Now that Great Britain has opted to part from the European Union we’ve seen the British Pound (£) drop by several points which is good news for us Americans. In fact, it’s the biggest drop we’ve seen in over a decade. So what does this mean for those looking to travel to the UK? It means that airline prices have dropped. The average rate from San Francisco to London on a British Airways non stop flight as an example has been holding steading between $1050-1300 round trip for the past few years. I just issued a ticket the other day for $791 including tax! As you can imagine, my client was thrilled with the savings. I’m seeing round trip flights from Boston as low as $500 including tax for travel this fall (Nov/Dec). While we haven’t see much of a drop in price from low-cost carriers like Iceland Air, WOW, and Aer Lingus – many airlines that don’t often discount their non stop flights are offering special “Brexit” sales right now to capitalize on the news and motivate travelers to get booking!
What about hotels? A hotel in London may still charge £200 per night. But where that may have converted to $320USD last week, it’s now approx. $260USD! That’s a savings of up to $80 per night if you’re willing to prepay your stay which can certainly add up if you’re staying multiple nights. If you’re staying in more budget/moderate accommodations, you won’t see as much of a savings so it may or may not be worth it to adjust your reservation depending on what type of package or promotion you have booked (ie. low deposit payment plans, free upgrades, breakfast inclusive, free WIFI etc.). Unfortunately, if your trip is already booked and paid in full, there won’t be any adjustments to be had. But…
You’ll also save on purchases while in the UK. With the favorable exchange, you’ll save more on dining, shopping and excursions purchased locally! That £20 pub dinner will now cost you only $26 vs. $32! (hey, the difference will get you another pint of beer)
I don’t know if the Brits thought this all the way through because it also means now it’s more expensive for them to travel abroad. Vacationing in Europe and even the USA has always been a “cheap” holiday for the Brits but they may have to rethink that now that their money won’t go nearly as far. This may mean shorter lines at museums and popular attractions. On the flip side, we’re hoping to see a massive jump in US travelers so expect longer lines at the airport and plan your trip accordingly. That means that 3 hour advance check-in requirement for international flights is no joke.
So if you’ve been thinking of traveling to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland – now is the time to book! We expect the Pound to level out over the next few weeks which will increase the gap once again between the £ and $. So book now to save now (contact me). It’s also a good idea to go ahead and exchange currency if you have a trip coming up soon to take advantage of the lower conversion rate. Talk to your local bank who can order currency for you if they don’t keep it in-house.
On a side note, why does everything have to have a kitschy name now? I blame the folks that coined “brangelina”…..