Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What's up with Greece & what does it mean to travelers?

Greek island have been relatively unaffected the the Crisis
Geia sou (Hello in Greek)!

As you have probably seen in the news, Sunday the Greeks voted NOT to accept the conditions of the bailout by the euro-zone.  This does not necessarily mean that Greece will leave the euro-zone or change their currency.   Even if Greece does exit the euro-zone, I think the worst case scenario for travelers this fall would be the need to bring cash, since euros, US dollars and British pounds would be in high demand if Greece went back to the drachma (the Greek currency before the euro).  Right now there is a restriction of €60 per day Greeks can withdraw from ATMs, but NO limits have been imposed on foreign debit card transactions. So travelers have full access to withdraw cash from ATMs.  However in central Athens expect long lines to withdraw cash.  According to Reuters banks in Greece will remain closed until Thursday.

Throughout the six years of Greece’s economic crisis, I have led more than a dozen trips and have found the islands to be relatively unaffected…life on the islands is a zone of its own.  Most grow their own food and many have an economy based on tourism.  Some of the more remote islands may be more difficult to get to and from, should ferry services be reduced.  So if you are on a schedule you may want to keep to the islands with frequent daily ferry service and an airport with a few flights per day.

I always recommend purchasing travel insurance that includes trip delay and emergency medical evacuation when traveling, especially if traveling to the smaller Greek islands, which do not have hospitals.  Check with your travel insurance provider what is covered and not covered before purchasing.

By fall things are anticipated to be normalized no matter the decisions and outcomes.  We all know the media tends to blow things out of portion, therefore I always find it best to check with my Greek colleagues and friends to hear their firsthand accounts.  So we are a GO for all WanderWoman trips.  I will keep you posted as I learn more.  And of course, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about our upcoming trips.

Here are links to recent articles about the situation in Greece and the referendum: 



Erja Lipponen, Owner/Founder
Eurynome Journeys LLC
WanderWoman® Tours & Retreats
go at wanderwomantours.com

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