The world is abuzz with the surprising results of Britain's referendum. Thought support to leave the European Union increased in the days leading up to the vote, few suspected that the majority of British people would choose to sever the country's ties with the E.U. -- but the people have spoken, David Cameron has resigned, and now everyone, both in Britain and abroad, waits to see what changes the decision will actually bring.
Politics is not our speciality here at Oyster.com, but travel is -- so we've been following all the news this morning to find out just how the Brexit decision will affect your European travel plans. Here are five things you should know.
1. Your dollar will stretch much further in Europe.
Many of the effects of Brexit won't become clear immediately, but this one already has; The Guardian reports that, as a result of the vote, the value of the British pound has plummeted to even lower than it was during the 2008 financial crisis -- meaning the U.S. dollar is quite strong in comparison. As stocks across Europe dive as well, the U.S. dollar will also likely be strong against the Euro, so your European vacation may end up being significantly less expensive than you expected.
2. So will your customs line at Heathrow.
There's often a downside to an upside. Before the vote, E.U. citizens traveling through Heathrow Airport in London could skip the customs line. But now that Britain is no longer part of the E.U., Huffington Post points out that it's very possible that all non-U.K. citizens will share the same line to enter the country. More people means more time; bring a book, because your wait is going to be significant.
3. And your airfare may actually be more expensive.
In days of pre-Brexit yore, flights traveling between Europe and the U.K. were relatively inexpensive thanks to the country's access to the European Common Aviation Area. But Britain's post-vote status in the ECAA is precarious (or more likely, non-existent), and Time reports that it is highly possible airfare on U.K-based carriers (such as British Airways and easyJet) will increase as a result of routes having to change once access is denied.
4. You might encounter protests.
Some Brits are busy Googling exactly what the European Union is; others are protesting. Although protests are unpredictable and can happen anywhere, already hundreds of British citizens have planned a march on Parliament to protest the vote. Protests often mean amped-up security, traffic delays, and the temporary closing of shops, restaurants, and other attractions.
5. And issues with your phone.
If you travel to Europe often, or have a European summer vacation on the books, you may be relying on a European SIM card; under E.U. efforts to decrease the cost of data roaming charges, a single continental SIM card meant full coverage throughout. Though the switch may take some time, Bloomberg reports that, once the U.K. is on its own independent network, this will all change -- and visitors will have to purchase a (likely more expensive) card specifically for Britain, in addition to the European SIM card for those plan on traveling to other countries.