For Post-Brexit British Vacationers, Staying Home Now Seems Appealing : Parallels In the weeks since British voters chose to leave the EU, the value of the pound has dropped steeply. That's made European vacations more expensive — and staying in the U.K. more attractive.
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For Post-Brexit British Vacationers, Staying Home Now Seems Appealing

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For Post-Brexit British Vacationers, Staying Home Now Seems Appealing

For Post-Brexit British Vacationers, Staying Home Now Seems Appealing

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ELISE HU, HOST:

When Britain voted to leave the European Union, the U.K. pound took a tumble. That's been great for Americans visiting England this summer, but the devalued pound means traveling abroad is now too expensive for many Brits. Lauren Frayer reports from the English seaside, where many folks are taking holidays closer to home.

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: It's cloudy and cold, and it's mostly stones underfoot rather than sand. But the children on this carousel in Brighton don't seem to mind. Matthew Kirk opted for a cheaper two-hour drive to an English beach this year rather than flying to sunny Spain with his two children like they've done in past years.

MATTHEW KIRK: The dawn of cheap air travel has fundamentally changed how Brits view holidays. Last year and previous years, I suspect, it's probably as cheap, if not cheaper, to go to Spain for two weeks, And I think Brits have got used to that.

FRAYER: But with the British pound hitting new lows against the Euro...

KIRK: You get less for your pound. And so I think people will consider that, and we certainly will.

FRAYER: The low-cost airline easyJet, which buys fuel in U.S. dollars, says its costs increased by $53 million in the month after the Brexit vote. The airline's CEO, Carolyn McCall, told a group of reporters she wants the government to issue a timeline for Brexit.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CAROLYN MCCALL: We need that stability because that will bring about economic stability. It would make people feel an awful lot better. It would make people feel much more confident.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When would you get that certainty?

MCCALL: Well, I don't know. We have to wait and see.

FRAYER: Europe's largest low-cost airline, Ryanair, says it's pivoting away from U.K. airports in favor of others on the European continent. CEO Michael O'Leary called Brexit a surprise and a disappointment.

Last weekend, when British schools got out for the summer, there were 16-hour delays at the main ferry crossing to France as families set off to Europe by car rather than by plane. Part of that was increased security on the French side amid a state of emergency after terror attacks. The British Hospitality Association says domestic bookings are already up this summer.

Mom-and-pop vendors here are hoping that makes up for the higher costs they're absorbing.

CLIFF FAIRES: My name's Cliff, and I've got the Brighton Shellfish & Oyster Bar on the wonderful Brighton Beach.

FRAYER: Cliff Faires started selling seafood, including that famous delicacy jellied eels, 10 years ago here as a retirement gig. But Brexit is hurting his bottom line.

FAIRES: Our prices are going up because most fish is bought on the - with a dollar. Now our suppliers buy in dollars so that the conversion - it just makes it a bit more expensive.

FRAYER: So they pass that on to you?

FAIRES: Of course.

FRAYER: Just off the carousel, Matthew Kirk's little boy squeals for ice cream. His dad says British resorts, some of which have seen better days, could rebound amid all this.

KIRK: I suspect - yeah, the seaside towns in Britain will do well out of it, which is a good thing. It would be nice to see them making a living and thriving. So I suppose if there was a silver lining in every cloud, it's that, I guess, isn't it? Yeah.

FRAYER: And speaking of clouds, I can report there is no shortage of them at the English seaside here. For NPR News, I'm Lauren Frayer in Brighton, England.

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