How will Brexit affect your trip?

Q & A with David Stitt, MD of Gap 360

Q: How much is BREXIT likely to affect me when I am travelling?

A: If the UK votes to leave the UK no-one can say for sure what is likely to happen, but nearly all economists, bankers, people and institutions that know about finance, such as Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) and The Financial Times, agree that the pound will fall.

Q: Ok, so the pound falls, how does that affect travellers?

A: It means that going travelling will cost more.

  1. The price of trips will have to go up. Gap 360 and other tour operators offer trips at a certain price, lets say £1000 to make it easy. The figure of £1000 includes of course all the costs incurred for operating that trip. Gap 360 pays overseas suppliers of services such as transport companies, hotels, ferries, restaurants, guides in their local currency.
  2. When you head off travelling, you will need to pay for stuff, such as meals and accommodation for example. This will either be paid on your card, or in the local currency. When you exchange your pounds for the local currency, you will get less local currency to spend, and if you use a card, you will find that the cost of the card purchases has gone up, when converted into pounds on your card statement.

Q: What about flight prices, are they going up too?

A: Very likely they will, because the airlines will be mostly paying for fuel in pounds, and that will cost them more as the pounds value falls. And fuel is one of the airlines biggest costs.

Q: How else could my trip be affected?

A: The EU has done a great job of making phone companies scale-back their roaming charges for phone calls. If we leave the EU we will lose this protection, and go back to the bad old days of phone bills coming in with huge roaming charges, especially for facebook and other social media users connecting over data abroad, which will amount to hundreds of pounds.

Q: What about needing visas to visit some European countries?

A: In the long term who knows…but for the next few years we are very unlikely to need visas to travel in Europe. But what will happen quickly is that when we travel to, say Germany, we will not be able to use the EU Citizens passport lanes and will have to line up with all the other non EU people. This will increase the time it takes to get though security, not a big deal really, but very annoying when you are stuck in that queue.

Q: What about the longer term, say 3 or 5 years?

A: Well I don't have a crystal ball so who knows…but in leaving the EU trading bloc, we will be giving up our trade rights, and it will take many years, 10 – 15 years in my view, to negotiate all the new trade deals we will need. In the meantime the economy will suffer and the pound is likely to grow weaker as a result.
And, as people lose jobs, spend less and the economy slumps, this is very likely to affect you and your ability to afford to go travelling.

Want to know more? Visit the Stronger in Europe website, or email [email protected]