreigner line when entering and exit the airport. Just something to consider.
4. If You’re Hitting the UK, Stay There
For those travelers lucky enough to be heading somewhere in the United Kingdom this summer, you should really think twice about venturing outward, because it just might be more expensive when traveling from the United Kingdom to Europe. The once cheap airfares the UK enjoyed as part of Europe’s open skies policy may change.
5. Things Might Be a Bit Pricier
For travelers local to the United Kingdom, there will be some immediate repercussions if you’re traveling abroad. Travelers heading out of the UK and into the EU can expect to see some increased prices in the direct aftermath of the “Leave” vote. As it turns out, the Euro to English pound conversion rate isn’t so hot.
6. The Local Booze Problem
Okay, it might not effect the vast majority of travelers, but the Telegraph reported that some people like to cross the English Channel and hit French wine markets for their booze. Now that the UK is leaving the European Union, those travelers may see their limits on alcohol drastically reduced by UK customs.
7. The Dissolution of the Union
At the moment, the people of the United Kingdom have fairly ready access to Europe. There’s not much standing in line in order to get out of the country; that’s likely to change when they exit the EU formally. If, as some experts predict, the EU continues to dissolve, then that means foreign travelers moving between the UK and Europe had better keep their passport handy.
8. Say Goodbye to Working Abroad
It’s something of a tradition — or a popular pastime, maybe — for young people in Europe to either get jobs in Europe or fund a European vacation by taking casual jobs over the course of a couple of months. Unfortunately, those rules are apt to change now that BREXIT is in effect as the freedom to work abroad was a luxury of membership in the EU.
9. The Beaches May Be in Jeopardy
We’re not saying this will happen, but in recent years, UK beaches have seen a dramatic reduction in pollution thanks to pressure from the European Union. Now that that pressure will no longer exist, it’s remotely possible (though we’re certainly not rooting for it), that the UK will relax its policing of the beaches and allow them to sink to their previously polluted states.
10. Trans-Atlantic Flights Might Be Cheaper
Don’t expect a trans-Atlantic flight to be on the super cheap side any time soon, but some travel experts are expecting that flights and hotel fare to the United Kingdom may very well see a price drop in the near future as the tourist industry anticipates less of a showing from Europeans (who might feel unwelcome now).
11. Best Case Scenario
For the people of Great Britain and the United Kingdom, the best case scenario is (obviously) the one their leaders have promised, which is that — free of the fees associated with their involvement in the European Union — the UK will prosper and the pound will rise in value, which would mean that they could travel more easily. If that comes true, then it means the UK will be more expensive than ever before.
12. All Of This Tumult Is Fleeting
Things may look extremely chaotic in the United Kingdom at the moment, but that’s just because CNN is only focusing on the protestors. It’s still a pretty safe place to visit, especially for Americans. With the pound at an all-time low, it’s also an extremely affordable, too. It won’t last, though. If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that things will even out in the United Kingdom (and likely quickly). So this is one travel advantage to take right away.