This is not meant to be a political blog but when the political landscape is as we find ourselves in today, I think it is only right to look at how it will impact us.
Sadly, in the long term, nobody knows. Speak to anyone who voted Leave and they will tell you that “it’ll be ok” and “the U.K. will be stronger than it ever has been before”, but how do they know this? Have they got a Magic 8 ball? Have they borrowed Doc’s DeLorian from Back to the Future? Because if they have, could they give it to the banks, the stock market and Moody’s, the credit rating agency, please?
Those three groups have all shown that the future is uncertain and unknown, hence the fall in the markets. But what about the short term for us globe trotters, travellers and sun-seekers, and how can we deal with it?
The key thing to remember for the moment is that, whilst the Leave campaign won the vote, we are still in the EU and will be for at least the next two years. Therefore there are no issues with passports and visas; the booze-cruise to Calais, the stag-do in Prague and the weekend on the Côte d’Azur can go ahead as before.
Except that they will all be more expensive. Both the Dollar and the Euro have strengthened against the Pound, meaning you get less for you money. Buying £100-worth of dollars when the polls closed would have got you bang on $150; when the result was called, you would have got $133.
If you haven’t already stocked up on your holiday currency, it’s difficult to know what to do. How the markets will continue to evolve is uncertain. I’ve hedged my bets, buying some currency and paying up front for hotels in €/$. For me, it would be about £200 more expensive now. When I’m on holiday, I’ll be using my new Supercard with its 0% fx fee so that at least I don’t get clobbered again with commission. In the next 12 months, I will be visiting France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Iceland, the USA and St Martin in the Caribbean. I have also planned an oversubscribed school trip to New York in 2018, costed on an exchange rate of $1.42 to the pound – luckily there is a contingency so we are fine at the moment, but if the rates fall further then we could have problems.
On the up-side, miles and points now become more valuable. A weekend in August at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand is €622 or 120,000 IHG points. This is £505 now, but would have been £478 before, you can get more value for your points. It could definitely be worth swapping some booking around to cash ones in the UK and points abroad to take advantage. The flip-side, of course, is that earning rates tend to be calculated per $ spent do these will go down slightly.
I guess we just have to sit tight and see what happens but I hope that it won’t stop people travelling, seeing the world and being a global citizen.
Has Brexit impacted on your travel plans?