You've put off travel this year because of the election. True or false? Though the industry offers mixed reviews and no empirical data to show that election years hurt the travel industry, there are several reasons to be weary during an election year. Some theorize that Americans are more careful with their money as they wait to see if the more fiscally responsible candidate will be named. Others may be distracted from regularly scheduled programming (dream, plan, book, go) in lieu of election coverage, particularly in such a tumultuous campaign year. Certainly, with all eyes on the election, advertisers have a harder time getting their message across. And while Americans are thinking twice about travel, the rest of the world is thinking twice about Americans. How might the results of this election affect Americans traveling abroad?
THE DONALD TRUMP APOLOGY TOUR
The Washington Post coined the term trumpsplaining to describe the many questions Americans face when travelling abroad. When my husband and I were traveling last winter in the Canary Islands, we were approached by a waiter at the end of our meal with two shots of limoncello.
"How have you been treated during your time here?" he asked. We told him extremely well, to which he responded, "That's because Obama is President." He went on to explain that he likes to poll Americans, and said when Bush was president, Americans weren't treated as well.
Now we stand at a crossroads. In less than one week, we will find out who will take office, and our fate as travelers abroad will be sealed. Or has our good name already been trampled in Trump's wake? No matter the results of the election, Trump has already done a lot of damage to the respect we regained globally during the Obama administration.
We all know Trump won't fade into the background or accept a loss as fair and square, either. The reverberations of his polarizing campaign and his claims that the election is rigged even before the winner is announced, are worth preparing for as travelers abroad.
The world watches our politics, and while learning to say "I am Canadian" in as many languages as possible might buy you some time, the question of what's wrong with America will surely rear its head. How will you respond?