Will the US government shutdown affect your travel plans?

Unless you’re marooned on a blissfully wifi-free island, you won’t have failed to notice the headlines about the US government shutdown over the past few days. But what does it mean for travellers in the States, and should you change your plans?

Arches National Park is just one of the popular travel destinations affected by the shutdown. Image by Mike Nielsen. CC BY-SA 2.0.

What’s going on?

This week, the US government began a partial shutdown after failing to agree a budget. Hundreds of thousands of government staff have been told to stay at home, meaning that federal buildings and services, museums and National Parks have shut their doors.

Which tourist sites are affected?

Tourist sites from war memorials to National Parks are closed for business until further notice. A few of the most popular US attractions reported to be shut include:

  • Yellowstone National Park – and all other US National Parks.
  • The Statue of Liberty.
  • Smithsonian museums.
  • Lincoln Memorial.
  • Alcatraz.

Make sure you check the official website of your chosen destination before you travel there.

Travellers hoping to visit American military cemetery sites outside the US may also find their plans disrupted. Twenty-four military cemeteries overseas, including the Normandy American Cemetery, are currently closed.

What about transport?

Border control, immigration, …read more


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