England

Brexit Starts Hitting Airlines

A few short weeks ago, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. While I personally feel that this was a bad move, it was the will of the voters and is going forward. What seemed to be a simple vote for many people has begun to impact England and the UK very hard. Immediately following the vote, stocks dropped. Over the next few days the markets quickly recovered, but the one thing that did not, was the value of the British Pound.



England's currency has taken a huge hit, falling below values it has not seen since the 80's and is continuing to decline. Some analysts have even predicted that by the end of 2016, we could see the dollar at parity with the pound. While I think this probably unlikely, I do think that the pound will not recover anytime soon from this vote.

As the value of the pound falls off, airlines are starting to see some impact from the reduced buying power. Under that scope, Delta has just announced that it will be reducing capacity of its flights to and from the UK on 6 different routes. Delta is directly blaming this on the fall of the Pound and the Brexit vote. If the trend continues going forward, we may see more flights be cut from not only Delta, but many other carriers. Delta has a fairly small share of UK flights, American and United have much larger shares with the potential to see larger impacts on their routes.

UK based airlines lost an incredible amount of value after the vote, and in some cases CEO's have said that this exit has cost them expansion opportunities and subsequently reduced the number of jobs that companies are bringing to England.

The choice to leave the EU has undoubtedly had a massive impact on the economy of the UK in a wide ranging way that many people did not foresee. We can only watch now and see as all of the little unexpected changes come to pass. Only time will tell if the pound regains its former glory. For now though, the US Dollar has far more buying power in England than it has in a long long time, might be a good chance to take advantage of that.

Brexit Backlash

Now that the UK has spoken on the Brexit vote, they will now be leaving the European Union. In my humble opinion, this is a huge mistake, but this is the way things were voted. With the UK exiting the EU, what exactly is the going to mean for travel to an from Heathrow and other UK destinations.



Those of you who have traveled through Heathrow like I do a number of times a year, you notice that the EU has special lines that tend to speed the process of passing through immigration control. With the Brexit now approved, the questions remains as to how the UK will be handling this change. If the UK switches those EU lines to UK only, then we can expect a major shift in wait times for not only the EU citizens, but also for foreign visitors as well. Those EU lines shifting to foreign lines will make wait times increase significantly for all foreign visitors and likely even more for EU visitors. Of course the lines will be reorganized as traffic flow changes, but there is likely going to be some slow down in what can already be a slow immigration process.

Outside of lines and adjustments to wait times, is the value of the British Pound which took a massive hit after the vote. Along with the deep declines in the stock market, the British pound dropped quite a lot versus the dollar and this means that if you are coming from the US, then your money is going to have a lot more buying power. Secondarily, if you are a UK citizen, then the pound has lost a lot of value travelling worldwide.

These are the sorts of impacts that often aren't taken into account on a vote like this. In a global economy, a vote such as this does not just impact one country, but impacts the world. Time will only tell how everything will shake out from this.

My Top 3 Destinations

Over the last few years, I've started to travel pretty extensively around the world. My international travels started in London, then blossomed pretty quickly from there. Now I've been to 5 different continents, 11 countries, and by the end of the year will have picked up at least 2 more countries and the last of the 6 main continents (sorry Antarctica, you'll have to wait a little while). In all of my traveling, there have been some pretty big stand outs for me that I cannot wait to return to. Here are my top 3 destinations so far:



 

London, England

London was the first place I ever visited internationally. The trip was short, much like most of my trips, but a memorable one. Since that time, I've been through the airport in London many times, but never made it back into the city. This is something that needs to change and soon. London is an amazing city, and one that mixes the modern and old city feels very well.

London boasts one of the most amazing collections of art, science and historical museums anywhere in the world. From the Tate Modern, to the Globe Theater there is so much to see in London. At night you can climb aboard the Millennium Eye, I say at night because the view is amazing with the city lights.

Getting around in London is as easy as hopping on the tube and riding pretty much anyplace you'd want to be. London is amazing and it'll draw you back.

 

Sydney, Australia

Yes, I am highly recommending you go down under for your next trip. Sydney is one of those places people don't often think about because the trip is so damn long in the air. If you do fly there, make it a business class or better sort of trip. I made it in economy, and 15-16 hours in economy isn't fun... though Qantas makes it slightly better.

People in Australia are some of the most friendly you'll ever meet. The food is very similar to England, lots of fish and chips, but they add in a bit of Vegemite to morning meals to make it their own. While I'm on the topic, keep at least 30 paces from Vegemite... don't say I didn't warn you.

A visit to Circular Quay is a must for any visits. There you can eat, shops, walk around, catch a play at the famous Sydney Opera House (yes I did that), and catch a ferry across the harbor. On the other side of the harbor is the world famous Sydney Zoo, an absolute must see for any visitor.

Sydney is a place which always sticks out in my mind.

 

Seoul, South Korea

I know what your thinking, "really? South Korea?" at least that seems to be the reaction I often get. Here I'm breaking from my trend of choosing English speaking countries. There is a good reason for choosing South Korea and that largely to do with the people. South Korean's are very friendly, fun and happy. While there was a major language barrier everywhere I went, there was no point that I felt uncomfortable in South Korea. 

The city is huge, but worth every second of any visit. Museums, observation towers, old temple grounds, and an amazing market. Despite being sick when I visited last time, the trip was a hit with me and continues to stick out as a highlight of all of my travels. 

If you ever get the chance to visit South Korea, do not think twice about it, Seoul is amazing!

 

Future

These stand out at the big three destinations to date. With Dubai, Cape Town, Honk Kong, Tokyo, Melbourne, Queenstown, and so many many more on my list, this is likely to change in the coming years. Still, these are the 3 places I'd most jump at a chance to revisit if the price is right.