Travel to London now cheaper for GCC residents

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CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

If you ever wanted to travel to London or elsewhere in the U.K., now is your chance!

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In a controversial decision, the people in Britain voted for the country to withdraw from the European Union. While it’s unclear how the Brexit vote will affect the political climate and financial markets, this is a good news for holiday makers and explorers.

Now is the time for savvy travelers to take advantage of the strength of the U.S. dollar against the sinking value of the British pound, which has fallen to a 31-year low.

Here are the most significant changes you should expect if you plan to travel to London.

The moment is Now, as the future is uncertain

The key thing to understand about Brexit is that we don’t know what’s going to happen.

There may ultimately be more challenges with visas, especially work visas for people looking to go to work in or remain in Britain. Visitors from the GCC countries are the ultimate winners thanks to their extra disposable income in currency pegged the green back and no visa restrictions.

You Can Score Cheap Flights

Flight fares are likely to fall to a record low this summer and right now you can clinch some great deals to Europe. The reduced flight cost for trips to Europe and the U.K.  is a result of low fuel prices, too much capacity and low-fare competition from the budget European airlines. And though flight prices will increase or decrease based on demand and changing schedules, now is a great time to land a bargain either with Emirates, Etihad or Qatar Airways.

A couple of years ago, summer flights from Dubai to Europe were around $1,000 to $2000. But these days, you can snag flights for as low as $400 with the Gulf-based  carriers.

You Can Find Reasonably Priced Hotel Rooms

While some economists expect inflation to hit the U.K. following the EU exit, for now prices remain unchanged. So, you can enjoy favorable rates in the U.K., even when you travel to London which is traditionally perceived as an expensive destinations. While you’ll be paying the same hotel room rate in British pounds, your actual cost will be dramatically lower due to the exceptional exchange rate we’re experiencing now. When booking on Booking.com choose the U.K. currency.

What’s more, with fewer business travelers heading to the U.K., hotels will need to fill empty rooms and will likely offer reduced rates. Ultimately, if Brexit leads to less travel, especially business travel, then lower demand for rooms will translate into lower prices because hotel rooms aren’t as easily or quickly taken off the market as airline seats. With London potentially losing much of its corporate business hotel prices will decrease.

Many European Locales Will Offer Favorable Exchange Rates

Expect deals to crop up beyond Britain and the U.K. The euro has as well, making it a great time for Americans spending dollars to travel across the continent. London, Edinburgh, Scotland, Manchester, England and destinations in Northern Ireland are far less expensive today than they were before the Brexit vote. And though the euro hasn’t declined as steeply as the pound against the U.S. dollar, you’ll pay less overall when visiting some European destinations in France, Italy, Spain and other countries.

You Can Use the Currency Conversion to Your Favor

With the currency fluctuations, it’s easy to find cheap rates. You can get a better deal buying tickets on Expedia in British pounds than you can on the U.S. website, in part because of currency conversion issues. It’s essential to buy with a credit card that doesn’t tack on foreign transaction fees.

The low exchange rates should be also sized when booking international flights. Flights booked in British pounds are considerably cheaper than their USD counterparts, and once you arrive in Europe, you can expect to find a much more favorable exchange rate, particularly when traveling to the U.K.

Entering the U.K. Will Remain the Same

The U.K. already had border checks for travel to and from Europe. That’s because it wasn’t part of the Schengen Agreement. Travelers shouldn’t expect the process to change, with Britain remaining one of the few countries that does not impose outgoing immigration checks. GCC citizens will need to present a valid passport when entering Britain and countries within the EU. That said, no one has quite worked out what will occur once Brexit happens. The process at border control may change if Scotland and Northern Ireland decide to stay in the EU or band with Britain, for example.

The Political Climate May Impact Future Travel

With cheap travel costs for international visitors, now is the time to act. Over the next few years, it seems likely that the U.K. will experience inflation, so while tourists may find value now, that might not last. What’s more, the political climate could change rapidly. If the political situation takes a turn, protests, government strikes and other disruptions could be a possibility. Plus, there may be an added visa requirement down the road, though this is less likely to be enforced for GCC visitors.

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