Britain's on sale
Because mere injury wasn’t enough for us, Donald Trump turned up in the United Kingdom the day after the referendum, to christen his new golf course in Scotland. Trump, who aligns with the Leave movement’s nationalism, took a sanguine view of Brexit. He threw a pitchman’s spin on the situation. “Look, if the pound goes down, they're going to do more business,” he said of tourist destinations. “You know, when the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly.”
Setting aside the bit about doing “more” business when you’re getting paid in a limping currency, Trump might be on to something. If in fact you do want to go golfing in Scotland, or finally check out Notting Hill Carnival, or see Big Ben/Parliament a few dozen times, put off booking no longer.
“Britain is effectively on sale, giving American tourists a fantastic opportunity to visit this historically expensive country on the cheap,” Zach Honig, editor-in-chief of ThePointsGuy.com, gushed to Forbes. At the time of writing, the exchange rate was at $1.30 to the pound, a staggering drop from $1.50 and a 30-year-low against the dollar. Experts predict the currencies could reach parity by Christmas.
Simple math says your next London holiday is going to include more rounds at the pub, better hotels, and fancier nights out.
The skies are in fact falling (or at least the airfares)
Not only that, airfares to the UK are plunging. As the Brits become less able to afford trips abroad, airlines have scrambled to fill seats. You want to go from New York to London in October or November? Norwegian Air will get you there for under $250 each way, in line with some fares Virgin Atlantic and others announced after the referendum. Americans are highly prized tourists: they constitute 10% of the British tourism industry and spend an average of $3,000 per visit. English, Scottish, and Welsh destinations will be thrilled to have you, especially if EU visitors head elsewhere.
Even without the upheaval of Brexit, this was going to be a cheap year to visit. “Europe is a relative bargain now,” says travel expert George Hobica at Airfarewatchdog. “Airfares have been going down and even before Brexit we saw $400 round trip from San Francisco to Amsterdam on United.” Airlines and hotels are dropping prices all over, he says, and he suggests you book refundable hotel rates on Tingo.com: “It gives automatic refunds if the hotel lowers prices after booking.” Many travel experts are advising tourists to make hotel payments at the end of their stay, to ensure they get the best rate.