To the U.S. travel industry, now is the “election year curse”—a time when both domestic and international travel slow perceptibly. And this year, that sluggish trend has apparently been made worse by the terror attacks in Paris in November of 2015, and by the terror attacks in Brussels in early March, 2016. Though it’s too early to make a firm prediction, it’s possible that transatlantic travel may end the year off by 5%, and domestic travel by almost as much.
Which creates a very special opportunity for Americans in love with travel. With planes and hotels at less than capacity, with famous cities uncrowded, with museums and other attractions eager for additional visitors, the quality of travel will be better than in recent times. Important to keep in mind is that the Euro is selling at a rate ($1=1.12 Euros) of almost par to the dollar, and that the impressive Airbnb.com is now so international in scope that it permits the traveler to stay in authentic neighborhoods, enjoying the uniqueness of foreign destinations, at some of the lowest costs for accommodations in recent years. Though Airbnb.com may be under attack in the United States, it operates almost without problems throughout the rest of the world.
Here at home, this is the centennial year of the U.S. National Parks, a time when all these precious natural treasures will be hosting special events of great interest to the visitor. It behooves every American to consider a trip to one of these 400 parks, and if they have not been to the greatest among them—Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon—they really should take the time to plan such a trip.
But the greatest obligation of most Americans is simply to travel. To give up the precious rewards of travel, is to do an injury to your own understanding of the world, and to deprive your children of some of the greatest educational experiences they can enjoy.
(Photo credit: Edward Stojakovic/Flickr)