Traveling to the U.K. This Summer? Here's What You Need to Know
U.S. visitors can look forward to a weak pound and lower costs.
European capitals have long been a popular destination for foreign tourists looking for a summer getaway. From the canals of Venice to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, there is no shortage of attractions to draw visitors to the continent.
The U.K., and London in particular, often top the lists of favorite spots for summer travel, especially for Americans, given the shared language. As the U.K. is slated to begin negotiations for leaving the European Union, some tourists have expressed concern over potential repercussions for summer travel.
The U.K. voted to leave the EU in June 2016, though the so-called Brexit will not likely take place until 2019.
In the meantime, uncertainty concerning the future of EU and U.K. trade has caused the value of the pound sterling to plummet, making travel to the U.K. cheaper for U.S. tourists than it has been in years. The sterling dipped to a 30-year low in 2016.
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Tourists have little to fear concerning any travel restrictions, and they can look forward to the continuing depression of the pound against the dollar, making U.K. travel cheaper than in many past years, according to one U.K.-based political scientist.
“The pound is going to remain low indeed because Brexit negotiations are expected to start in April,” Benjamin LeRuth, a research associate at the University of Kent, told Travel + Leisure. “They can find it as a good opportunity to go shopping.”
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Nothing has changed so far in terms of visitor and visa requirements, meaning that U.S. passport holders do not need a visa if they are staying in the U.K. for less than 90 days. These requirements are unlikely to change, especially not within the calendar year.
“It’s highly unlikely to see any changes.” LeRuth said, adding, “They should not be worried.”