What Does Brexit Mean For Your European Travel Plans?

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh.
With the results of the polarizing Brexit vote in, people in the U.K. and around the world are officially freaking out. And those of us with summer plans across the pond are starting to join them, as we’re left wondering if the news could affect our travel.

Well, yes and no. Firstly, you’re unlikely to have any additional trouble getting into the country, so breathe a sigh of relief. Though the politics behind the vote hinged heavily on the subject of immigration, the decision will ultimately have a much larger affect other European nations, not Americans. U.S. citizens will continue to have to present a valid American passport to enter both the U.K. and individual European Union nations, just as we’ve always done.

Also, the U.K., like most of Europe, is part of a group of countries called the Schengen Area, which don’t require American tourists to have a visa for stays of less than three months. One less piece of paperwork to worry about, one more afternoon to research the best fish and chips in London.

The other big travel news is that you’ll get a lot more of that fish and chips for your buck.

The vote means that the American dollar has way more buying power in Europe than it did only three days ago. The value of the British pound dropped heavily in the 24 hours after the vote, from a value of about $1.50 on the day of the vote to a low of $1.32 by 5:30 a.m. the next day, before coming to settle at about $1.37. The value of the euro dropped, too, to a value of about $1.11. The BBC calls the drops the “biggest one-day fall ever seen” for both currencies.

The New York Times also points out that airfare deals to Europe have already been pretty good, so it’s hard to say whether the change in exchange rates will have any further effect. Rates have spent the past few weeks in a range of prices under $1,000, rather than the $1,800 flights were going for last summer.

There’s no reason to change your travel plans because of Brexit. So, grab your luggage and get to the airport. A vacation doesn’t take itself.