5 things to know if you're traveling to Europe in 2017
Thanks to cheaper airfares and favorable exchange rates, Europe is more accessible than ever. Use these tips to get the most out of your next vacation.
A Cheaper Britain
After Britons voted last year to split from the European Union, the pound sterling plummeted. While it could take until 2019 to fully cut ties, travelers will find the U.K. more affordable than it has been in decades. Many hotel properties are offering discounts to lure guests.
The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for all of Europe, alerting citizens to the potential risk of terrorist attacks, that will expire on Sept. 1, 2017. Expect longer lines at airport security screenings and border-control checkpoints. Check travel.state.gov before your trip.
Despite favorable exchange rates, terrorism has had an impact on the number of visitors to Belgium and Turkey. Though France saw a dip in visitors after attacks in Paris and Nice, it has bounced back and remains the most popular destination in the world.
While tourism growth across much of Western Europe was at in 2016, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, several countries in the east enjoyed double-digit gains in visitors, including Bulgaria, Serbia, and Slovenia. Leading the way, however, was Slovakia, which saw a jump of 18 percent, thanks in part to Bratislava’s fairy-tale buildings, charming squares, and Baroque castle. The city’s revitalized Old Town is a buzzing hot spot, with younger travelers drawn to its cafés and old-school beer halls.
More Routes and Connections
There are 395 new ways to fly to Spain, which last year added the most new airline routes in Europe. Virgin Atlantic now has nonstop flights between Seattle and London, and Condor and British Airways recently began service between New Orleans and London — the former city’s first trans-Atlantic flight option in three decades.