By now you’re probably aware that Greece is in a bit of a financial pickle. Up to their eyeballs in debt, the Greeks recently voted against International bailout after disagreeing with the terms. Since rejecting help, Greek banks have shut their doors, the country is on the brink of a total meltdown and whispers of a food shortage have even began to surface. Perfect time to take a trip to Santorini, don’t you think?
If you do have plans to visit Greece in the immediate future, or even in the coming summer, there’s a couple of things that you ought to know before doing so.
Take cash, lots of it!
At present, the banks have temporarily shut down because they don’t have enough cash to hand out. While some ATMs in the country are still working, others have run completely dry. So if you’re in and around Europe before heading to the Isles, take advantage of their plentiful ATMs. Seriously. Experts are advising visitors to bring enough money to cover their entire trip. Furthermore, some restaurants and small businesses are expected to switch to cash only transactions, so don’t say you weren’t warned!
Talk to your insurance company
While travel operators reportedly don’t foresee any emergency scenarios that would impact the travel industry, holiday makers are being recommended to consider taking out extra insurance to cover themselves in the event of getting stranded. Also, check with your insurer to see what your policy includes, as some companies have increased their limits on the amount of cash they cover in response to the crisis.
Stick to tourist destinations
If you are concerned about getting stranded should the meltdown reach breaking point, it’s best to keep within popular tourist destinations. Stephanie Anastasiou from Ask2Travel Group, Yachts-sailing.com and the Entrada Central Reservation System told CNN: “The most important thing to remember is that tourist businesses are privately-owned companies that have nothing to do with the government and the public sector.
“A business in Greece will not stop operating when there are customers to serve. Such businesses have proven to be fully operable even in more difficult times during these past crisis years,” she concluded.
You shouldn’t feel unsafe
Yes, there have been a few outbreaks in Athens since the financial crisis began, but aside from recent demonstrations, locals told CNN last month that tourists should feel safe. “Greece is quiet and peaceful and the people are still as warm and hospitable as ever,” said Athens resident, Georgina Tzevelekou.
What’s more, The Embassy of Greece in London released a statement last week saying: “The minister of tourism, Elena Kountoura, reiterates that Greek tourism remains high in the preferences of our visitors. The tourists who are already here, and those who are planning to come, will not be affected in any way by the events and will continue to enjoy their holiday in Greece with absolutely no problem.”
You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck
With Greece in the midst of a meltdown there’s no doubt that there will be economic consequences – apparently not for travellers, however. In fact, word on the street is that prices in Greece will drop even more and the tourist experience will actually get better. Hurray! At the moment the country is relying heavily on their tourism to stay afloat, therefore it’s very likely that you’ll get the best customer service of your life.