"Brexit" Translates to United Kingdom "On Sale"
In June, United Kingdom voters approved a referendum to leave the European Union, a move commonly referred to as “Brexit.” While the long-term implications won’t be clear for a while, there’s one immediate, beneficial result for American travelers: It’s much less expensive to take a vacation in Great Britain.
The British pound has dropped in value to its lowest point against the U.S. dollar in 30 years. In July, $100 would get you 76 British pounds, compared with just 64 pounds during the same period in 2015. Since hotels are routinely one of the costlier items once you’re in a destination, if a hotel room cost 150 pounds per night, last year you would have paid $232, but with the stronger U.S. dollar value, you would pay only $197 per night—that translates into substantial savings.
London routinely pops up on lists of the world’s most expensive cities, yet it also ranks as one of the most popular cities for Americans to visit. The British capital is the fourth most popular international vacation destination for 2016, according to Travel Leaders Group’s annual Travel Trends Survey.
Of course, prices are subject to change and exchange rates fluctuate, but it’s safe to say that with a strong U.S. dollar, a vacation in the United Kingdom is cheaper now than it’s been in years. So, if you’ve had London on your bucket list, this is a great time to check it off.
For example, every visitor should have the Tower of London—the castle that’s home to Britain’s Crown Jewels—on his or her itinerary. Admission to the Tower is 25 British pounds, or about $33. Last summer, the same ticket would have cost $39. A ride on the London Eye—a giant Ferris wheel that offers a spectacular view of the city—starts at 21 pounds, or about $28, compared with about $33 last year.
Of course, there’s so much to see beyond London.
Just 90 minutes southwest of London, by train, is Salisbury the nearest city to Stonehenge. The massive circle of stones set in the middle of the British countryside has a history spanning 5,000 years. A round-trip train ticket from London to Salisbury is 16 pounds, or $21, compared with $25 in 2015. At Salisbury station, visitors can take a bus tour of Stonehenge, Old Sarum, and Salisbury Cathedral for 34 pounds, or about $45, compared with $53 in 2015.
Liverpool, a 2½-hour train ride northwest of London, has a fascinating maritime history and is a must-see for fans of the Beatles. A ticket to The Beatles Story museum costs 15 pounds, or $20, compared with about $23 last summer. You’ll want to see the neighborhoods where John, Paul, George, and Ringo grew up and met, and places associated with some of their most famous songs like, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. A four-hour tour is 99 pounds for up to two people, or $130, compared with about $155 last year.
Finally, the opening of the Channel Tunnel—or Chunnel—in 1994 made traveling between England and the European continent easier than ever. While prices can vary depending on the time of day and date, a standard round-trip ticket on the Eurostar between London and Paris costs 89 pounds, or about $117, compared with approximately $139 last summer.
For help planning a trip to Britain, contact us at 719-597-0004.