In a historic referendum, the UK has voted to leave the European Union, and there is much uncertainty about the future of the region and the global impact of the vote. However, there were immediate financial impacts Friday morning, with waves across the markets -- resulting in huge losses in Europe, Asia, and the United States. As the world tries to make sense of what the next chapter will be, many people want to know the immediate practical impacts on their daily lives and travel plans.
The only immediate certainty as a result of the vote is that all aspects of life and commerce will remain unsettled in the coming weeks and months. "With so many variables in play it's difficult to predict the exact impact the leave vote will have on the tourism industry," said Joel Brandon-Bravo, UK Managing Director of Travelzoo.
Despite that, there was one rapid change: the pound is immediately down. At one point the pound plunged more than 12% to below $1.34 on Friday, its lowest level since 1985, according to CNN.
So how will it affect your travel plans?
Here are some tips for American travelers who have planned or are planning travel to the UK:
- Keep an eye on exchange rates before booking or departing for a trip.
- If you have a visit to the UK coming up soon, it's wise to get cash out now when the exchange rate is low.
- Hotels across the region have been historically expensive, and now is a time to track sales and discounts to visit. This will provide an opportunity to visit the area while bringing international tourism dollars to the region.
- European-based carriers may run sales in the coming weeks to encourage people to visit. Many international airlines have code share agreements with domestic carriers so you can still earn status for these flights.
- Vacation providers will want to keep interest high in obtaining foreign visitors and will likely reduce rates to keep their tour groups full at destinations across Britain.
"Following confirmation of a win for the leave vote, the next 24 months of negotiations will be crucial for British travel," Joel also told me. As the president of Travelzoo North America, I want to take this opportunity to encourage all of our members to experience the UK for themselves and for our member companies to reach out to us to let us know how we can help.