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Crown Cruise Vacations | November 28, 2020

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How will the Sequester affect your vacation?

How will the Sequester affect your vacation?

It used to be that we could ignore politics in the travel industry. By and large, the goings on in Washington, D.C. had very little affect on a vacation – but that’s changing this month, as the Sequester budget cuts begin to take affect. Some of the effects may be minor, but these effects could rapidly snowball to turn a great holiday into the vacation from hell. Here are three tips that you can use to limit any effect these budget cuts could have on your travel.

1. Allow More Time

These budget cuts means smaller security staffs at airports and cruiseports. This can mean security bottlenecks that take even longer than normal. The TSA estimates that there could be something along the lines of 1,000 Security Officer vacancies by Memorial Day weekend, due to a hiring freeze and attrition. Although a lot of travelers would welcome fewer TSA agents among our midst, it doesn’t mean that the security checks become any less intrusive. It just means there are fewer people to do them, and longer lines to get through the checkpoints. By the summer time, many experts think that you should arrive at the airport as much as 30-60 minutes earlier than you would otherwise, just due to security lines alone.

2. Bring A Book

As the budget cuts take full effect at the FAA, control towers will have shorter staffs, and fewer air traffic controllers to monitor the same number of flights in the sky. This can be especially problematic for travelers out of busy airports in the Northeast, like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington D.C., as well as other major airports like Chicago and LAX. If air traffic control stretches out even thinner, then whole runways may be closed off at major airports, adding 1-2 hour delays during peak flying times. There’s not a lot the average traveler can do about that, but bringing a book to read or something to do will at least help pass the time.

3. Go Before You Go

Another less publicized victim of the Sequester is the National Park system. With no seasonal help getting hired this year, look for many fewer trash cans, and a lack of working bathroom facilities – which could prove especially annoying for visitors. Although most of the park system will still stay open, services and operating hours may be greatly reduced.

Obviously, there are many ways that these budget cuts will affect American lives, but as anyone can see, the effects are broad and sometimes even a little silly. As always, though, a little preparation can mean the difference between surprise and major annoyance and sailing through the worst of any ill effects.