Like it or not, Donald Trump is the 45th President of The United States of America. That might be obvious considering he was inaugurated on Friday, but for those who say "He's not my president," I'm sorry to tell you, but his decisions are about to impact your lives in very significant ways, no matter how many Saturday's you spend holding a sign that references your vagina.
(Disclaimer for all women who marched: Thank you for marching to protect women's rights... please keep reading and keep fighting)
More importantly than how his presidency will affect Americans' daily lives is how his presidency will affect diplomatic relations with foreign countries, likely altering Americans' experiences while traveling and even jeopardizing their ability to travel abroad. Many citizens from countries around the world think we just elected the next Putin and they are not only in disbelief, but they are terrified.
Travelers Will Have A Difficult Job
Traveling internationally under Obama was pretty easy in most nations, as he was well-liked. In most countries I visited during his time in office, people would say "Obama!" and throw me a thumbs up. As a traveler, we are on the forefront of America's reputation. It will be a traveler's job, now more than ever, to prove that our views do not coincide with the xenophobia that has taken hold in the White House.
The American Government was formed to be a representation of the American people, but the current administration does not represent the majority's values. By treating others with respect, engaging in important conversations, and not participating in cultural appropriation, we can demonstrate that the American government is vastly different from the American people they represent.
America's Newfound Ability for Travel to Cuba Could Be Gone
Trump has threatened to scrap the normalization process initiated by the US and Cuba in December of 2014. This could jeopardize cruise services and flights from the US to Cuba. Basically, legal travel to Cuba could disappear as fast as it came. If you think you can still just go through Mexico, think again. How welcome will we be there after we build that wall?
On the contrary, many experts on the Cuba matter do feel that now that the travel floodgates have been opened, it's too late to go back. Only time will tell.
More Expensive Flights
Gulf carriers (such as Emirates and Qatar) may no longer be able to compete with US carriers, as the Trump presidency means the renegotiation of Open Skies Agreement. This means less competition on many international routes, which means higher prices to consumers. The negotiations could go a number of ways, depending on which lobbying route the US carriers take.
Warm Welcomes May Be Chilled
Other countries might not give you the warm welcome you were hoping for. For whatever reason, America's reputation around the world improved under Obama's administration. As seen by the marches and protests around the world, countless others now seem to be singing a different tune about the USA. However, that warm welcome we've all come accustomed to in recent years may be a bit cooler in the coming days.
Say Goodbye to China and it's Great Wall
Tensions have increased with China due to Trump questioning the 'One China Policy' and recognizing Taiwan's leader. It's complicated, but it is a very real threat to our relationship with China. In addition Trump wants American goods to no longer be made in China (despite the hats handed out at his inauguration). If tensions continue to heat up, travel to China for US citizens could become more difficult.
As we place more harsh immigration restrictions on other nations, we should expect to see the same in return. As far as some countries are concerned, we are a bunch of white supremacist psychos who just voted a reality star into the world's most powerful office. This goes back to the traveler's new job, to show we are not our government and put on the best face we can for the world.
Less Visa Free Travel
As we tighten our borders to other nations, they are going to do the same to us. This means possibly less visa-free travel for Americans, and a probably increases in the costs of visas.
Better US Travel
Beyond the challenging days ahead for international travel, there could be a silver lining for those who would rather travel within America's borders right now. Included in President Trump's platform was an effort to improve America's infrastructure. If his promise is kept, travel in America could see improvement. America is in desperate need for an improved railway system, something all other first world countries have in place. Maybe with Trump's Presidency, we will finally get something better than the outdated trains that we are accustomed to. Here's hoping.
You Must Travel With Urgency
Travel NOW! Because Trump is unpredictable and seemingly makes rash decisions, you never know where US citizens may no longer be welcome. I constantly say there is no rush with travel, and although I still strongly believe that, I now feel there is an urgency in 2017. If there is someplace you have always wanted to visit, don't wait.
It has yet to be seen how many of these predictions will come true in the near future, but are you really willing to bet your dream travel destination on a man who seems to be pissing off more than just Rosie O'Donnell?
I do not side with either political party.
Although this article may come off tough on President Trump and his administration, I truly hope he makes a wonderful president to our nation. Hopefully, with time he will prove his value, and increase our ability to travel this incredible world!